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UK’s Calipari: We Played Better Without Teague

John Calipari knows a thing or two about point guards.  First, he knows how to sign the top ones.  Second, he knows how to get them ready for the NBA (though the first point could play more than a small role in the second one).

Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight.  All stars.  Now enter Marquis Teague.  He’s not among the SEC’s 30 best scorers.  And while he is third in the league in assists (4.5 pg), his assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4 to 1) ranks just 10th best in the conference.

When you’re playing at Kentucky and following in the footsteps of former Calipari greats like Rose, Evans, Wall and Knight, those numbers just aren’t good enough.  And the coach clearly wants more from his freshman.

After Kentucky came from behind to pass and eventually rout Arkansas State last night, the Cats’ coach made it clear that the team got better when Teague left the floor:

“Obviously, without him on the court we played a lot better, there is no argument there.  But he also has to play better for us to win, I know that.”

True, but an ouch just the same.

As Jerry Tipton of The Lexington Herald-Leader points out, Teague is just 3-for-16 shooting in the last two games and he’s just 5-for-27 from 3-point range in UK’s last 10 games.

With SEC play tipping off this weekend, it’s no secret that Kentucky will need Teague to be more careful with the basketball.

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The Birmingham School System Will Change Policy Post Bledsoe Hubbub

Last summer, the high school transcripts of former Kentucky one-and-doner Eric Bledsoe drew national attention.  The simple summary:

* His grades were boosted which allowed him to be eligible to play college ball.

* The teacher who upped his grade said Bledsoe had done the work to earn the boost.

* Unfortunately, the records and grade books proving Bledsoe’s extra work were nowhere to be found.

In the end, the Birmingham, Alabama school system ruled that Bledsoe’s grade change was on the up-and-up.  That was good enough for the NCAA and Kentucky fans could breathe easy after briefly wondering whether or not John Calipari was about to have a third season erased from the NCAA’s recordbooks.

Following the Bledsoe dust-up, the Birmingham school system is changing the way it does business.  Grade books will be archived in a safer fashion.

This has no bearing on Kentucky’s program now, mind you.  But it does show that the folks in the Birmingham school system realize the Bledsoe situation exposed flaws in their procedures.

In other words: UK fans should consider themselves a bit lucky on the Bledsoe front.

(For the record — Calipari and UK had nothing to do with a high school teacher changing Bledsoe’s grade.  But had the Birmingham schools ruled in a different fashion, Calipari and UK might’ve been guilty of playing an ineligible player — a la Derrick Rose at Memphis — without even knowing it.)

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Derrick Rose spins Tyreke Evans around like a top

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

In a one-on-one matchup of former John Calipari point guards, Derrick Rose got the better of Tyreke Evans on this play.

(Hat tip to Slam Online)


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John Wall injures foot in game against Derrick Rose

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo/Jim Prisching)

(AP photo/Jim Prisching)

John Wall has succumbed to the injured list. The ex-UK star and current Washington Wizard hurt his left foot in Washington’s loss to Chicago on Saturday night.

An excerpt from Michael Lee’s story in the Washington Post:

While Rose and his former Chicago Bulls teammate Kirk Hinrich joked with each other in front of the Wizards’ locker room after the game, Wall was in the back getting treatment and having his foot taped up. Rose eventually got tired of waiting and left the arena around the time Wall slipped his left shoe into his backpack.

Wall hopes that his foot will feel better once he gets some rest, but he didn’t want to leave the game on Saturday. “As much as I put pressure on it, it just got worse and worse,” Wall said after scoring 16 points with six assists. “I just took myself out.”


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