Marquis Teague and learning on the job

So far it has been not so smooth for Marquis Teague, Kentucky’s freshman point guard.

Through the first four games of his college career, the Indianapolis native has 18 turnovers compared to 11 assists. He turned it over six more times Sunday in Kentucky’s 62-52 win over Old Dominion at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

As a team, Kentucky turned it over 21 times.

So what’s the problem? Wasn’t Teague rated the nation’s No. 1 point guard coming out of high school? Why has he struggled with turnovers so early in the season.

Part of Sunday’s struggles could be attributable to ODU’s 3-2 zone defense, a scheme that UK coach John Calipari admitted he had not spent much time preparing his team for in practice.

But, as Cal himself said after the game, “How many of those turnovers came in transition?” Quite a few, I would guess. Teague often gets in too big of a hurry, or simply is careless basketball.

“We’re trying to make the hard play,” Calipari said.

The coach has also inferred a couple of times that he may be getting a little resistance from his rookie point guard. After the Marist game, talking about point guards, Cal said Teague just needed to listen and “stop arguing.”

Sunday, Cal mentioned arguing again, even saying that keeping quiet was a form of arguing, but didn’t mention a player or position by name.

Teague will get better. He has only played four college games, three of those in the space of a six days on a grueling East Coast road trip. Last Tuesday, he bounced back from a dreadful first half with a stellar second half.

Then again, North Carolina is less than two weeks away. Cal said he told his team after beating ODU that 21 turnovers would not win games in the SEC. It won’t beat the top-ranked Tar Heels either.

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