Q&A: Marquis Teague

Kentucky's freshman floor general brings speed to NBA game
by Aaron Lopez

Marquis Teague did something last year that very few have done before: lead a team full of young talent and direct it to a national championship as a freshman.

As the starting point guard for an explosive Kentucky team in 2011-12, Teague averaged 10 points, 4.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 32.6 minutes. His 191 assists were the second-most by a freshman in Kentucky history.

Teague, 19, comes from a rich basketball tradition. His father Shawn played for Boston University under former Kentucky coach Rick Pitino, and his older brother Jeff currently plays point guard for the Atlanta Hawks.

Kentucky coach John Calipari also is known for producing NBA point guards. His pupils include Derrick Rose, John Wall and Tyreke Evan, and Teague is now trying to add his name to that distinguished list.

Teague believes he would be a good fit for Denver’s uptempo offense. His athleticism, speed and quickness really show when he is in the open court.

He sat down with for a few questions after his workout in at Pepsi Center on Monday.

Q: First off, have you ever been to Denver before? I know it’s a quick stay but what are your thoughts so far?
A: “Yeah I have been here one time before with the USA Select team. The altitude is different. It takes some adjusting to.”

Q: Your brother obviously has made an impact in the NBA in the past couple years. With that said, what has he told you or done to help you along during your draft workout process?
A: “He just told me to come in here and work hard, knock down shots and just be vocal. Really show these guys that you can play.”

Q: What did you learn that you can bring to the NBA from your national championship run last year?
A: “Just somebody that can push the ball up and down the court, get to the rim and have a lot of leadership. I played with a lot of great players so I know how to be a point guard with great players on the team and just find guys and get them open shots.”

Q: What are your thoughts on the Nuggets?
A: “They did a great job late in the season; Ty Lawson was playing great for them. They are really an young and up-and-coming team.”

Q: Coach George Karl and the Nuggets obviously have an up-tempo offense you played in this type of offense at Kentucky as well. Why does it fit your game so well?
A: “That’s when I am at my best – when I’m using my speed and quickness to get easy layups.”

Q: What is the number one thing you want to improve on this summer?
A: “I’m trying to work on getting a little stronger and hitting my outside shot more consistently.” Q: What has your experience been like preparing for the NBA draft?
A: “It’s been a tough experience. Just trying to go hard every day.”