Atlanta Hawks Player Preview: Jeff Teague
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Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana
Born Date: 6/10/1998
True Position: Point Guard (1)
411: Jeffrey “Jeff” Teague seems to be a laid back guy, very quiet with a nonchalant demeanor unless he sees a ghost, literally. Jeff is the one member of the Atlanta Hawks you do not want to go out with on Halloween. Jeff says he is afraid of haunted houses so it would be unwise to tempt him into the world of ghost and demons. Jeff may be afraid in the house of horrors, but he was raised in a house of hoops. Jeff’s father, Shawn Teague, led Anderson High School, in Indiana, to the 1979 state championship game. After high school, Shawn Teague, spent a year at Missouri before transferring to Boston University where he played under Rick Pitino. Jeff’s uncle, John Teague, also played at Boston University under Pitino with his brother, Shawn. Incredibly, Jeff has never met Rick Pitino and it was his father who introduced him to the game. Jeff also has a younger brother, Marquis Teague, who plays for the Chicago Bulls. Being from Indianapolis and coming up in the the Peyton Manning era, it is no wonder why Jeff is a grand fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He is also a huge fan of Denzel Washington, his favorite movie being “American Gangster”. Listen to the interview with Jeff below as he discusses his favorite music to listen to, who is a better basketball player between he and his brother Marquis as well as how he really feels about the Hawks matching the Bucks offer to bring him back to Atlanta.
Basketball Background: Jeff played high school basketball at Pike High School in Indianapolis. As a senior Jeff’s game began to sprout as he averaged 22 points, 4 assists and 2 steals per game on the way to leading the Red Devils to a 20-5 record while being selected First Team All-Conference and being named MVP of his team. Jeff was ranked the number 8 point guard in the nation after high school. After being wooed by many colleges including Indiana, Purdue and Boston College, Jeff decided to attend Wake Forest to further his basketball career. As a freshman at Wake Forest, Jeff averaged 14 points per game earning a selection to the ACC All-Freshman Team. He also led the team in steals his freshman season with 55. As a sophomore Jeff really came into his own and became the first Demon Deacon All-American since Chris Paul had done it four years prior, becoming the 13th player in school history to earn the honor. That season, Jeff lead Wake Forest in scoring (19 per game), assists (3.5 per game), steals (2 per game) and three-point percentage (48.5%). After two seasons at Wake Forest, Jeff decided he had had enough of the college game and forgo-ed his final two seasons at Wake Forest to enter the 2009 NBA Draft. The Atlanta Hawks took Jeff with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. In four seasons with the Hawks, Jeff’s scoring and assists have increased every season. During the off season this summer, Jeff re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks after the ball club matched the Milwaukee Bucks offer sheet of $32 million over 4 years keeping him under contract through the 2016-17 season.
Expectations: Jeff expects to take the next level in his game from being a starter to being an All-Star which is an expectation that should be shared by all Hawks fans considering Jeff’s progression over his 4 seasons with the team. Last season Jeff averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 36% from behind the arc. Jeff has the innate ability to penetrate defenses and make plays whether it is passing to open teammates or scoring himself. Jeff is also becoming a more confident knock down, long range shooter as well which should allow Al Horford and Paul Millsap to operate on the inside. Jeff is also a thief on the floor as he has averaged 1.5 steals per game over the past two seasons. Jeff is very quick in the passing lanes but he also plays good on ball defense versus other point guards in the league. Expect the steals to go up slightly in the new defensive scheme being taught by coach Budenholzer. This is the season for Jeff to take the bull by the horn as this is now his and Al’s team.
You may follow Jeff on twitter @Teague0 to get an inside peek at his life from time to time. You may also follow myself, Notty, on twitter @nottydred for stats, Atlanta Hawks information and more sports entertainment from the sports & entertainment Cadre. Thank you and stay blessed.