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Roundball Chatter


• There have been a lot of rumors about Billy Donovan and the Kentucky basketball vacancy. There is a report on espn.com that Kentucky will offer him the job after the Final Four.

• What is happening in the college basketball coaching profession? It is wacky out there and I am so happy to be in television, where you never lose a game. Being in the media, I can relax more, spend time with my family. Coaching is a 24/7 job, and if you don't believe it, get involved and you would find out. The pressure that the NCAA tournament has created is a monster. It is unbelievable when you see a guy like Stan Heath win 20 games, make the big dance and he is still given the ziggy! Not good enough, my friends. Go ask Tommy Amaker about the pressure to make the tourney. Guys must produce or feel that heat; go talk to Tubby Smith about what happened in Lexington. I know politically all the right things were going to be said, but I ask, my friends, would he have left Kentucky if he felt revered and wanted. After a while, having a FOR SALE sign placed on your lawn, or talk of boosters wanting to place full-page ads for your ouster in the paper, it wears you out. Think about 26.3 wins a season, a national championship, three other appearances in the Elite Eight, five SEC tournament titles and five SEC regular-season championships. The world of coaching is wacky.

• Georgetown is in the Final Four, but think about how bright the future in for John Thompson III. Hoya fans will be happy if Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green come back, then add on two high school star guards in Chris Wright and Austin Freeman from the DC area. They are among the nation's premier perimeter players. By the way, can this be deja vu for the Washington, DC area? The last time the Final Four was in Atlanta, it was Gary Williams and his Maryland Terps cutting down the nets. Can this happen to the Georgetown Hoyas.

• Down at Kansas, Julian Wright loves being a college student and he made the right decision to return to Lawrence for his junior season. He needs to be more consistent in shooting the face-up jump shot. Wright's athleticism is certainly special and he's a beautiful, young guy. I know he will develop and become much more of a complete player by remaining under the tutelage of the Jayhawk coaching staff. Kentucky's Joe Crawford also made a wise move by returning to college next season. Crawford improved a lot this season but he has more work to do.

• Speaking of the Kansas staff, congratulations to former Jayhawks assistant Tim Jankovich, who was recently hired at Illinois State. Jankovich was a workaholic in breaking down film, analyzing opponents, scouting and evaluating teams. Illinois State made a solid, solid choice.

• How amazing is it that one high school, Renaissance of Detroit, produced Crawford, Malik Hairston and Tajuan Porter, the latter two attending Oregon? They deserve a salute, baby!

• Lots of college players get overhyped when they leave high school basketball and move to the next level. Let me tell you, it is great that Greg Oden and Kevin Durant lived up to and even went beyond those expectations. These two were better than advertised and word is both truly enjoyed college life, being the BMOC (big man on campus). Could it be that both may consider returning to college basketball next season? The lure of the dollar is great, but I feel some talented players should enjoy that college environment and continue to learn.

• What about the success of beating Marquette and Wisconsin the last two seasons? That's right, remember when North Dakota State made those headlines. Now coach Tim Miles is reaping the dividends as he was hired as head coach at Colorado State in the Mountain West.

• The Chip Hilton Award is given to the player who demonstrates personal character on and off the court. This year's four finalists have a lot to be proud of: Wisconsin's Alando Tucker, Texas A&M's Acie Law, Adam Haluska of Iowa and South Carolina's Tre Kelley. The announcement of the winner will be made in Atlanta at the Final Four.

• One unsung hero at the Final Four will be the voice of Georgetown, Rich Chvotkin. He's in his 33rd season and on cloud nine getting back to the Final Four for the first time since 1985. He was the guy behind the mic early in the John Thompson era.

• When you see a transfer playing hard, you can understand why. Some kids feel they were disrespected at a program and want out. Some of them feel they were passed by and not recruited by the big boys.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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