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Cats Struggling to Get the Point

I know, I know, how can I complain about this season’s Kentucky Wildcats when they are ranked #2 in the nation at 14-1 on the season?  Well, it’s quite simple; I’m an irrational Kentucky fan that is constantly worried about my team.  So what is keeping me up at night this season you ask?  Point Guard play or what seems to be a lack of it.

John Calipari has been blessed with an unbelievable run of tremendous point guards in his three seasons at Kentucky and even before at Memphis.  We all realize that Marquis Teague had impossible expectations to live up to this season following John Wall and Brandon Knight as the lead guard in Calipari’s offense, but his continual struggles are becoming an issue for this team. 

Teague really seems to struggle in running the offense and making good decisions on the court for this team.  In the most recent game against Arkansas Little Rock, the offense struggled mightily the entire game until Teague was forced to the bench with his fourth foul.  At that point, the Cats offense seemed to flow better and Kentucky was able to put points on the board and break open a tight game.

Looking back at the season thus far, there have been four games in which his play has really stuck out.  Against Kansas and Indiana, Teague was absolutely horrendous in first half action, but came through with clutch scoring and led the team’s strong efforts in both second halves.  However against North Carolina, it seemed as though the team actually played better without him on the court throughout the game.  His performance against Louisville is one he’d like to forget where he struggled to handle the pressure and was in foul trouble most of the game.

The common dominator this season has been when Teague is able to get to the rim and score points his entire game and intensity level picks up.  If he is not involved in the offense and has to run the team, it has been a struggle.  As Calipari has already stated multiple times this season, he simply needs to make the easy pass, which will help limit turnovers, and try to get his very talented teammates the ball.  If he is able to do that his opportunities will come as well.

Teague does not have the shear talent and driving ability of John Wall or the shooting and scoring ability of Brandon Knight, this much we know.  But he is super athletic and has shown flashes of being able to lead this offense effectively. 

Thankfully for the Cats, the conference season is just getting underway and there’s a lot of time left to see improvement.  There were similar concerns at the beginning of last season with Brandon Knight and we all know how that turned out.  If Kentucky plans on hanging banner #8 this season, they are going to have to get better play out of No. 25.