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January 13, 2009

Teague makes most of one shot at Tar Heels

Rivals.com Power Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Freshman | Head Coach

Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague picked the perfect moment to play the best game of his life.

Teague scored a career-high 34 points Sunday to help Wake Forest remain undefeated with a 92-89 victory over North Carolina in the Demon Deacons' Atlantic Coast Conference opener. The performance made Teague the new No. 1 point guard in the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position.

"I told Jeff Teague that was about as good a performance as I've seen in a long time against a team that I've coached," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "I thought he was sensational."

Teague's performance moved him ahead of North Carolina's Ty Lawson, who lost his grip on the No. 1 spot after collecting nine points, six rebounds, five assists and four turnovers in the loss to Wake Forest. Lawson shot 4-for-12 in that game, while Teague shot 9-of-17 while collecting six rebounds, four assists and three turnovers.

Although Teague's 34-point outburst against North Carolina represented a career high, this performance was no aberration. Eight days earlier, Teague scored 30 points in a 94-87 victory over BYU that ended the Cougars' NCAA-leading 53-game home winning streak.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore also broke the 30-point mark Nov. 19 when he scored 31 points in a 120-88 victory over UNC-Wilmington. No other ACC player has multiple 30-point games this season.

"He is an amazing player," Wake Forest senior guard Harvey Hale said. "He holds the game in his hand and says, 'I am going to take over.' Whenever we need a deep bucket, we go to Teague. Whenever we need him to come through, he comes through."

Teague's latest 30-point effort was particularly special because it came against North Carolina while helping Wake Forest remain unbeaten. Clemson and Pittsburgh are the nation's only two other undefeated Division I teams.

"This was a big win," Teague said. "We only play them once [this season] and we wanted to make it count."

Teague's emergence as the No. 1 point guard represented the only change atop the power rankings this week.

Players remaining atop their respective positions included Marquette shooting guard Jerel McNeal, Arizona State small forward James Harden, Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin and North Carolina center Tyler Hansbrough. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski maintained his status as the No. 1 coach, while Georgetown forward Greg Monroe continued to lead the freshman rankings. The rankings take into account all games that took place through Sunday.

Rivals.com Power Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Freshman | Head Coach

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.

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