DICK'S TIDBITS | Nov. 1, 2004
Big news out of Connecticut: The defending national champion struck gold again! Future Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun has received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-11 Andrew Bynum of Metuchen, N.J.
It was like hitting the jackpot for Calhoun, as Bynum picked the Huskies over North Carolina. Many thought he'd be wearing the Tar Heels' uniform.
Bynum is rated by many as the best high school big man in America.
He'll get the opportunity to become the next Emeka Okafor. Bynum will be a major factor in the Big East. Calhoun has built an incredible program since coming over from Northeastern. It just keeps going on and on.
DUKE SUFFERS SETBACK
The Blue Devils had to be disappointed with the news that diaper dandy DeMarcus Nelson suffered a ruptured ligament in his thumb.
Let me tell you, that is big news and it's a must that he recovers. The one thing missing in the Duke arsenal is depth. Nelson will be a valuable contributor when he's healthy, because he can play either guard position.
All indications are that he'll be ready within four weeks.
SHYATT WILL HELP GATORS
Florida coach Billy Donovan made a good move when he hired former Clemson and Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt. He will bring his excellent knowledge of the game to Florida, and he'll be a terrific addition to the Florida staff.
Shyatt's involvement defensively should be a big plus. Florida has all sorts of offensive firepower and could utilize his teaching on the defensive end.
It's a positive to bring in former head coaches who want to show they can flat-out teach basketball and motivate.
HOPING 'FANG' FEELS WELL
It was sad to learn of the recent illness of Coppin State basketball coach Ronald "Fang" Mitchell. He had surgery to remove a benign tumor in the thyroid region.
Mitchell has led his Eagles to several special moments, including a big upset over No. 2 regional seed South Carolina in the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he's been an ESPN analyst ever since). Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.