NBA Combine Media Availability Interviews May 29, 2009
[Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: This Year's Shooting Guard Crop April 27, 2009 •Jeff Teague's virtues as a volume shot-creator are incredibly obvious from his situational statistics.
Amongst the group we examined, Teague had a very high usage rate, but was only slight above average in terms of efficiency at .95 PPP. From a broad perspective, that’s a pretty good characterization of his mentality as a scorer, but is doesn’t do justice to how unique he is on the offensive end.
Teague is exceptionally good at getting to the rim, posting an average of 7.8 finishing attempts per game (3rd best), which is quite impressive. Considering his size, it isn’t a big surprise that he sits only slight above average at 1.12 PPP on those attempts. Moving forward, Teague may be able to seamlessly account for his lack of efficiency at the rim with his tremendous pull up jumper. He took 5.3 jumpers off the dribble per game last season, and posted .94 PPP, well above the average of .81 PPP.
Unfortunately, his merit off the dribble doesn’t translate to catch and shoot situations, as he ranks below average at 1.12 PPP on unguarded spot up jumpers, which wasn’t a huge issue for him at Wake Forest since he only took 1.2 catch and shoot jumpers per game overall. He ranks last in Pos/G in that category, and he will have to improve his ability to use those situations on the next level considering his size. Teague is very unique in this aspect, as you don’t see many players who shoot such a large percentage of their jumpers off the dribble.
Teague more than compensates for his limitations with his excellent shot creating ability. He gets out in transition more than any player in the draft at 6.1 Pos/G, and while his 1.01 PPP is a strong indication of his shaky decision-making skills, his speed makes him a great threat to get to the line. The same holds true when you consider how well he scores when he puts the ball on the floor. Few players in this draft are as quick and instinctive off the dribble. Teague’s FG percentage of 51.3% when he drives right is extremely impressive, and his 39.4% going left is above average too. Not only do those drives result in made baskets, but Teague gets fouled on 16.6% of his possessions, easily the most amongst twos.
Teague is an excellent scorer with the ball in his hands, but doesn’t look great on the pick and roll or shooting off of screens, two things he may have to work on when taller and quicker defenders take away some of his driving lanes. He’s not a terribly efficient or fundamentally sound player overall, but with the direction the NBA is heading in, Teague is going to be extremely difficult to defend without fouling on the perimeter (think Aaron Brooks or Louis Williams), which makes him a coveted option in this draft, particularly for teams who lack that type of scoring punch off the bench. [Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament Performers, 3/25/09- Part One March 25, 2009 It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride for Jeff Teague since his last write-up nearly three months ago. After wins versus North Carolina and at Boston College and Clemson, complete with huge scoring barrages from his end, there was plenty of talk that Teague might run away with ACC player of the year honors, and find himself as a top-5 draft pick. Things haven’t quite worked out that way, though, as he hasn’t managed to be anywhere near as productive since moving off the ball almost full time once undersized point guard Ish Smith fully recovered from his injury, which happened to correspond with Wake Forest losing 7 of their last 15 games, and flaming out of the NCAA tournament in the first round in blowout fashion to #13 seed Cleveland State. Teague fully exposed all of his weaknesses over that stretch, but also continued to show the same tantalizing scoring potential that got so many NBA teams excited to begin with.
Teague is still the same phenomenal athlete he was when we last wrote about him, showing an amazing first step and a real knack for creating his own shot going equally well left or right. He gets to the free throw line at an excellent rate, and shoots 44% from beyond the 3-point line, which is a pretty impressive combination. Generally speaking, you won’t find many more talented scorers anywhere in college basketball, even if he still has plenty to work on.
Teague’s shooting ability is very unorthodox, as 77% of his jump-shots come on off the dribble attempts, according to Synergy Sports Technology. Despite his strong percentages, it must be noted that he only attempted around three 3-point shots per game, which leaves a lot to be desired. What’s odd is that he seems to struggle quite a bit in pure catch and shoot opportunities, as he cocks the ball below his waist as sports plenty of wasted shooting motion, which in turn slows down his release. When shooting off the dribble, though, Teague’s shot looks very fluid and compact, and he actually converts at a similar rate. This is clearly something teams will want to look more closely at in private workouts, should Teague decide to enter the draft.
Playing off the ball for most of the second half of the season didn’t seem to suit Teague’s style of play very well, as he’s clearly the type of player who needs the ball in his hands in order to be successful, as you can begin to understand by the way he his shooting mechanics developed. Teague is a clear-cut feast or famine type player, who tends to be either absolutely spectacular or completely awful on any given possession, and very rarely anywhere in between. As advanced a scorer as he is, he shows incredibly poor decision making skills at times, giving up his dribble mid-way through a possession, jumping in the air aimlessly before deciding what to do next, forcing terrible shots early in the shot-clock, and trying to squeeze incredibly difficult passes in between multiple defenders. Teague is far too careless with the ball, which makes him extremely turnover prone, as he coughs up the ball on 1/5th of his possessions.
As he gains more experience (he is after all, a late-bloomer who nearly committed to Southern Illinois in high school), Teague will likely improve on his decision making and hopefully his just-average basketball IQ. Considering his shoot-first, second and third mentality, though, and his 1/1 assist to turnover ratio, it’s tough to ever see him developing into a “true point guard.” He’s capable of finding the open man from time to time, for example on drive and dish and simple pick and roll plays, but his court vision is underdeveloped and it’s pretty clear that he’s not very comfortable running a half-court offense.
What Teague does possess, with his ability to create offense in the blink of an eye, is an incredibly valuable skill in today’s NBA. With the way the game is called these days, he will be virtually impossible to keep out of the paint and on the free throw line, especially if he can find a way to get a lot stronger than he currently is. As athletic as Teague is, he’s not a great finisher around the rim at all already at the college level, as he tends to struggle with contact due to his underdeveloped frame.
Defensively, Teague has all the tools to be effective, but he isn’t by any stretch of the imagination. His fundamentals are poor, as he tends to get out of his stance quickly and fall asleep off the ball. At times he’ll display some good energy and do a nice job contesting shots and staying in front of his man, but he seems to get bored quickly and will not always put much of a fight in, particularly when being posted up or forced to fight through screens.
The biggest question mark surrounding Teague will be whether or not he decides to enter the draft. He made some comments a few weeks back indicating that he may return for his junior season, but recently seems to have hedged on that issue. There is no question that Teague is a fairly raw prospect who could clearly benefit from another season of experience playing the point guard position full time, as well as in the weight room. The problem is he’d be running a big risk coming back and possibly seeing his draft stock drop, especially since Ish Smith (a starter since his freshman season) will still be around for his senior season. It will be a tough decision either way for Teague, and he’s clearly already under a lot of pressure from Wake Forest’s coaching staff. [Read Full Article] College Road Report: BYU-Wake Forest January 5, 2009 The clear-cut go-to guy for this very young Wake Forest team, Teague dropped a cool 30 points on BYU, while putting all of his strengths and weaknesses on full display.
Teague is about as aggressive a scorer and shot-creator as you’ll find in the college ranks, being virtually impossible for anyone on BYU to stay in front of in this game. His first step is superb (going left or right) and he takes the ball extremely hard to the basket, changing directions quickly with no hesitation whatsoever. He gets to the free throw line at will thanks to the reckless abandon he plays with, but surprisingly doesn’t finish around the basket quite as well as you might hope, being a bit wild with some of his attempts and lacking some touch and/or strength on others.
Wild is a key word when evaluating Teague’s game, he’s extremely unpredictable, to the point that even he doesn’t quite even know what his next move will be, which leads to quite a few turnovers. He currently ranks as the 5th most turnover prone prospect in our database per-40, and sports a near-even assist to turnover ratio.
Looking at his point guard skills, Teague actually has the ability to create for others, particularly in spectacular fashion. The problem is that he forces the issue badly at times, taking too many risks with the ball, rather than just trying to make simple plays. He’s clearly a 2-guard trying to become a full-time playmaker at the moment, often missing wide open teammates, looking for his shot excessively, and generally playing way too out of control. Part of this has to do with the pace Wake Forest plays at, though, as they currently rank as one of the fastest teams in college basketball.
As a shooter, Teague is hitting his 3-pointers at a pretty incredible rate thus far, making over 50% of his attempts nearly halfway through the regular season. He doesn’t have the prettiest stroke around, with a slow, very much flat-footed release, but it’s incredibly effective, especially when he has the time and space to set his feet. The question is whether he can keep shooting at this pace—as he only takes about 2 ½ attempts per game, which is not a huge sample size. He rarely tries to shoot off the dribble, especially from the mid-range, which is probably something he’ll have to work on considering that it won’t be quite as easy for him to get to the basket at the next level.
Defensively, Teague has all the tools to make an impact (decent size and length, nice lateral quickness) but he doesn’t seem to put much effort into this end of the floor, quickly getting out of his stance, gambling constantly for steals, and regularly being burned by lesser guards. He seems to lack focus here, which could really came back to haunt him as Wake’s schedule toughens up over the next few weeks.
All in all, Teague clearly has the makings of a future NBA player, probably in the mold of a Louis Williams or Aaron Brooks. He still has a lot of work to do, particularly in terms of gaining experience, but definitely looks to be on the right track. It will be very interesting to see how his style of play translates to a post-season setting, and whether his decision making improves as the games become more important. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part Three: #11-15) October 16, 2008 Combo guard Jeff Teague had a pretty promising freshman season for Wake Forest, being the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.9 points per game, and raising that to a very impressive 18.5 points per game over the last 12 games of the season, possibly a sign of things to come. The 6’2 sophomore spent most of his time off the ball last season, and likely will do so this season as well, as junior point guard Ishmael Smith will continue to be their primary facilitator.
For a potential point guard, Teague has nice size at 6’2, with some good length to boot. At just a slight 175 pounds, though, Teague definitely could fill out his frame a bit more, and adding lower and upper body strengths should be among his priorities. He has excellent quickness and overall athleticism, but his body could still improve to take more of a beating in the lane. Reports we've heard suggest that Teague indeed did add some upper body bulk this summer, so it'll be interesting to get a look at him when Wake's season starts.
On the offensive end, Teague has a terrific first step, frequently getting past his man either in isolation situations or by using high screens. He changes speeds very well and has a good handle as well, using crossovers and the occasional spin move to get past his man, while he’s also capable of splitting double teams. In the lane, he has a nice mid-range game, relying on an assortment of floaters and runner in the 5-10 foot range, being able to hit lots of these shots from off balanced positions or with a hand in his face. At the rim, he has nice touch and has good creativity, being able to score on tough up-and-under moves and finger rolls on occasion. Despite his slight build, he also gets to the line at a pretty good rate.
While Teague is clearly a very talented player taking his man off the dribble and scoring in the lane, he still has many areas he can improve in. For all his ability, he is prone to a lot of bad decisions, be it forcing tough shots in the lane, running into defenders, or forcing fancy dribble moves, all of which lead to both bad turnovers and bad misses. At the rim, while he definitely has a penchant for drawing contact, he’d be a more able finisher if he had more upper body strength to power through contact and still get off high percentage shot attempts, or if he had the lower body strength to power up over the defense more often.
Teague complements his dribble-drive game with a pretty good jump shot, possessing a solid, compact form, which has a high and quick release. He’s very effective with this in space, either spotting up or pulling up, though he’s hesitant to shoot with a hand in his face, and his effectiveness falls off considerably in these situations. Getting more comfortable with his shot in close spaces should be a priority. It’s also worth noting that at times, Teague has looked extremely comfortable shooting from beyond NBA three-point range, hitting on quite a few of those on the year.
In terms of point guard skills, Teague shows little flashes here and there, mostly on simple pick-and-rolls, transition opportunities, or dump offs in the lane, but he’s still clearly a work in progress in this area, and with Ishmael Smith on the team, he’s probably not going to get much chance to play full-time point guard unless he stays until he’s a Senior. Developing his point guard game will be critical to his future success, though. To be considered as a real point guard, he’s going to need to vastly improve his decision-making, as it leaves a lot to be desired at the moment. His court vision and overall recognition are also question marks at this point.
On the defensive end, Teague uses his length and hands very well, leading to 1.8 steals per game, and he also shows nice foot speed and a decent defensive stance. He overplays passing lanes at times, and is prone to biting for ball fakes, but for a freshman guard, his man and team defense are both fairly solid.
Teague definitely has the physical tools, scoring ability and overall talent to make it in the NBA in some capacity, but his game is still very rough around the edges, specifically with his point guard skills. If he worked hard in the offseason, given the way he finished off last season, he could definitely be on his way to a breakout season, which would certainly open up some eyes. There is still much NBA teams will want to see from him, though, namely becoming a better shooter off the dribble, hitting the weight room a little bit more, and showing better decision-making and floor general traits. [Read Full Article]