Prospect Profile: Marquis Teague

While the 2012 draft class is widely recognized as deep and talent-rich, teams aren't quite as enthused about this year's crop of point guards.  You can expect a good deal of movement and surprises between now and June 28th, but Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall figure to be the first two point guards taken, unless Marshall's elbow injury is more serious than he is letting on.  After those two, teams will look to the other available floor generals such as Kentucky's Marquis Teague

The freshman had an up-and-down season as the Wildcats' starting one-guard and at times looked to be more than reckless with the basketball.  However, he managed to shine on a team loaded with star power in March as he held things together and scored when given the opportunity.  Teague was asked to be a distributor first and a scorer second in John Calipari's offense this season but showed that he could fill a stat sheet with the best of them in performances like his game against Iowa State where he had 24 points off of 10-of-14 shooting.

While it's an imperfect comparison stylistically, Teague has a knack for pushing the ball forward and weaving between defenders similar to Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.  It's a skill that serves Teague well in transition but most agree that the youngster doesn't thrive in the halfcourt set.  Any team that drafts Teague will have to have the patience to groom him into more effective ballhandler in slow offensive sets.

His inconsistency as a frosh at Kentucky raised a  few questions about his NBA potential but the promise he showed as a high school prospect has left many scouts drooling over his upside.  Teague didn't put up major points (10.0 PPG) in large part because he wasn't charged with scoring, but the guard put up 22.7 PPG in his senior year of high school.  It was that offensive ability and tenacity that led Rivals to rank the Indiana native as the fifth-best talent in the 2011 class.  ESPN's Chad Ford has Teague as the fourth-best point guard in the draft while DraftExpress has him at third, but virtually all evaluators agree that he must improve on his shooting ability and decision making in order to succeed at the next level.  It remains to be seen whether Teague will go ahead of Washington's Tony Wroten Jr., but you can expect to see him land somewhere between the late teens and mid-20s.
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