So here’s the deal. Marquis Teague will -– PROBABLY –- announce his college basketball choice on Thursday. We say probably because, although he has set up a Thursday press conference, he has delayed his decision before.
An Indiana optimist could take this as a sign that Teague, the Indianapolis Pike junior guard rated as high as No. 2 nationally in the Class of 2011, will resist the siren calls of Louisville and Kentucky and become a Hoosier.
Remember, that’s an optimist and not a realist.
Teague has narrowed his choices to IU, Purdue, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Louisville. Hoosier coach Tom Crean has made a strong push to get Teague. Landing him could jumpstart Crean's efforts to get the best in-state players.
However, Teague's father once played for Rick Pitino, now the Louisville coach. The odds are VERY good that he will become a Cardinal.
Of course, Teague could be lured by the prospects of yet another Kentucky super class. Coach John Calipari’s knack for signing and developing NBA caliber guards (see Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall as examples) is well known. So are the rumors that Teague will join top-rated Michael Gilchrist and Quincy Miller in a projected UK Class of 2011. Gilchrist is already committed.
Teague, in case you’ve forgotten, looms as a one-and-done guy, although his junior numbers at Pike (16.3 points, 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals) suggest that might be a little optimistic. He isn’t a great shooter (43 percent from the field, 66 percent on free throws). He has a lot to learn about defense, but then, what high school player doesn’t?
IU had to offer Teague. So did Purdue. He is too touted a player too close to home to ignore him. Still, is he a program-changing player? Is he a good fit? Perhaps so. Perhaps not.
He’ll get a chance to answer those questions for some school in the next couple of years, but it will all start on Thursday. The surprise won’t come if he passes on IU. The surprise will come if he doesn’t.