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Thursday, April 22, 2010
Marquis Teague commits to Kentucky

By Brendan Murphy
ESPN Recruiting

For the fourth time in eight days, a recruit of national acclaim has elected to play for John Calipari at Kentucky.

Marquis Teague, the nation's No. 4 junior, became the latest wunderkind turned Wildcat when he announced his commitment on Thursday. The playmaking point guard picked Kentucky over a list of suitors that included Louisville, Indiana, Cincinnati and Purdue.

Teague, of Pike High in Indianapolis, cited the player-friendly system Calipari employs as a major reason for his decision.

"[Calipari] is going to allow you to play your game," Teague said. "He's going to let you make plays. He's a winning coach and he's got the background to prove it."

In recent years, Calipari has coached three point guards who starred as college freshmen -- John Wall in Lexington and Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose at Memphis -- then elected to enter the NBA draft. (The Wildcats will bring in Brandon Knight, the No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2010, to replace Wall next season.) Teague hopes he can be another name on the list of standout freshmen to play for Calipari.

"I just think highly of Coach Calipari [and] the things he's done for guards in the past few years," Teague said. "I'm hoping he can do those things for me."

The recent run of point guards to play for Calipari doesn't faze Teague.

"Those are great players to be following but I just want to come in and play," he said. "I'm not really intimidated by it."

It's very early in the process, but Teague's addition could give the Wildcats the nation's top 2011 recruiting class. He will join Mike Gilchrist, ESPN Recruiting's No. 1-rated junior, in the class.

Gilchrist and Teague cultivated a relationship while playing in USA Basketball's youth program.

"I've been talking to him for a long time about playing together," Teague said. "We played together with Team USA and we know each other's games pretty well."

At one point in Teague's recruitment, rumor had it that Louisville was the team to beat. His father, Shawn, played for Rick Pitino at Boston University.

With his decision to attend UK, Teague doesn't expect a warm reception if he ever enters Louisville's newly anointed KFC Yum! Center.

"[Louisville] really wanted me to come there," he said. "They've been recruiting me for two years, so I really don't expect them to be to happy."

In spite of his strong relationship with Pitino, Shawn Teague wanted his son to choose the school he felt most comfortable with.

"His mom and I wanted it to be his decision," Shawn Teague said. "We wanted to make sure he got an opportunity to go out and visit with all the schools and coaches that were interested in him. ... He got a chance to do that. We are fine with his choice."

Teague is the younger brother of Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague. He will be eligible to sign a letter of intent, making his commitment official, in November.

Brendan Murphy is an editor for ESPN Recruiting.