Brandon Knight knows exactly how Kentucky freshman Marquis Teague must feel as he prepares to lead the UK¿offense for coach John Calipari, who has sent his last four point guards — Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, John Wall and Knight — to the NBA as first-round draft picks.
“The biggest thing is I would say is just do what you do best. You can’t worry about what happened before you or who came before you,” Knight said when asked what advice he might have for Teague. “The main thing is to focus on your team and your situation. A lot of people are always going to compare you to the past point guards, previous point guards. That is just part of it. As a player, you can’t focus on that. You have to focus on your situation. He’s a great player and I am sure he will be fine.”
Knight dealt with the same expectations last year. He led UK in scoring and assists while helping the Wildcats reach the Final Four for the first time since 1998.
“I knew as soon as I committed here I would be compared to John and Derrick Rose because coach Cal coached those players before. The main thing for me was knowing we were a different team (than the year before),” Knight said.
“We didn’t have the same players. We were not as deep as the year before. Frankly, a lot of people did not expect us to do as well as we did. It was motivation, but you have to focus on your team and your situation and make sure your guys are getting better, and I am sure he will do that.”
Former UK guard DeAndre Liggins played against Teague in a few pickup games recently. Liggins, a second round pick of the Orlando Magic after dramatically improving his play last season at UK, liked what he saw from Teague.
“I guarded Teague. He is tough, and that’s what coach Cal likes in his point guard. He wants toughness. He’s very unselfish. He’s going to be a good floor general,” Liggins said.
Liggins had to guard not only Wall and Knight during his time at UK, but he also defended Eric Bledsoe, another guard who was a first-round pick. He says Teague could be in the same mold as all of them.
“He is good. He could hold his own with them,” Liggins said. “I don’t know how he will be on defense. That’s not what he is known for. He’s known for getting others involved. He will have a different role than I did for defense, but he’s going to be good.”
Book editor: Knight admitted last week he did not know his mother, Tonya, was writing a book about his basketball career until he read about it.
“She didn’t even tell me about this book she was writing. I was kind of surprised when I found out she was writing it,” Knight said. “I actually will be anxious to read it and see what stories she puts in it, but I know it will be an interesting book, though.”
He did add one more thing.
“I am definitely going to be part editor, part ghost writer. But I am pretty sure it will be a good book,” he said.
Impressive: Even though they are both from Chicago, Liggins admitted he had not heard of incoming freshman center Anthony Davis until last season.
“I just heard of him this year. I never heard of him in high school at all. He grew six or seven inches and is a completely different player now,” Liggins said of the 6-10 Davis. “He is a great talent. He can block the ball. He can do a lot of things. He can even bring the ball up the court a little bit, something most big men can’t do. He’s really good.
“He impressed me a lot when I played with him a few weeks ago. He's long. He blocked my shot a couple of times. You've got to dunk on him. If you try to lay it up, he's going to block your shot.”
Liggins also appreciates highly-touted recruit Michael Kidd-Gilchrist saying recently he wanted to be the "DeAndre Liggins" of this year's team.
"That's what happens when you come in and do all the dirty work," Liggins said. "People saw all the little things I did to help the team win. He is going to be a good talent. He is really good.
“But all the freshmen are good. I was here two or three weeks ago and played. They are very good. They are very skilled. They will have a very good team. It is kind of different from two years ago. Every team is different but they will be very good.”