LEXINGTON — Kentucky has six players that have taken between 103 and 142 shots from the field this season during the team’s 13-1 start going into tonight’s game in Louisville against Arkansas-Little Rock.
While it’s no surprise that sophomore guard Doron Lamb, the team’s top scorer at 15.4 points per game, leads the team with 142 shots taken, it seems a bit unusual that point guard Marquis Teague is next on the team with 131 shots.
That’s four more shots than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 28 more shots than Anthony Davis. Kidd-Gilchrist is a 52.8 percent shooter from the field while Davis, who leads the team in dunks, is a 63.1 percent shooter. Teague? He’s hitting 42.7 percent, including just 30.3 percent from 3-point range.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said “I don’t even know what you are talking about” when I¿asked him Monday if that was more shots than Teague, who is averaging 10.7 points per game (fifth on the team), should be taking.
“What happens is that they are not playing him and he’s getting a lot of shots because they are not playing him,” said Calipari. “If he is shooting a lot of layups, then shoot a 100. I could care less.”
Teague was 1-for-9 from the field in Saturday’s win over Louisville. He was 3-for-11 against North Carolina, 4-for-9 against¿Kansas and 6-for-11 against Indiana. That means in UK’s four most meaningful games, Teague is 14-for-40 from the field, a 35 percent mark. Davis has 22 shots in those same four games, but has 15 makes — or one more than Teague had in 18 more attempts. Kidd-Gilchrist is 26-for-47 from the field in those same four games.
“If anybody here is worried about shots, they can’t because the guys that are doing the dirty work aren’t complaining about shots so nobody else has the right. I had Marcus Camby (at UMass), blocked every shot, did all that he was supposed to, never complained and if anyone else on the team was selfish you wondered what they were doing because their best player wasn’t selfish. I don’t think we have that issue,” Calipari said.
The players doing the most dirty work — rebounding, defense, hustle plays — are Kidd-Gilchrist and Davis. But that doesn’t mean Teague is shot happy or too concerned with scoring.
It could just mean he’s still learning to run the team much like John Wall and Brandon Knight had to do the previous two seasons.
“Marquis is still learning, he’s not there yet. He’s not totally bought in yet, but that’s fine. Neither did Brandon last year at this point and I think I remember John Wall saying, ‘I’m not having fun,’ halfway through the year,” Calipari said.
So what’s next for Teague and his development considering UK opens Southeastern Conference play Saturday?
“He’s got to truly run the team and be running the team for everyone,” Calipari said. “He’s got to pick spots when to go. Right now he goes sometime when he doesn’t need to, he misses people when he doesn’t need to find them and doesn’t move people around before we run plays.
“He’s never had to do that. He just goes and gets his own. So this is all new. He’ll be fine.”