Every Friday I will give my thoughts on the game I love, college basketball.
I am so happy to hear that John Wooden is feeling better. The Wizard of Westwood is so special to the college basketball community and he still is so important to UCLA.
When watching the NCAA tournament, understand that some surprising players come through. In Michigan State's win over Temple, it was a workmanlike performance from veteran Drew Naymick, who had 10 points and eight boards. Those type of contributions can make a difference in the big dance.
It did not take John Brady long to land another head coaching job. The former LSU coach was hired by Arkansas State to replace Dickey Nutt. Brady led the Tigers to the Final Four a few years ago, yet he was bounced out in Baton Rouge. A lot of times coaches don't find another Division I job right away.
Congratulations to Oliver Purnell, who recently received a contract extension at Clemson through 2014. Purnell has done a super job building the Tigers into an ACC threat. Clemson is in the big dance for the first time since 1998 and this is a program on the rise.
Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez will have to sit out the first conference game next season. Gonzalez was very upset after a loss to Rutgers. He came out with statements about the officiating, and Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese could not have been pleased. The result is that suspension.
Billy Donovan laid down the law down at Florida. His Gators fell short of a trip to the big dance, and Billy the Kid decided to kick his team out of the locker room prior to the start of the NIT. The team responded with an impressive win over San Diego State down in Gainesville.
J.J. Hickson has said he will test the waters and enter the NBA draft. The N.C. State diaper dandy has said he will not hire an agent. It was a smart move to keep his options open in case he decides to return to school.
With so many coaching vacancies on the Division I level already, here are three names of assistants that warrant evaluations: Texas Tech's Chris Beard, Tennessee's Tony Jones and Notre Dame's Sean Kearney. I believe all three are ready to run their own program at the next level if given the opportunity. All three are hard workers capable of succeeding after serving the role of second lieutenant.
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.