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Since his nine-assist, zero-turnover performance in an exhibition game, freshman Marquis Teague has struggled. UK head coach John Calipari said he wants people to point to Teague and want him running a team; right now, Teague is not there. Not even close.
Then again, he’s a freshman point guard. It’s not time to panic.
But let’s compare to his predecessors at the point guard. Are Teague’s struggles atypical? No, although he is producing at a lower level than the four other freshman point guards (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight) did through four games:
Of course, this is not a conclusive and decisive study, by any means. Teague will naturally score less than the others because of the amount of other options he has around him. And four games is a small sample size. But it shows Teague is a little behind. He isn’t a prime scoring threat but he’s also not distributing. And while his raw turnover numbers are about the same, his turnover percentage (the percentage of possessions that ends in a turnover) is significantly higher than the others.
This exercise is meant neither to excuse or ridicule Teague’s performance. It’s simply comparing. But how might his growth occur? Let’s expand the parameters and look at how the point guards evolved over the course of a season. This is a graph of rolling 10-game averages of offensive rating.
The four guards all started off in different places. John Wall (black line) killed it from the start, and actually regressed to a more normalized rating by the end of the year.
Tyreke Evans (red line) started out really slow but ended up climbing steadily through the year. Derrick Rose and Brandon Knight started at approximately the same spot through 10 games. Knight played well early on, and Rose ended up emerging down the stretch.
Another interesting notes: The convergence of all the graphs around games in the teens, or right around conference play. For Teague, getting ready for SEC play is paramount. Will he get there? He should.
It’s just a matter of how long it takes.
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