Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Teague and Indiana Basketball Recruiting

He wore a blue-and-white Kentucky cap, a red Pike High School shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

Yeah, Marquis Teague was dressed like the teenager he is to make a life-altering decision. And if he was seduced by the Calipari side of the force, well, who isn’t these days? UK coach John Calipari already has the No. 1 guy in the Class of 2010, Brandon Knight, locked up. He has commitments from the top two guys in the Class of 2011, Michael Gilchrist and Teague, and is well positioned to get No. 3 Quincey Miller and No. 11 Adonis Thomas.

Oh, yes. Five players from this year’s Elite Eight team are leaving early for NBA riches.

No way is this fair, at least not for Indiana coach Tom Crean, who seeks some follow-up recruiting firepower to his current freshman group.

But we digress.

The Teague family was diplomatic is announcing their decision to line up with Calipari and turn down scholarship offers from Indiana, Purdue, Louisville and Cincinnati.

“There were lots of positives about all the programs,” Marquis’ father, Shawn, said. “There were no negatives. They all would have been good situations for Marquis.”

In the end, it came down to a two-coach dual between Calipari and Louisville’s Rick Pitino. In this instance, Calipari won out.

“This feels great,” Teague said. “I wanted to be a Wildcat. That’s what I’m going to be.”

Purdue’s Matt Painter and Indiana’s Tom Crean, recognizing they had no chance in this particular recruiting battle, backed off at the end. Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, fighting the good fight to the disappointing conclusion, visited Pike on Wednesday.

Pitino made his last pitch on Tuesday. Calipari showed up on Wednesday.

Teague thinks Calipari’s dribble-drive system and ability to develop NBA-caliber guards is perfect for him, that Calipari will give him the freedom to create. Perhaps he is right.

Yes, much has been made that Teague has looked more impressive on the summer AAU circuit than in high school. As far as what that will mean in two years when he faces major college challenges, who knows.

As far as what Calipari thinks, we’ll have to wait until November when Teague officially signs and Calipari is allowed by NCAA rules to comment.

Teague describes himself as a “a solid point guard who can handle the ball, who is quick, who gets to the hoop and who leads by example.” He said he’s glad the decision is made so he can “relax” and focus on school and improving his game.

His father is glad all the rumors will end and that those stories that didn’t quite match the facts are over.

“I heard a lot of stories," Shawn Teague said. "I saw things that I supposedly said that I didn’t know anything about.”

Here’s what we do know –- IU went 0-for-2 with the Teague brothers (Jeff played at Wake Forest; he’s now a rookie for the Atlanta Hawks).

Here’s something else we know (thanks to the Dayton Daily News) -– guard Walter Offut, a former Warren Central standout who went to Ohio State, then left to transfer to Wright State, is now poised to walk on at IU. He missed his first season in Columbus with a knee injury. He played in just a few games this past season.

The Hoosiers are still in the running for 6-8, 235-pound junior college player Dwight McCombs.

1 comment:

  1. Teague seems flaky, is he really done? Will Cal still be at Kentucky when Teague arrives? Why does the movie Blue Chips come to mind?

    JD, Zeller and Chandler would be a great class that fits IU.
    Go IU!