Chat with Jay Bilas
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas will stop by to chat about the hoops offseason.
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 Bilas Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jay Bilas (12:38 PM)
Welcome to the fastest chat in basketball!! The college basketball season is over, the NBA Playoffs are cranking up, and the NBA Draft is on the minds of every kid that can walk and chew gum at the same time, and even some that cannot! Fire away with your quesitons, and I will give you a candid answer.
Freddy (Los Angeles)
Why is the NCAA and NBA date to withdraw names from the draft different? Shouldn't there be one for players to make this decision?
Jay Bilas (12:42 PM)
The NBA date is in June, a couple of weeks before the NBA Draft. The NBA date allows teams the opportunity to work out or audition players to gain more information. The NCAA date for withdrawal from the Draft process is May 8, and it was done for one reason and one reason only: colleges and college coaches were tired of twisting in the wind with uncertainty as to whether a player was staying or going, and all were tired of worrying about eligibility issues connected with the Draft process. The NCAA deadline does not allow the players the chance to gain meaningful information and feedback. I think the better way is to go back to the all or nothing stage. Once a college player declares his intent to be a professional, then he renounces all college eligibility. Plain and simple. The NCAA cannot stop kids from making dumb mistakes by allowing them to test the waters. If professionalism is antithetical to the NCAA mission, then once you declare to be a pro, you should be done. Good question. Thanks.
Do you think the NBA is going to change the 1 and done rule?
Jay Bilas (12:46 PM)
Yes, I do. I think that the NBA and the NBA Players Association will come to an agreement that the rule needs to be 20 years old and two years out of high school. That makes more sense for the NBA and for the Players. Remember though, the Players Association is run by agents, not by the players, so what is in the best interests of the players is not always first. The longer that a new prospect is kept out of the league and in college, the longer that veterans keep their jobs. If the players were really in charge, this would not be such a big deal to accomplish.
Brady Herrmann (Indianapolis)
What do you think the chances of JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore coming back to Purdue are? It seems as if E'Twaun is almost a sure thing to return but what are you hearing about JaJuan's stock?
Jay Bilas (12:48 PM)
I really don't know, nor do I really worry about it. Look, all of these kids want to be NBA players, and they want to be NBA players right now. We live in a culture of skipping steps, and every single player in college basketball wants to be a pro tommorrow. Whether the kid is ready or not is almost irrelevant. So, I don't worry about Johnson or Moore. We will know on May 8, and I can wait.
What are your thoughts on players such as JaJuan Johnson and Gordon Heyward, will they go or come back for another year?
Jay Bilas (12:49 PM)
Not sure on either one. I must admit, though, that Hayward's decision caught me a bit off guard. I thought he might come back for his junior year. Of course, he may still, but I don't see any reason to declare if you have any intention of coming back.
What do you think is the biggest problem with College Basketball today?
Jay Bilas (12:52 PM)
The influence of agents and front men for agents on young kids, without quesiton. I am a big supporter of the NCAA, but I must admit that I laugh at the NCAA rule book because it assumes that college coaches are bad influences on kids and must keep them away from the kids as much as possible. All the while, agents, runners and others of questionable motive are allowed unfettered access to kids, and the NCAA has no power over them. That is simply wrong. Agents need to be regulated just like Wall Street.
scott (lexington, ky)
Any scoop re: UK boys sticking around? Doubtful
Jay Bilas (12:54 PM)
I cannot imagine any of the Kentucky kids coming back to school. I have heard that Patrick Patterson may, but I really doubt it. He would have to spend yet another season babysitting, and my guess is that he will go. Orton is the one that should come back, but I doubt he will. The toothpaste is out of the tube, and Calipari will get a new crop of freshmen next year that will put Kentucky in a similar position with wins and with early exits next year. That is just the way it is.
It seems as if there are more underclassmen declaring this year than in previous years? Is that true? And do all these guys think they are gonna be lottery picks? I mean the math just doesn't add up.
Jay Bilas (12:57 PM)
Doug, don't try to make sense of it because it doesn't make any sense. You cannot legislate people from making bad decisions. Some of the decisions to go pro are the best thing for the kid, and some are not. One or two will surprise us with how good they are and how soon, and a couple will really disappoint us. But, we are just now certain which ones. That makes it fun to watch, but there is real risk being taken on my these kids, and for many of them, it is no joke. I just hope they are fully informed in making whatever decision they make.
Scott (Rocky Mount, NC)
Ed Davis - Smart move in declaring? It seems to me his game was exposed a bit this year and he would benefit from another year of seasoning in Chapel Hill.
Jay Bilas (12:59 PM)
He would benefit by staying, but to expect a player like Davis to stay three or four years is a pipe dream. It is no longer a surprise when a player like Davis leaves. It is a surprise when he stays. We are in a totally different world now, and we had better adjust to it. It will never be the same. Ever.
matt (chapel hill)
why was UNC (along w/ all Big East schools) on the list of schools Rosario could not transfer to?
Jay Bilas (1:02 PM)
Matt: I did not see the list, but it may have been some issue of competition. I do not like transfer restrictions. I think that a kid can be made to sit out a season, but should not be told where he cannot enroll and play. That is stupid. And, while we are on the subject of Rutgers and Rosario, it was also stupid of people to have assumed that just becasue there was an allegation that USC tampered with Rosario, it was true. From what I am told, it was not true, adn too many people convicted USC on an unsubstantiated allegation. Ridiculous.
Hi Jay, thanks for all you do -- having had a chance to reflect on the season, I would say MSU's run to the Final Four was pretty amazing considering all the issues this team had and Kalin's injury in the Maryland game. This team really showed a lot of heart and toughness, two things we really lacked during the season. With Lucas and Summers coming back, we have to be a favorite to win it all, correct?
Jay Bilas (1:03 PM)
I think that Michigan State will indeed be the preseason favorite, unless Duke has Kyle Singler back. If Singler returns, I like Duke as the preseason No. 1 team. I usually wait unti the dust from the Draft has settled to rank teams, but it seems clear that the Spartans will be right there again.
Tim (Roanoke, VA)
Why have a lot of people been down on the ACC the last couple of years, including you? I think you know that they have won 5 of the last 10 National Championships, by 3 different teams. Compare that to the great BIG LEAST, whom everyone at ESPN seems to be in LOVE with, with no title appearances in 6 years.
Jay Bilas (1:10 PM)
I am not certain exactly to whom you are referring, but if you are going solely on championships, you are correct that the ACC has won more titles in the last ten years than any other league. The ACC has won five of the last ten National Championships (Duke 2010 and 2001, UNC 2005 and 2009, and Maryland 2002). And, during the last ten years, four ACC teams have reached the Final Four (Duke, UNC, Maryland and Georgia Tech). During that same period, The Big East has won two National Championships (Syracuse in 2003 and UConn in 2004). I don't have all of the data in front of me, but I would venture to guess that the Big East has had more competitive teams than the ACC in the NCAA Tournament. Nobody on ESPN ever said that Duke, North Carolina and Maryland were not good. They are. But, the rest of the league has not been as good as the rest of the Big East over the past four or five years. That doesn't mean that will continue.
As a Duke fan I want Kyle Singler to stay but I can't fault him for leaving early. Do you think he has enough reason(s) to stay for one more year, especially with the looming NBA lockout? Will his draft stock really increase that much more?
Jay Bilas (1:12 PM)
The lockout is not a good enough reason to go. Any lockout will not last long, because the players simply cannot afford to stay out long. Most of the league is living check to check, and the owners can squeeze the players pretty hard in a lockout. Every player should go when they want and when they feel it is time. Timing a lockout is not the best way to approach things, in my judgment.
Joshua Tyler (Butcher Hollow)
Odds on Daniel Orton coming back to Kentucky..
Jay Bilas (1:13 PM)
Same as Mr. Blutarsky's GPA, according to Dean Wormer.....0.0 (zero point zero).
When the tourney goes to 96 teams, do most of these extra 32 spots get filled by the 2nd and 3rd place teams from mid-majors or will this provide the opportunity for the big boy conferences to get teams in who have a 6-10 conference record?
Jay Bilas (1:16 PM)
The first considerations will go to regular season conference champions and tournament champions as automatic qualifiers. Truthfully, that will simply put more average teams in the field, and some bad ones. Then it will go to the next best teams, as it does now. It will just extend to some really average teams. The truth is, there are not 96 good college basketball teams anywhere in any league. Period. We will be letting in some average to bad basketball teams into our national championship event. It will be like letting more Buzz Aldrins on Dancing With The Stars.
How much longer before Coach K retires? And who are a couple good candidates to replace him? I'd think Coach K could name who he wants to take over the program if he wanted.
Jay Bilas (1:17 PM)
I really don't see it any time soon. Coach K is as energized as he has ever been, and I find that really amazing. I don't see Krzyzewski or Boeheim quitting in the next five years. As to replacements, I have no idea right now. We are years and years away from that. Things will be totally different then than they are now.
Is Butler here to stay?
Jay Bilas (1:20 PM)
Butler was good way before this season. Over the last 11 years, there have been 36 appearances in the Sweet Sixteen made by teams outside of the Power Conferences (the Big Six conferences). Of those 36 spots, 15 of them have been by Butler, Gonzaga, Memphis and Xavier. Butler has been among the best teams outside of the BCS leagues for a decade now. Most of the others were one time participants (Southern Illinois went twice).
Buzz Aldrin should never be referred to as bad in anything (even in dancing). He's an American icon! Now Bruce Pearl on the other hand...
Jay Bilas (1:22 PM)
Fair point, but if he kept it to walking on the Moon, he would be untouchable. Once he went on DWTS, he opened himself up to be a punching bag. Just like when Pearl went shirtless to a game and painted himself orange.
Please call Luke Babbitt and tell him to stay in school. Thank You.
Jay Bilas (1:22 PM)
Got voicemail. I'll try again later.
Jay, what do you think Chris Wright (Dayton) will ultimately do. Will he hire an agent or come back for his senior season at UD?
Jay Bilas (1:23 PM)
No idea. Chris is a great kid, and a terrific athlete and player. I just hope he does what is best for him and his situation. We will know on May 8, if not before. I can wait.
Jay, what are the odds my boy scottie reynolds gets drafted? I know he had a horrible tournament/end of the season due to personal problems, but no one can deny that he is a a scorer, a creator, a great team player, and most importantly, a winner. He might be a bit small and lack a true guard position, but I feel that he can absolutely help an NBA team create depth in their backcourt. I truly believe he is a mid-late 2nd round pick. Thoughts?
Jay Bilas (1:25 PM)
Scottie has a good chance to be drafted. I also see him as a second rounder. He is not a great athlete and not a great defender, and that will raise some quesitons on the NBA, but he did a much better job of being efficient last year, and he will find a place in the NBA for a time.
Pete (Chicago )
Wouldn't UK be facing a drastic loss of scolarships with this 'one and done' stuff?
Jay Bilas (1:27 PM)
Not as long as the players are in good academic standing when they leave. I have never been a fan of loss of scholarshops anyway. Why would you punish by taking away academic and athletic opportunity from other youngsters coming up? That is silly. If you really want to see things reformed, have punishments follow not just he coach, but the college president. The presidents are supposed to be in charge. Why not have any problems on their rap sheets? I bet they would pay more attention to things and be more accountable.
Lance (Milwaukee, WI)
So does Northwestern finally make the Dance with 96 teams?
Jay Bilas (1:28 PM)
Lance, everyone will make the Dance when it goes to 96 teams. If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you are in. But, it won't mean anything, or at least, not nearly as much.
Nick (Carolina Beach)
Do you see a big turn around for Carolina and the Tarheels this year?
Jay Bilas (1:30 PM)
How could it not? I was stunned by last season, and so was Roy Williams. No way does he allow that to happen again. He is too good.
Timmy C. (Lancaster, PA)
How long will the UK faithful put up with 30 win seasons and early tourney exits?
Jay Bilas (1:30 PM)
Early exits? The Cats lost in the Elite Eight!! They will put up with it for a long time.
Jay - Using the logic that most "experts" use to determine the best conference in each sport (i.e SEC is best in football because they've won the last few BCS titles, even thought aside from Bama and Florida the league is average). I guess we can still say the ACC is the best basketball conference since they've won the last two NCAA titles and what five of the last 10?
Jay Bilas (1:32 PM)
That is good logic, Jimmy. That means that the SEC was the best league in 2006 and 2007, because Florida won. And, if Butler had won this year, the Horizon League would have been the best league, using your logic. But, if you use similarly good logic to determine the best and most competitive league by the number of nationally competitive teams, then the Big East is in there as well. Reasonable minds can differ on such things.
I'm starting to get a little impatient down here in Bloomington. How much longer will it take Coach Crean to get IU back on the college hoops map?
Jay Bilas (1:35 PM)
Bobby, Indiana blew up its program. Right or wrong, it will take time to undo what Indiana did to itself. Tom Crean came in to pick up the pieces and get IU back, and he is doing a really good job. Frankly, you are lucky to have him. If you give him some time, he will get IU back to where you want it to be. You should be proud of those kids and of Tom. They are busting their tails to get IU back.
Do you see any underclassmen in this draft staying in past the NCAA deadline, getting bad news at the work outs, then pulling out by the NBA deadline to go play in Europe for a year before trying again in a college version of what Brandon Jennings did?
Jay Bilas (1:37 PM)
That could very well happen, yes. I doubt that it is a strategy, but an option. Because Jennings went to Europe and made it does not mean that it is the right path for everyone. And, because Jeremy Tyler went to Israel and had problems does not mean that it is not the right path for anyone. It is a case by case thing.
Jay, thanks for chatting today. I hear you and other chatters saying "when", not "if", in reference to the 96-team expansion. Does that mean it is a done deal, or is there still any hope for a smaller expansion (e.g. 68 or 72 teams)?
Jay Bilas (1:38 PM)
It isn't done yet, but I believe it is inevitable. The NCAA Tournament is the revenue generator for the NCAA, and without it, the NCAA is nothing. The NCAA needs the money, and the Tournament is the best way to get it. It is just a reality.
Dan (Chicago, IL)
Jay - Appreciate your comments. I agree that many players make a mistake by declaring early. Do you think most of them would just rather play overseas or in the Developmental League on their way to the NBA than have to go to school?
Jay Bilas (1:41 PM)
A lot of young kids would rather play than go to school. But, often times, school is the best thing for them. Even though they want to be pros, and even though they can make a bunch of money doing it, I still think we should encourage them to go to school. I hate that we sell these kids short and assume that they cannot do anything beyond playing basketball. It is not true, and it is not right. Maybe I am old school, but these kids need an education, and we should encourage them to get one, even after they have gone to the NBA.
Greg Monroe made what many thought to be a logical decision when he declared for the draft. Do you think passing up guaranteed NBA money, for another year of development and possible shot at a national title, would have been to much of a risk for a player of his caliber?
Jay Bilas (1:42 PM)
Monroe did not make a bad decision. There is risk going and staying for almost any player, but the risk of getting injured is not that much of a risk. The risk of dropping in the Draft of not a real risk, either. If a player is the real thing, he will not drop.
Rick (Charlotte, NC)
Jay, you have been critical of the very physical play in college basketball the last few years. I thought the recent tournament was very physical and the result was a lot of low scoring games. Do you think the game is still too physical?
Jay Bilas (1:44 PM)
Yes. Way too physical. There is far more freedom of movement in the NBA, which strikes me as being silly. College basketball needs to study the NBA's freedom of movement initiative and copy it as best we can. It will lead to a better game.
Jay, will there ever be anything like Magic vs. Bird again in the NCAAs? That's what truly got me hooked on the game and I'd love to recapture that moment in time today.
Jay Bilas (1:45 PM)
Probably not, but remember, that was not a great game. It had great players, but the quality of play was not that high on that Monday night.
Were you at all surprised by the amount of Duke hate spewed in the Final Four?
Jay Bilas (1:47 PM)
Nope, and I didn't care. I think that Duke people spend way too much time worrying about it. Who cares what people love, like, dislike or hate? That is a matter of taste, and I don't really care which teams or players people love or hate. As long as the facts are stratight, worrying about who people like or dislike is a waste of time.
Jay don't you think more sports should be like baseball or hockey where you can go to the minors or college and that way you get kids who want to be in college.
Jay Bilas (1:51 PM)
Why do we care whether a kid "wants to be in college"? There are a lot of kids that don't want to go to high school, but we encourage them to go, don't we? The key is not whether anyone wants to be anywhere. It is what they do while they are there. I think that these schools are competent enought to admit and educate their students without anyone's help. We seem to believe that they can hand out degrees and honors to their students without our help. Why does it differ with athletes?
ESPN was running a poll a few weeks ago that asked if it was better to win the NIT or lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. What do you think?
Jay Bilas (1:53 PM)
Lose in the First Round. I would rather be in the NCAA Tournamet than play in the NIT.
Now that we have established what everyone should not care about, what should we care about?
Jay Bilas (1:56 PM)
Fair point. I am not telling you what to care about. You can fret all you want about whether people like you. In fact, if you wish to ball up into the fetal position wondering whether people like you, feel free. And, if you wish to lose sleep over one and dones, which none of us can do anything about, you can certainly do that, as well. Have at it.Earthquakes. Worry about earthquakes. And locusts. Worry about locusts. Also, the price of gas. Worry about that. So much worrying. Who has the time?
All I know is the entire state of Rhode Island was behind the Rams in the NIT, I've never seen so many people collectively angry at the refs for that no-call trip vs. UNC in the semi's.
Jay Bilas (1:57 PM)
Different quesiton, isn't it? Would you not have cared about a First Round NCAA Tourney game with the Rams?
Jay Bilas (1:57 PM)
Gotta go. Thanks for the hour. Really enjoyed it. Thank you!! Best, Bilas