Marquis Teague was supposed to be a Cardinal. Shawn Teauge, Marquis’ dad played for Pitino at Boston University and has great respect for his old coach. Pitino hired Teague’s high school assistant coach Shabaka Lands as a special assistant in order to further woo Teague in a legal yet slimy move. All signs pointed toward Rick landing the number one ranked point guard in the 2011 class and finally getting a player with a high profile to come to Louisville.
But then John Calipari rolled into Lexington bringing youth, excitement and swagger. He took the Wildcats to the Elite Eight and the Final Four in his first two seasons. Cal had four point guards drafted in the first round of the NBA (two of them were #1 overall and two of them had been Wildcats) which had to be appealing to one of the best high school basketball players in the country.
On April 22nd, 2010, Teague showed up to his press conference to announce his college choice in a red polo shirt. All signs pointed to Louisville. He then put on a blue Kentucky hat. All hell broke loose in Cardinal land. Not long after Teague put on the UK hat, Pitino fired Lands in a move that was even slimier than the hiring of the unqualified high school assistant coach.
And the rest is history. Teague went on to help guide the Wildcats to their 8th national championship and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the first round just a week ago. That extends Cal’s streak of having a point guard drafted in the first round to five straight years.
Sure there were bumps in the road, but you would have to call Teague’s time at Kentucky a success. But what if he had not become a Wildcat? What if Teague would have stuck with the original and obvious plan to go to UofL?