Bulls grab Kentucky’s Marquis Teague: building point guard depth

marquis teague

Derrick RoseTyreke EvansJohn WallBrandon Knight.  The lineage of John Calipari-coached point guards is beyond impressive.  That tradition continues with McDonald’s All-American and one-and-done Marquis Teague from Kentucky.

Teague is one of six players from Lexington who were drafted this year.  He was joined by fellow Wildcats Anthony Davis,  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who went one and two), Terrence Jones, sharpshooter Doron Lamb and versatile wing Darius Miller. Teague fits in as that typical Gar Forman/John Paxson draft pick: big name school with a winning tradition. So when the Chicago Bulls took him it made perfect sense.

Because of the team he played on, Teague has gotten a bit overlooked by NBA scouts. But he started all 40 games for the nationa champions.

“Playing with Anthony Davis, he gets a lot of attention cuz he’s so dominating. And Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, it’s hard to show as much,” Teague said at NBA Combine media day

(This is a Paul M. Banks and David Kay collaboration.)

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ACC Well Represented in NBA Draft Again

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By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

Jeff Teague

As usual, the ACC will be represented with numerous prospects in this year’s NBA Draft. Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague emerged as a legitimate NBA caliber player thanks to the Demon Deacons winning their first sixteen games of ’08-’09 and garnering national attention.  Teague is a shoot-first point guard which isn’t a discouraging trait considering his percentages this past season (49% FG, 44% 3-pt FG, 82% FT.)  Some reports have the Bucks interested in him with the tenth pick, but Teague more than likely falls into the late teens/early twenties. At the Draft combine, Teague discussed what he needs to work on the most to improve his NBA stock. “Being a pure point guard, I’m a scoring point guard right now, just  show them I can really run a team and get everybody involved,” he said.

Miami Wake Forest Basketball

James Johnson

At the Combine, Teague’s BFF, roommate and college teammate James Johnson’s measurements stood out.  It wasn’t so much his height of 6’8”, but more his 257 pound frame.  That type of strength combined with his impressive athleticism is what allowed Johnson to be successful at Wake Forest.  He was able to muscle weaker defenders down low while also using his ability to drive and finish.  Johnson’s range from deep leaves plenty of room for improvement, but he did develop a more consistent mid-range game as a sophomore. “I can create my own jumper and I’m an inside/outside guy,” Johnson told me when I asked him about his best selling points. 

If Johnson can become a bigger threat from downtown, he could play the three at the next level and be a difficult match-up for opposing defenders.  As it stands now, his game is better suited to power forward, despite his lack of height.  He’s one of this draft’s many wild cards- he could go as high as #11 to the Nets, but could also easily slip down to the early twenties.

On a side note, Johnson inadvertently validated my theory that every team’s public relations department distributes a set of talking points and canned responses to each player, and trains them to recite these platitudes as responses to media queries.

I asked him if he and Teague “compare notes” at the end of the day meeting the media. “You know how we had a tumble at the end of the season, after starting off great, so sometimes we get asked the same question. We compare, we talk a little bit, it’s funny cuz they ask us the same questions, we laugh it off, because I tell him one thing, he tells them the same thing and we didn’t even talk about it,” Johnson said.

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Gerald Henderson

Like many Dukies, Gerald Henderson arrived in Durham with a lot of hype.  But during his first two years as a Blue Devil, Henderson was known more for being the player who bloodied Tyler Hansbrough’s nose in Chapel Hill than for his performance on the court.  That all changed this past season when Henderson stepped his game up and emerged as a legitimate NBA prospect.  So what kind of team might be a good fit for Henderson? “I like fast pace, transition like the Phoenix Suns. I like their style of play, the way they get up and down the court,” Henderson said at the NBA Draft Combine.hansbroughground
 
His athleticism is ideal for an NBA-two guard.  He is very aggressive when attacking the basket and is a great finisher around the rim.  What allowed Henderson to become a more valuable player his junior season was his mid-range game.  He plays well off the ball, using screens well, but can also create space with an effective pull-up jumper.  From three-point range, Henderson still has issues with his consistency, hitting just 34% of his attempts this past season.  Henderson also talked about who he looks up to in the Association. “A guy I like to watch a lot is Brandon Roy. With his athleticism, his strength, his ability to get to the basket, maybe him the most,” He said.

The other areas of his game help his value as he is a strong rebounder, good passer, and plays hard on the defensive end.  Henderson could hear his name called as high as number nine to the Raptors on draft day and likely doesn’t fall below #16 to Chicago.

In yet another example of a public figure describing a coincidental circumstance, and mislabeling it ironic, Henderson spoke about his BFF Wayne Ellington. “Wayne’s my best friend, I played with him in high school together, he had a great career at Carolina and it’s just ironic that we came out of high school the same year and we’re going on to the next level the same year.”

(Note: I want to congratulate ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume who stated on the June 21st episode of Baseball Tonight: “In a manner of coincidence and not irony, Justin Verlander had the same home plate umpire in both of his career starts against the Brewers.”

2009 Mock NBA Draft

By David K.

To justify that I am not some hack throwing out a random mock draft, consider that I got as many right in my final mock of 2008 as ESPN “expert” Chad Ford, and less than a handful of other mocks on the web had more correct than I did.  Considering I don’t have the “connections” that Ford or some other sites have, that is pretty impressive.  Team needs have not been taken into account with this mock.

1. L.A. Clippers- Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma, 6-10, So.

-physical, explosive, can put the ball on the floor, owns the boards
Think: Amare Stoudemire

2. Washington- James Harden, SG, Arizona State, 6-5, So.
-great at attacking the hoop, solid outside shooter, too unselfish at times
Think: Joe Johnson


3. Sacramento- Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn, 7-3, Jr.

-athletic for his size, tremendous shot blocker, still raw on offense
Think: Ben Wallace, but six inches taller


4. Oklahoma City- Greg Monroe, C/F, Georgetown, 6-10, Fr.

-does it all on offense, best passing big in college, extremely athletic
Think: Chris Bosh

5. Memphis- Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona, 6-10, So.
-lives around the rim, great on the glass, much improved outside game
Think: LaMarcus Aldridge

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6. Golden State- ?Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest, 6-1, So.
-shoots it at a high-percentage from all areas, a true play-maker
Think: Devin Harris


7. *Minnesota- Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest, 6-9, Fr.

-all-around skill set from handling the ball to creating his own shot, runs floor well
Think: Travis Outlaw


8. Toronto- Stephen Curry, G, Davidson, 6-2, Jr.

-unbelievable three-point range and scorer, great vision as a passer
Think: a sharp-shooting Tony Parker


9. Indiana- DaJuan Summers, F, Georgetown, 6-8, Jr.

-good inside/outside offensive game, tremendous athlete, physical player
Think: Bobby Simmons


10. Charlotte- Gani Lawal, F, Georgia Tech, 6-8, So.

-low-post threat, solid on the boards, not a great shooter
Think: Brandon Bass


11. ?New York- Damion James, SF, Texas, 6-8, Jr.

-very versatile, strong rebounder, nice mid-range game
Think: Danny Granger


12. Chicago- Earl Clark, SF, Louisville, 6-8, Jr.

-a point forward type, excels as a penetrater, good rebounder
Think: Lamar Odom


13. New Jersey- Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis, 6-6, Fr.

-slasher, handles the ball well in transition, needs more consistency with jumper
Think: DeShawn Stevenson

14. Phoenix-  Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona, 6-7, Jr.
-ridiculous athleticism, can stroke it from deep but is sometimes too streaky a shooter
Think: Stephen Jackson


15. Milwaukee- Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy, 6-0, 1989
-tremendous court vision, unselfish, not afraid to take it to the hoop
Think: Kenny Anderson

16. =Philadelphia- Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky, 6-9, So.
-great skill set in the post, very physical, good ball-handler for a big
Think: Kenyon Martin


17. #Minnesota-  Patty Mills, PG, St. Mary’s, 5-11, So.

-made a name for himself in Olympics playing for Australia, this year’s Stephen Curry
Think: Ramon Sessions

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18. Detroit- Johnny Flynn, PG, Syracuse, 6-0, So.

-can take over a game, great range and driver, lock-down perimeter defender
Think: Raymond Felton

19. Utah- Darren Collison, PG, UCLA, 6-0, Sr.
-great on-the-ball defender, smart decision-maker, can hit three ball
Think: Bobby Jackson


20. Atlanta- Tyler Smith, SF, Tennessee, 6-7, Jr.

-fearless when attacking the hoop, great in transition, must improve outside shooting
Think: Gerald Wallace


21. Dallas- Eric Maynor, PG, VCU, 6-3, Sr.

-playmaker on the offensive end, a floor general, must become more consistent shooter
Think: Antonio Daniels


22. &Sacramento- Ty Lawson, PG, UNC, 5-11, Jr.

-very quick with the ball, suffocating perimeter defender, leader on the floor
Think: Jameer Nelson

23. New Orleans- Terrence Williams, SF, Louisville, 6-6, Sr.
-very versatile, great passer, solid defender, needs to work on outside shot
Think: Matt Barnes


24. Portland- Jerome Jordan, C, Tulsa, 7-0, Jr.

-big time shot blocker, still raw on the offensive end, average at best athleticism
Think: Theo Ratliff


25. ~Oklahoma City- Sam Young, G/F, Pitt, 6-6, Sr.

-can score from outside or inside, doesn’t take a lot of bad shots, not a great creator
Think: Michael Finley
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26. +Oklahoma City- Tyler Hansbrough, PF, UNC, 6-9, Sr.

-high basketball IQ, plays with an incredible intensity, nice touch on jump shot
Think: Eduardo Najera


27. Orlando- James Johnson, F, Wake Forest, 6-9, So.

-can put the ball on the deck and attack the rim, NBA-ready body, inconsistent shooter
Think: Wilson Chandler


28. ^Minnesota- Manny Harris, SG, Michigan, 6-5, So.

-a pure scorer from the outside or with his dribble-drive game, can play the point
Think: Sasha Vujacic


29. Cleveland- Jerel McNeal, G, Marquette, 6-3, Sr.

-creates his own shot, much improved shooter, ferocious defender
Think: Charlie Bell


30. L.A. Lakers- Danny Green, SF, UNC, 6-7, Sr.

-does a little bit of everything, will be a great role player in the NBA
Think: James Posey


Second Round

31. Josh Heytvelt, PF, Gonzaga, 6-11, Sr.
32. Vitor Faverani, F/C, Brazil, 7-0, 1988
33. Curtis Jerrells, PG, Baylor, 6-1, Sr.
34. A.J. Price, PG, UConn, 6-2, Sr.
35. Taj Gibson, PF, USC, 6-9, Jr.
36. Omri Cassipi, SF, Isreal, 6-8, 1988
37. Jermaine Taylor, SG, Central Florida, 6-4, Sr.
38. Jeremy Pargo, PG, Gonzaga, 6-2, Sr.
39. Robert Vaden, SG, UAB, 6-5, Sr.
40. Luigi Datoma, F, Italy, 6-8, 1987
41. Tyrese Rice, PG, Boston College, 6-1, Sr.
42. Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple, 6-5, Sr.
43. Chris Johnson, PF, LSU, 6-11, Sr.
44. Wesley Matthews, SG, Marquette, 6-5, Sr.
45. Jonas Jerebko, PF, Sweded, 6-9, 1989
46. Jeff Pendergraph, PF, Arizona State, 6-10, Sr.
47. Hank Norel, PF, Netherlands, 6-11, 1987
48. Leo Lyons, PF, Missouri, 6-9, Sr.
49. Lester Hudson, PG, UT-Martin, 6-3, Sr.
50. Joe Ingles, SF, Australia, 6-8, 1987
51. Lee Cummard, G/F, BYU, 6-7 Sr
52. Nando de Colo, G, 6-5, France 1987
53. Jack McClinton, PG, Miami (FL), 6-1, Sr.
54. A.J. Abrams, G, 5-11, Texas, Sr.
55. Jeff Adrien, PF, UConn, 6-7, Sr.
56. Vladimir Dasic, F, Serbia, 6-9, 1988
57. Stefon Jackson, SG, UTEP, 6-5, Sr.
58. Dominic James, PG, Marquette, 6-0, Sr.
59. Jon Brockman, PF, Washington, 6-7, Sr.
60. Luke Nevill, C, Utah, 7-0, Sr.

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Other First Round talent likely to stay in school/overseas:

Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain, 6-4, 1990
B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State, 7-0, Fr.
Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke, 6-5, Jr.
DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC, 6-6, Fr.
Austin Daye, SF, 6-10, Gonzaga, So.
Jrue Holliday, SG, UCLA, 6-4, Fr.
Kyle Singler, F, Duke, 6-8, So
Cole Aldrich, F/C, Kansas, 6-10, So.
Samardo Samuels, PF, Louisville, 6-10, Fr.
Nick Calathes, G, Florida, 6-5, So.
Wayne Ellington, SG, UNC, 6-4, Jr.
Raymar Morgan, G/F, Michigan State, 6-7, Jr.
DeJuan Blair, PF, Pitt, 6-7, So.

#Minnesota gets Miami’s ’09 1st round pick (top ten protected) via Ricky Davis trade
*Clippers get Minnesota’s ’09 1st round pick (top ten protectred) via Marko Jaric trade
+Thunder gets Spurs’ ’09 1st round pick (lottery preotected) via Kurt Thomas trade
^Minnesota gets Boston’s ’09 1st round pick (top 3 protected) via Kevin Garnett trade
&Kings get Houston ’09 1st round pick via Ron Artest trade
?Utah gets New York ’09 1st round pick (top 22 protected) via Phoenix
=Minnesota gets Philadelphia ’09 1st round pick (from Utah –Gordon Giricek trade-top 22 protected) via Rodney Carney trade
~Thunder get Denver ’09 1st round pick (lottery protected) via Johan Petro trade

College Hoops 101

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By David K

Welcome to a weekly article at thesportsbank.net where I will give you the 101 on what has happened in the week of college basketball and what is to come in the days ahead.

Rewind

-Time to gush about Marquette.  Before this past week, people had been questioning them because they had played a “soft” Big East schedule.  Put that talk to rest as MU picked up a pair of very impressive wins against talented, albeit struggling teams: winning at Notre Dame and home against Georgetown.  They are now 8-0 in conference, 19-2 on the season, and are officially for real.  I absolutely love the swagger and moxie this team is playing with and never feel like they are ever out of a game because of their veteran guards and the continued growth of Lazar Hayward.  Buzz Williams has to be a top contender for National Coach of the Year.  He has to be.

-Peter Christian recently asked me who would be the toughest match-up for Marquette looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament.  My first response was Louisville since they have had MU’s number the past couple seasons.  The next team I thought of was Wake.  They are so athletic, have size, and undoubtedly the most improved player in the country, Jeff Teague, who is running this team to perfection.

Speaking of Teague, here would be my votes for All-Americans at this point:

First Team:

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma (POY)
Stephen Curry, Davidson
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Tyler Hansborough, UNC
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest

Second Team:

James Harden, Arizona State
Jordan Hill, Arizona
Jerel McNeal, Marquette
Terrence Williams, Louisville
Nick Calathes, Florida

-People make fun of me when I ask them not to tell me the score of a game I DVR’ed and really, really want to watch.  The Duke/Wake game is why I HEART college basketball (but I do not heart shih tzu’s like Hurley on “Lost.”)  For the record, the Demon Deacon fans did not violate one of the “Rushing the Court” Rules.  Anytime you knock off the top ranked team in the country on your home floor, you have every right to go nuts.

-St. Mary’s is officially screwed.  Their star point guard Patrick Mills went down with a hand injury Thursday night against Gonzaga and will now miss a month.  The Gales suffered their second loss of the season against the Zags and were then blown out by Portland with Mills on the shelf.  Ruh-roh.

My AP Top Ten (if I actually voted in the poll)

1. UConn (20-1)
2. Oklahoma (21-1)
3. North Carolina (19-2)
4. Wake Forest (17-2)
5. Duke (19-2)
6. Pitt (19-2)
7. Louisville (17-3)
8. Marquette (19-2)
9. Xavier (19-2)
10. Clemson (18-2)

Nipping on their heels:

Butler (19-1)
Memphis (18-3)
Villanova (17-4)

Fast Forward

UConn at Louisville (Monday, 6:00 ESPN)

-Big Monday is extra BIG this week.  UConn will likely be the new #1 in the country and something will have to give as both teams are winners of their last nine games.

Notre Dame at UCLA (Saturday, 12:00 CBS)

-This is a big-time non-conference game for both teams.  The Fighting Irish are struggling mightily having dropped five in a row and could quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the dreaded bubble if they lose to the Bruins.

Memphis at Gonzaga (Saturday, 8:00 ESPN)

-Another battle of streaking teams.  The Tigers have won 12 straight, the Zags 8 in a row.  This will be a huge resume builder for whichever team is victorious come seeding time.

Minnesota at Michigan State (Wednesday, 7:30, BTN)
Purdue at Illinois (Sunday, 12:00 CBS)

-With Michigan State losing to Penn State, the Big Ten race is now wide open.  Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota are each one game back of Sparty and will need a big ‘W’ if they want to stay in contention.

The Drive to 225

To update my goal of watching 225 college basketball games this season… I blame a 14-hour bender Saturday before, during, and after the Marquette-Georgetown game for a less productive week of watching college hoops.

Games watched through 2/1:  153

Games watched this past week: 12

Marquette at Notre Dame
Oklahoma at Oklahoma St.
Purdue at Wisconsin
Duke at Wake Forest
St. Mary’s at Gonzaga
Clemson at Virginia Tech
Washington at Arizona
Illinois at Minnesota
St. Mary’s at Gonzaga
Georgetown at Marquette
Notre Dame at Pitt
Florida at Tennessee