LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky basketball is hosting Virginia Tech on Saturday in the Wildcats’ first real test since Kansas weeks ago. There is no better person to tell us what to expect from the Hokies than David Teel, longtime columnist at the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and dean of ACC sportswriters.
Teel, a member of the USBWA Hall of Fame, goes way back with UK beat writer Kyle Tucker and has many not-fit-for-print stories about a young and reckless KT. He joined Kyle and host Curtis Burch on the latest episode of Wildcat Country, your daily Kentucky podcast presented by SEC Country. Topics included:
- The Cats have given up a ton of 3-pointers this season and Virginia Tech makes a ton of 3-pointers. The Hokies are second in the nation in percentage beyond the arc and they average 10 made 3s per game. Who are the two players UK must pay extra attention?
- What can we expect to see from VT on defense? What is Buzz Williams like as a coach, beyond the heavy sweating? How does he compare to former Hokies coach Seth Greenberg, current ESPN talking head and longtime friend of John Calipari?
- Teel has covered 26 Final Fours, so we ask who he’d pick to make it in 2018, after about a third of the season. Sorry, BBN, but he (like most of us) is high on Duke.
- Does the ACC regret inviting Louisville into the prestigious league after an endless parade of scandal? SPOILER: Yep. “I think the phrase you’re looking for is ‘buyer’s remorse.’ ”
- Teel covered Frank Beamer’s remarkable career at Virginia Tech. In 1993, the Hokies went to the first of 23 consecutive bowl games to end Beamer’s career. What is long forgotten now: In 1992, his sixth season there, the Hokies went 2-8-1. People wanted him fired — it was his fourth losing season — but the administration incredibly stuck by him and the rewards were enormous. By 1995, Tech was in the Sugar Bowl. In 1996, the Orange Bowl. Six years after Beamer was nearly toast, the Hokies played for the national championship. Tech, which had been to six bowl games in its entire history before Beamer, won 10-plus games 13 times under him. Why do we mention this?
- We asked Teel if he sees any similarities at Kentucky, which has gone 2-10, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5 and 7-5 in Mark Stoops’ first five seasons. A slow, steady build. But because the Wildcats failed to fully capitalize on a soft schedule this season with nine wins there for the taking, many fans are down on Stoops. They wonder why the Cats aren’t better in Year 5. Imagine if he won two games in Year 6!
- Teel (listen to his own podcast here) shares an embarrassing story about Kyle, who is an idiot.
Don’t miss any of our Cats coverage. Follow podcast host @CurtisBurch as well as @KyleTucker_SEC for hoops and football columns, @Joe_Mussatto for football team coverage, recruiting notes and UK-in-the-NBA rundowns.