Chat with Jay Bilas
Bilas provides expert color commentary from courtside on college basketball games, and serves as a studio analyst and as the co-host of ESPN's popular studio shows College Gameday and College Gamenight.
He also writes for ESPN.com, and contributes numerous reports for SportsCenter. Since 2003, Bilas has provided in-depth player scouting and analysis for ESPN's coverage of the NBA Draft.
Send your questions now and join Jay in The Show Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Bilas Archive: Columns
Jay Bilas (5:13 PM)
Sorry to be so late. Let's get going. Jay
Chris ( Syracuse, NY)
As of Right NOW How many teams you see going to the NCAA Tourament?
Jay Bilas (5:14 PM)
Easy answer. 65.
Zack (Olathe, KS)
Where would you rank Cole Aldrich on the list of Best Big men in the nation? He's one of the best defensive players in the nation if not the best, and let's not forget his outing against POY Tyler Hansbrough in the Final Four.. He had people wondering who the player was that "never took a play off."
Jay Bilas (5:15 PM)
I would put him up near the top. He is not even with Blake Griffin, but he is ahead of Hasheem Thabeet. Aldrich is going to get better and better. He is productive and tough, and he will be the real thing.
Jay...I'm a fan of yours...BUT it seems that you go waaaayy out of your way to not appear like a Duke Homer, even when it doesnt make sense. For example, re:Georgetown vs Duke, you said (paraphrased)...Duke is deeper, and is better, and they are playing at home...but I like Georgetown. You offered little to no reason to counter why Duke being better and deeper and at home would equal a GT win. Replace Duke with UNC and it seems clear that sentence would never be uttuered. This isn't the first time either. What gives?
Jay Bilas (5:18 PM)
Don't get hung up on picks. I never get credit from people with your bias for anything I say positively about Duke. Did you ever think that you may be a bit biased in what you hear and the way you hear it? Would it make you feel better if I picked Duke every single game? I picked Duke to beat Michigan at Michigan....I still haven't received your thank you note, by the way. I though that Georgetown would win because Duke was not shooting the ball well. I was wrong. Give the bias or bend over backward talk a rest. What you are really doing is calling me dishonest, aren't you? You are saying that I am saying something intentionally that I do not believe. Do you really think I am trying to be wrong on a silly pick of a winner of a ball game? Please.
Paul F., Atlanta
Jay, is the Pac-10 really that down this year? What do you think Cal's chances are of taking the regular season or tournament crown (they have already knocked off ASU and @UW)?
Jay Bilas (5:20 PM)
Not THAT down, but down. Arizona is not as good as usual, and UCLA was better over the last three years. Washington State and Oregon are not as good as last year. It is still a really good league that will get five or six teams into the NCAA Tournament. Leagues go through ups and downs, too. No need to panic.
Johnny (Baton Rouge)
LSU has three straight double digit wins in the SEC yet in all the early Bubble Watches Ole Miss, a team LSU was beating by 40 in Tad Smit, getting more love. What's the deal? Will an upset of Xavier on Satuday, finally bring some props?
Jay Bilas (5:21 PM)
LSU is much better with Tasmin Mitchell playing the power forward slot. He is a match-up problem there. I think the Tigers are a good team, but they are in the mix with other good teams that have not caught mass attention yet. A win over Xavier would be a big lift....for anyone. X is really good.
Matt (Fort Collins)
Jay, which UNLV team do you think we'll see more of from here on out -- the one that beat BYU and L-ville on the road or the one that last back-to-back to CSU/TCU?
Jay Bilas (5:23 PM)
Probably some of both. The Rebels are young at the point, but with Wink Adams and Rene Rougeau, I like this team to be competitive against anyone in the Mountain West. I respect the heck out of Rougeau. And, Lon Kruger is one truly outstanding coach. As Oscar Bellfield gets older, he will be one of the nation's best. He reminds me of Ramon Sessions, and he was a pro.
Jay, who is your NPOY and coach of the year?
Jay Bilas (5:24 PM)
Blake Griffin and a Dino Gaudio/Tubby Smith tie...for now. It is still early.
Jay, who do you feel is the best team right now?
Jay Bilas (5:25 PM)
If the Tournament were today, I would go with North Carolina, UConn, Louisville, Wake Forest, Duke and Pittsburgh. By the end of the year, I think that UNC, UConn and Louisville will be the best teams.
John, Norfolk Va
Jay, to quote you..."What you are really doing is calling me dishonest, aren't you? You are saying that I am saying something intentionally that I do not believe. Do you really think I am trying to be wrong on a silly pick of a winner of a ball game? Please." Please try not to be so defensive. No one is calling you dishonest or actively trying to be wrong. You consistently picking against Duke has become, however, a trend that many people have noticed over the years. Oftentimes it seems to me that you are doing so in an attempt to not seem overly biased towards the university that you graduated from. If that is the case, I respect that. However, it would likely help matters out a lot if you would confirm your reasoning.
Jay Bilas (5:30 PM)
I am not defensive, I am answering your question. It makes perfect sense. If you are saying that I am bending over backwards to pick against Duke when I don't really believe it, you are saying I am lying. It is pretty simple. And, my reasons for picking Georgetown were pretty simple. You must agree that the best team does not always win. That seems clear enough. Duke was not shooting the ball well, and struggled to beat lesser teams in Florida State and Georgia Tech. I felt that Georgetown was shooting it well and just might win. When I pick Duke to win, which I do often, how do you couch that? What am I doing there? If you disagree, then say why. Save the bias talk, especially when you may have some bias issues as well.
Eric (NY, NY)
Jay, Is there a player more important to their team than Greg Monroe is to the Hoyas? I read in the Washington Times today (I think) that they are something like +80 in big east play when he is on the floor.
Jay Bilas (5:33 PM)
Probably, but Monroe is really, really valuable. He is a great young prospect that is getting better and better.
what are your thoughts on novas performance last night, any hope for them to make any noise in the big east
Jay Bilas (5:35 PM)
Villanova was really good last night. I really like their guards. They make plays, and Jay Wright believes in them.
Chris (Madison, WI)
To get away from mostly Big East related questions....what's your take on Illinois this year, Jay? I know they have been spotlighted in many different articles across the nation as a "surprise" team, but how high of a seed do you realistically see them obtaining? And with that, how far of a run do you think they have in them? Thanks!
Jay Bilas (5:39 PM)
Very good passing team, and much improved in almost every area. Bruce Weber does a great job with motion principles, and I think that Alex Legion is going to be a big factor for them. The one concern I have for Illinois is rebounding. At my last check, the Illini were getting outrebounded by 4.4 per game or so. That is not good. They need to start gang rebounding.
Come on, Jay! How does Marquette's Wes Matthews or Jerel McNeal not on your midseason awards team??? Don't fault for not being selfish. Marquette has 4 legitimate scorers in Wes, McNeal, James & Hayward, but they understand 'the team fist' mentality. Give some love for Wes, please. Great work, by the way!
Jay Bilas (5:41 PM)
I can only pick 15, bro!! Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal were considered and very close. The players I have really been happy for are Dominic James and Lazar Hayward. James is playing with a free mind, and he is just being a guard instead of everyone's idea of a classic point guard. Hayward is a stud. He will cause a lot of match-up issues in the Big East. UConn is fortunate to have Stanley Robinson back....he is the only one that can guard him.
Gerardo (Tempe, AZ)
Jay, please answer this for us out west: I am aware of how hard their job is, but Pac-10 refereeing this year, as it was last year, is atrocious. I do believe that the best team usually wins, even when the arbitration isn't very fair; but this is so bad, they are actually affecting the outcome of games...and it has now been happening for two seasons. Please tell me someone is looking at this and there is something in motion to make a change for the better...
Jay Bilas (5:42 PM)
It is being discussed. And it is being discussed a lot. I would hesitate to agree that Pac-10 officiating is less than stellar across the board, because I don't agree. I do agree, however, that there are some less than stellar officials in that league.
Dave, Richmond, VA
How many teams do you see getting into the tournament from the ACC?
Jay Bilas (5:44 PM)
UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Miami and perhaps Virginia Tech. Florida State might be able to get in, but need some quality wins. Same for Maryland. Six is pretty darn good, wouldn't you say? Seven is a real possibility.
Swisher (Sweet, Ky)
Jay, is Kentucky the team to beat in the SEC?
Jay Bilas (5:46 PM)
YES. I thought that UK was pretty average early in the year, but with a down SEC, UK is the best and tightest team I have seen in that league. A real key is Perry Stevenson. If he can be a defensive stopper and finish plays off of Patterson and Meeks, UK can win the league. Watch out for Tennessee, I still have not given up on the Vols. Florida is pretty darn good too.
Chad, Louisville, KY
What do you think Terrence Williams needs to do to gain more respect on the national scene. ala.. American selecetion or Big East POY? Do you think he is worthy of any such disintion?
Jay Bilas (5:47 PM)
He could not have more of my respect. That kid has played as well if not better than anyone in the Big East over the past seven or eight games. He could very well be Big East Player of the Year. He can do it all, and he is a great kid.
Jay, should I even bother watching teams outside of the Big East and ACC?
Jay Bilas (5:48 PM)
Heck yes. The Big East and the ACC are the best leagues, but other leagues have great teams.
HUGE matchup tonight in SD. Do you like the Torreros chances of upsetting the Gaels? Jenny Craig is a tough nut to crack!
Jay Bilas (5:50 PM)
I like Pomare a lot, and Billy Grier is a really good coach. But, Saint Mary's and Gonzaga are the best teams in that league. Mills is ultra quick and takes good shots while still taking care of his teammates. Omar Samhan is a really good rebounder and finisher, and Daimon Simpson is a respected player that does it all. If SImpson played at an ACC school he would be Battier.
Which PG will make the best pro: Flynn, Lawson, Mills, Collison?
Jay Bilas (5:51 PM)
Flynn and Mills. The others will play, but those two have the best tools for the NBA.
Edgar Sosa, Louisville
Louisville at Syracuse this weekend. How do you see that match-up playing out? Both teams are talented and playing well?
Jay Bilas (5:52 PM)
It depends upon how Louisville is able to speed up Syracuse. The Cards have to make the Syracuse bigs run, and must keep Onuaku and Jackson from scoring easy ones. Flynn should play better after a poor outing against Pitt, and Rautins and Devendorf make Syracuse tough to zone. I like Syracuse at home.
Chris (Durham, NC)
Better athlete: Gerald Henderson or Terrence Williams?
Jay Bilas (5:53 PM)
Henderson has more bounce, but Williams is stronger. Both are awe inspiring athletes and players.
David (North Aurora)
Jay, How do you see the Big Ten season shaking out? Northwestern over Michgan State, Iowa over Wisconsin? Is the conference that much improved or lack of focus?
Jay Bilas (5:55 PM)
More carnage. It is much more balanced top to bottom this year, but I still think that Michigan State is the best team. After that, it is a week to week and game to game thing. I have been surprised by just how good Northwestern is. Coble is versatile and tough, and Moore can really shoot it. Penn State is good, too. I really like Talor Battle, Stanley Pringle and Jamelle Cornley. They could play anywhere. They just out-toughed Michigan.
Jeff (Frisco, TX)
Who do you like in the Big 12 this year? Any surprises possible/
Jay Bilas (5:56 PM)
Texas and Oklahoma. Kansas and Baylor are the only other teams that could surprise.
It seems to me that the home court means more in college hoops than in any other sport. Can you explain why this is?
Jay Bilas (5:57 PM)
A more intimate game. Baseball is more dependent on pitchers than location. I have never played football, so I don't know. But, home teams in basketball tend to be more aggressive, which leads to louder crowds and more free throws. Tough to explain, I think you have to go through it to really understand it. Kind of like childbirth.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
When teams are considered for the NCAA tournament, how much of an impact do you think history has on selection? Do you think a UNC team 9-7 in conference would get more consideration than another team 9-7 in conference without a significant history in basketball (Assume other factors are comparable)?
Jay Bilas (5:59 PM)
The Committee says history is not taken into account. But, I would find it hard to believe that if Davidson is on the bubble, they wouldn't let last year factor in.
Final Four picks?
Jay Bilas (6:00 PM)
At the start of the year, I had UNC, Louisville, UConn and Michigan State. Now, I would go with UNC, Louisville, UConn and Duke. Long way to go, though.
Nick (Richmond, VA)
I understand that everyone still believes Carolina to be the best team in the nation. But I have a hard time accepting their loss to Wake a fluke. I mean maybe they didn't take BC seriously but I think Carolina's sub-par performance at Wake was a credit to Wake's defense, physicality, and athleticism. So until they lose, the Carolina as #1 talk should be put on a hiatus. So how can the Deacons not be the best team in the nation right now?
Jay Bilas (6:03 PM)
Who said it was a fluke? You can be the best team and still get beat, can't you? No. 1 does not always mean the best team. It means beauty contest winner of the week. Do you really think that Carolina is the sixth best team? Is BC better than UNC?
Jay Bilas (6:30 PM)
Thanks for the questions!