Chat with Dick Vitale
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale stops by to chat some college basketball.
Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style.
Send your questions now and join Vitale Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Dick Vitale (11:03 AM)
Tonight, the draft, a lot of teams chasing dreams. Kids chasing dreams. I feel that the talent level is probably as weak as I've seen in my 30 years at ESPN. I think there's a reason for that. A lot of the upper echelon kids that would have been top 5 picks decided to come back to school. But you never know. You don't know how the kids will develop. The draft will be dominated by the PG position. I'll be on SC on 2, 3, 6 and I'll be on ESPNEWS during the draft.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
Mr. Vitale. Will you be calling the game in San Diego between UNC and Michigan St. on an aircraft carrier?
Dick Vitale (11:04 AM)
I'm excited about it. It will be a special event. The combination of being on the carrier and letting our service people see the game up close. It will be exciting. Great way to kick off college basketball.
How good do you think the fighting illini will be next year?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Illinois' expectations were great last year. I thought they underachieved. they seemed to have a chemistry problem. This is a critical year for Bruce Weber. I think they have the talent level to be an upper echelon team in the Big Ten.
What is Derrick's percentage of going number 1?? Will his ex broken finger actually be in consideration?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
I think No. 1 is almost cemented as Kyrie Irving. That doesn't take away from Derrick. He'll be a good player in the NBA. But in the league right now you need to be good at the PG position. It would be hard to pass that up.
Would guys like Darius Morris, Jereme Richmond, and Tyler Honeycutt have been top-10 picks if they had decided to stay in school for an extra year or two?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Tough to say because with the kids that did stay in school, next year could be a strong year. But having said that, those kids could have used another year. Sitting on the pine somewhere instead of playing somewhere would have helped. But if you get first round money, you don't know someone's financial situation.
daniel ft.lauderdale [via mobile]
How do you see Memphis shaping up this year?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
Memphis is going to have a real good team. They're going to have an athletic team. I look for them to have a very talented, deep basketball team. They have some good recruits coming in. Josh Pastner is going to have a good year. He's a rising star.
jason kinman dry ridge, ky [via mobile]
Do u think that UK has the potential to be better than last years final four team?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
Absolutely. Even though they went to the Final Four. I thought Calipari did a masterful job after losing five guys to the NBA. Talent wise, he has a deeper team and more talented team than last year's team. But there is a luck factor as well.
Dickey V, will jamie dixon ever lead pitt to a final four? Getting real tired of the tournament busts every year.
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
Absolutely. I thought last year that they had the team that could have done it. One real bad play at the end of the game against Butler created a nightmare scenario for them. Dixon communicates well, teaches well. They defend. Any time you do that, you have a chance to win.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Do you enjoy the NBA Draft or do you watching thinking it would be a much better decision if some of the younger guys went back to college for at least another year to improve?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
I've said it so many times and it goes on deaf ears. I think the whole landscape of the game of basketball would improve if we were to adapt the rules of MLB. A handful of guys are ready out of high school, let them go. But once you step on to the campus in college, you have to stay three years.
Will the UNC-MSU game be a blowout like it was a Ford Field a few years ago? Seems like UNC will be loaded while MSU will be in a small rebuilding mode.
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Yeah, but Tom Izzo's kids will challenge them and play with emotion. The scene will bring out some intensity and passion. That gets the adrenaline flowing. On talent right now, there's no doubt that UNC is the most talented.
Joel Jacksonville, Fl [via mobile]
Dick, congrats on getting a court named after you. How do you see Louisville doing next year? You think they could win the big east?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
Louisville is going to be a better team in terms of talent. You never underestimate Rick Pitino. They had the slip in the tournament, but they had a very good year, even in the loaded Big East. But the Big East will be loaded again this year. There is never a cupcake or automatic. They will be in the upper echelon in the Big East.
Dicki V, can you ever see coach Calipari winning one at Kentucky? He recruits the best class year in and year out but majority of his players are all one and dones. It seems as though his players would rather try and raise their draft stock then actually get some hardware.
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
I would agree. That's a pretty good assesment and analysis. It's hard to get consistency and a rhythm. But with that said, they still got to the Final Four. So, can he? Yes, but it is harder with the formula that he has for success. When you have guys coming in and out like that, it's hard to get into a rhythm. But the talent is so good, they make up for those liabilities.
Jasmine(SC) [via mobile]
Michigan state was last years pick to win it all most people thought,but played nowhere near its potential. How do you see them fairing this year.
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
It's a different team this year. They lost some players. They were hurt by transfers, injuries, suspensions. That all created a problem. They'll have a new team this year. I have such faith in Tom Izzo. He's a hall of fame coach.
Jake newnan, ga [via mobile]
How good do you think Kansas will be next year?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Kansas has such pride. They lost the Morris kids and some others, but they will always put together a team in the Big 12. You have the tradition, talent, coaching, it usually equals a big year. They re-load and this year will be no different.
Jason (Dbq, IA) [via mobile]
Do you think Colorado can put together a tourney capable team after losing Burks to the draft and 3 quality seniors?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
They're getting some players in. Their staff has done a heckuva job recruiting. The inroads they made last year was unbelievable. They will be formidable. They'll be tough to deal with in the Pac-12. Those teams will find that playing in Boulder is not easy.
Amaan (New Jersey)
WHy is there even discussion and controversy of the possibility the Kyrie Irving will be the Number One overall draft pick? What could anyone question about him besides the limited stints at Duke due to the injury but he should a lot of flash in the games he did play in. If the Cavs are looking for star talent to replace Lebron James, why not go with Derrick Williams?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
In today's NBA, you need to be efficient at the PG. With the Cavaliers having so many needs, why not fill that spot and build around a guy I think will be a 10-year player in the NBA?
Does Wisconsin have a good team this year?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Absolutely. You have a guard coming back that's going to be first team all american. They're tough to beat at home. There is no coach in America that gets more out of his people. That's the true definition of a coach. Bo Ryan does a great job in that area.
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I just want to say, I'm looking forward to the draft tonight. I like Thompson, Fredette. And the reason is they make shots. I think Fredette will be a better NBA player than people think. I think Utah would love to see him at 12. Thompson is becoming maybe another Reggie Miller. He has great range. I think it's the draft of the PGs. Follow me on Twitter: @dickiev.