Marquis Teague, who has yet to play this season, didn't have to hear what coach Tom Thibodeau said at Saturday's morning shootaround to know he's currently out of the rotation.

"Of course things can change with foul trouble or an injury," Thibodeau said. "You need everybody. But we'll probably be with a nine-man rotation."

Teague joins veteran Mike James and rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy on the outside looking in. Yet one never could tell from Teague's upbeat demeanor and work ethic.

"You have to keep your confidence," Teague said. "Anything can happen in this league. If you go into the game all worried about your minutes you haven't been getting, you're going to play bad. So you have to stay focused and keep your spirits up."

Asked if that's difficult to do when not playing, Teague, 20, answered with a maturity that belies his youth.

"Not for me because I love the game, so I watch my teammates," he said. "I'm just into the game period. I love that. Watching Derrick (Rose), I feel I'm learning a lot each game."

Though the Bulls likely will explore re-signing Kirk Hinrich next offseason, Teague could be in position to be Rose's backup then. If so, he never has doubted his ability.