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 (11:05 AM)
Good to be back with you. Talk about workaholics, our recruiting guys at ESPN do an incredible job. Paul Biancardi, Dave Telep and the guys work around the clock. Check out their latest rankings. I hear Duke played well in Chona and it gave the freshmen a chance to learn about playing with pressure in the Duke uniform. People come out and play at a different level when they see Duke, Carolina, Kentucky in hooops, or Alabama in football. They have to rise to the challenge. I am getting a lot of reaction about my All-America teams and people debate and rationalize about my teams. I also put up a tweet and seeing Little League kids throwing curveballs. I got a lot of response about that. To me, the risk is too great and too many coaches want instant gratification and the kid puts strain on his arm and elbow. By the age of 14 and 15 the arm is gone.
David (New York)
What do you think about Uconn this Year?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
The defending chanmps will be a top 10 team. I think Jeremy Lamb will have great year and could average 20 ppg. Shabazz Napier will elevate his game. Alex Oriakhi will be a force in the middle. They will always defend well and the only dilemma is the league is so, so tough.
Dick, who will be the best team out west this year?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
Good question. There are some quality teams when you think of UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Gonzaga. The Huskies will be young but talented. I think it is a toss-up out there. I look for a big year out of the Zags. They play a tough schedule out there in pre-conference but I look for big things from Elias Harris and company. He can lead a contingent that can really score but they have to defend consistently.
Vidal (St. Peterberg)
Why do you hate foreign players so much?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
What kind of statement is that? Are you off your rocker. I have praised so many foreign players. I think we sometimes overrate them for the NBA draft and American players get scrutinized for what thwey do wrong. Where did you get this feeling from? I don't mean to be disrespectful. I do question some kids at draft time. I love Dirk Nowitzki.
How good is Brad Stevens and how will he do without Mack and Howard this year.
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
They lose two quality players. If the standard is to get to the Final Four, he did it two years in a row. Butler will be the class again in the Horizon. Stevens is a proven leader and winner and he is on everybody'sist as one of the best. They will be good with Marshall and Smith returning, and next year they get Rotnei Clarke in, a great shooter who transferred from Arkansas.
Dicky V What are the chances Georgia wins the SEC this upcoming year?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
It will be tough for Mark Fox but he has done a great job revitalizing the program. When you see the strength of the conference and Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Alabama it will be tough. He lost some good players too. He has done a better job than I thought he would from Nevada. He has done it with great discipline and they play very hard. I just think it will be tough to win the league.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (@CheeseheadSN)
It is tough to hear the Pat Summitt news. I always thought it would be interesting to see her coach a men's college basketball program but unfortunately it looks like that will no longer be possible. What is your favorite Pat Summitt story?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
If you want to read a story to bring you to tears, see Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. I have such respect and admiration for her. If anyone can battle this disease it is her. She is a champion in everything she does and is such a classy lady. Say a prayer for her.
Vidal (St. Peterberg)
No disrespect taken, but I do feel that it might be a misconception about you then because the comments during the draft makes it seem like you didn't like foreign players or dont want them to succeed. Again its just a perception I might of had but I respect your response and maybe see you in a different light on the subject. Thanks.
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
Thank you for your thoughts. I respect your right to your opinion but I do not hate foreign players at all.
Matt Sufficool (Brooksville, FL)
With a new basketball training center and a soon to be renovated Sun Dome, can USF (the toughest hoops job in America) become a winner in the Big East? Thanks, Dicky
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
Very difficult challenge. The improved facility will help. Any time you compete in a league with the likes of Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Villanova, Notre Dame, St. John's and so on, it is tough to win on a consistent basis. The recruiting will be aided by the improved facilities.
kevin (macon ga)
Are you surprised at how much Nolan Richardson struggled as a WNBA coach?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
It is a matter of talent. At the pro level, you don't win without talent. Nolan Richardson knows how to gett he most out of his talent and is a winner.
Richie (New Jersey)
I heard you are coming down for a Jimmy V dinner...how special is it coming back to the Garden Satte, baby!
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I am really excited about it. It is a welcome home and I wills ee a lot of friends and people who played a vital part of my career. Former giants player Tom Longo is the chair of the event. For tickets call Tommy at 201-410-0321. It should be a great evening. Or call Joyce at te V Foundation a 1-800-4-jimmyv. All the money will go tor aising dollars for cancer research or go to jimmyv.org or dickvitaleonline.com. It is at the Brownstone House in West Patterson, New Jersey on September 30th.
Dickie V: Is the Pope a Duke or Carolina man?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
Tell you one think, it was one of the thrills of my life and I cannot tell you how special it was. It is crossed off my bucket list. Pope Benedict is probably a Dirk Nowitzki fan.
Isn't it sad that Jio Fontan is out for the season? Getting hurt in an exhibition game is tough.
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
That was a mjor loss. He came on strong last year as a transfer from Fordham. Miami lost Reggie Johnson and the scrutiny of the program. Johnson and Fontan are big losses.
It seems as if you never age. What is your secret?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
I don't know about that. I fel about 15 until I look in the mirror. I have always tried to eat wel, fruits and vegetables and exercise religiously every day. I walk and play tennis and it helps alleviate stress. You get bumps and bruises. I hurt my knee yesterday and took a cortisone shot. I am energetic and I appreciate people. I try to start each day and scribble down what I want to achieve each day. I make a list, tweet, update my facebook page, look at teams, have a challenge and get excited about being productive every day.
Leonard Kravitz (Tampa )
In the future do you think there will be a "Jimmer Effect" He chose to come back for the 4th year, became a national celebrity and rose his stock in the NBA draft and probably made tons more money with endorsements by staying all 4 years people know him and like him and will more players continue to play all 4 years due to Jimmer?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
I think it depends on the player. If a kid likes school he may want to stay all four years. You do not see many kids stay all four years and get drafted high, which is sad in a way.
Cohete (Waukesha, WI)
Dickie V, how good can Marquette be this year baby?!? Without Jimmy Butler, who needs to step up their game the most this season?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Buzz Williams has done a solid job and his kids fight hard night in and night out. I think Darius Johnson-Odom can have a big year and be the leader as Marquette should be a top 25 team, though they will be different without Butler, who went in the first round of the draft.
Hope to see you at the Carrier Dome this year with 30,000 of our friends. It seems that it is inevitable that the era of mega conferences will be in our future. I agree this will really destroy March Madness as we know it. If so, wouldn't it be better to do the conference realignment now and be done with it so we don't have to deal with this year in and year out? Is there any steps the NCAA can do to keep the status quo?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
That is not really up to the NCAA. I do not think anything will destroy March Madness because it has become so special and people are so into it. By the way, the Carrier Dome should be rocking and rolling all season as I have Hall of Famer Jimmy Boeheim having a top 5 team.
Dickie V Wannabe (Cali)
Do you have any thoughts about the ruckus between Georgetown and the Chinese Professional Team? Was Duke's win over the Chinese national Team significant?
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
I was sorry to see what happened between Georgetown and their opponent but it was good to see both sides met the next day and cooler heads prevailed. Duke's trip is important to get experience together as a unit.
Is Michigan ready to take the next step and compete for B10 titles & a consistent NCAA tourney team?
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
The Wolverines will be a dangerous team this season. Tim Hardaway Jr. was on my all-solid gold team and I think he will be a key. They have a few tough games before Big Ten play and it will be interesting to see their confidence level going into conference play.
Alex (Louisville Baby!)
Hey Dick! i've been doing a lot of looking ahead into the 2011-2012 season and i would almost think that the cards have too much talent! Rick's squad consists of about 17 players, with that much potential, will that effect the playing time of big name players like Kuric and Deing?
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
I think Louisville will have a very good season. I know Rick is confident with the talent he has. Again it is so tough in the Big East, but I feel Louisville fans will be happy at the end of the campaign.
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
I am a big baseball fan and it will be interesting to see how the Rangers vs. Angels plays out. Boston just did a number on Texas. Many of the races seem to be over. I would love to see the Rays make a little run down the stretch. In basketball, I love seeing those recruiting ratings and seeing which teams have added top prospects. I also love giving my views every dat on twitter and facebook. I love your feedback on my all-solid gold teams, which are up at espn.com/dickiev. Have a great week.