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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Marquis Teague the Cal Guy Who Could Have Used a 2nd Year Most?

Marquis Teague is heading overseas to play in South Korea. (Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images)

(Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images)

I think fans were in agreement that if Nick Richards or EJ Montgomery had left UK this offseason, they would be taking a huge risk and the odds would be they would have flamed out in the NBA.  Luckily, they decided to return and avoid that possibility for now.  But it also got me thinking about the multitude of guys who didn’t make that decision and one guy always comes to mind: Marquis Teague.  In 2 seasons on 2 different teams, Teague played in 88 NBA games, starting just 3 of them.  He averaged 2.3 ppg and 1.4 apg in his career.  All told, Teague is one of the few UK guys under Calipari that have had no success in the NBA.  But did he make the biggest mistake of all the players who left early in these 10 years?  It probably all depends on what you consider successful.

On the one hand, Teague did make 2.1 million dollars in those 2 years.  There is never FAILURE when you make that much money.  But at the same time, you have to wonder if another year of college would have improved Teague’s draft stock, thus garnering him more money in his initial rookie contract, likely putting him on a worse team and thus giving him more playing time earlier.  Plus, the point guard class in the following NBA Draft (2013) was not exactly strong.  The first point guard taken was 9th and that was Trey Burke.  CJ McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams followed right after.  Shane Larkin was taken just outside of the lottery.  If Teague had stayed for the 2012-13 college season, he would have likely flirted with the lottery.  Because let’s not forget what a train wreck that team was, with Ryan Harrow running the point.  But for Teague that would have meant more of a chance to truly lead an offense, something he didn’t get a chance to do in 2011-12.

I think very few people could argue that Marquis Teague couldn’t have used another year of college ball.  But was his early departure the worst decision of the Cal era?  I would think that along with Teague there are really only 2 other options: Daniel Orton and Jared Vanderbilt.  For Orton, I think a good argument can be made he is answer here.  I wouldn’t agree though for 2 reasons.  First, his relationship with Calipari has been said to have been fairly poor.  Continuing that relationship could have been toxic for everybody involved.  But secondly and most importantly, the NBA loves big men.  The fact Daniel Orton was taken in the 1st round of the draft after the freshman year he had at Kentucky proves that more than ever.  And despite the fact he hasn’t made any impact in the league, he did stay on a roster through this season, racking up 2.8 million in earnings in the process.  He was able to stay in the NBA 2 years longer than Teague despite being a worse player.  That tells you all you need to know about how much the NBA loves centers.  The jury is still out on what kind of impact Jared Vanderbilt might make in the NBA but his departure left many UK fans sour.

It’a hard to feel bad for a guy that is a millionaire.  But I feel bad for Marquis Teague.  He won a national title in 1 year as the starter, saw his entire team leave for the NBA and bolted with them.  And that is why he came to Kentucky in the first place was for 1 season of college basketball.  But in retrospect, Teague would have benefited so much from an extra year of college more than any other player in the Calipari era.


Article written by Bryan the Intern

18 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Marquis Teague the Cal Guy Who Could Have Used a 2nd Year Most?

  1. Alvaton
    10:12 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    Doran Lamb and James young should have stayed

    • KentuckyVSEveryone
      10:31 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

      Doran Lamb stayed a second year…
      But yes I agree that he should have stayed for a 3rd and possibly 4th year

    • Robkycats54
      10:40 pm June 6, 2019 Permalink

      Idk about James young staying as I remember, I believe he was the best player on the team that yr and played really good ball in the SEC tournament & NCAA tournament but Archie Goodwin for sure needed to stay…. I wish briscoe/Gabriel stayed an extra year also…..

  2. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    10:26 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    James Young

    • Luether
      1:59 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

      What ghost said…

      James Young was not anywhere close to being ready…

  3. KentuckyVSEveryone
    10:32 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    With a healthy Vanderbilt we probably win the NCAA Championship last year…

  4. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    10:35 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    James Young without a doubt. Even though he went in the lottery, Trey Lyles would have benefited from another year.

  5. Bluebloodtoo
    11:21 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    Daniel Orton had plenty of talent; his issue was (and seemingly still is) his attitude.

  6. Underdog
    11:30 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    If Dakari Johnson had stayed another year we may have hung another banner.

    And he could have been a lottery pick with all the extra hype that comes along with a championship.

  7. The Big Lebowski
    11:35 am June 5, 2019 Permalink

    Orton is the Number One of this category. Orton needed at least three years. Utterly foolish of him to have left after one year.

    Vanderbilt needed one more year.

    Young as well.

    Archie Goodwin could have used a bit more seasoning.

    There are several who jumped into the clouds and landed on sand castles in the air.

    12:02 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

    Why single out Teague? At least he has a NC under his belt. About 1/3 of the “Cal guys” should’ve stayed at least 2 yrs, so this post is pointless.

    • KentuckyVSEveryone
      3:14 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. And of the 1/3 you mention, about half of them needed more than a year. I understand players not wanting to risk injury, help their families financially, etc., but if you are not at a point where you can earn good minutes and actually compete at the NBA level then you are most likely never going to see that second contract. Nowadays players just want to get to the league as fast as possible instead of going when they are physically and mentally ready.

  9. Rowinguy1
    12:05 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

    I’d put Teague and James Young as 1 and 1a in this category. Would loved Teague running that 2012-13 team, lobbing Nerlens and Poythress, kicking out to Wiltjer for the deep 3, maybe even keeping Archie Goodwin from trying to do everything all the time.

  10. ColoradoCatFan88
    6:01 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

    Archie Goodwin & Hamidou Diallo both could’ve used another season

  11. sincitycat
    7:19 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

    James Young needed to learn how to pass before trying the NBA.

  12. Big Sexy
    11:15 pm June 5, 2019 Permalink

    There are at least 12-15 that should’ve stayed longer than they did.

  13. StuckinLville
    12:14 am June 6, 2019 Permalink

    Dakari Johnson wasnt a one a done but he should have stuck around. Would have been huge for that team and allowed Skal to play the 4. But there’s always coulda shoulda wouldas.

    • Big Sexy
      9:57 am June 6, 2019 Permalink

      Dakari could’ve possibly been a lottery pick had he stayed another year. My guess is that he thought he was going to play behind Skal.