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 (11:10 AM)
Good morning, good to be back with you. It has been an incredible week in terms of reaction to Indiana-Kentucky. Most fans are passionate and objective in the bluegrass state but some of the tweets I have rceeived makes you wonder about the mentality. Other people play basketball too and they have a tough time accepting a loss. Some fans have said they have to move on, but others, wow. They will learn from this and I just spoke to John Calipari ad he said he tipped his hat to Indiana and they made plays when they had to. This proves that a loss doesn't kill you. North Carolina wasn't hurt by the loss to Kentucky. It will all sort itself out by March. Then you had the ugly incident between Xavier and Cincinnati. I do not agree with the athletic director who said Tu Holloway got just one game because he did not throw a punch. According to reports, there was trash talking beyond...then the press conference when you said gangsters zipped it up, that is worth a two-game suspension. Mick Cronin was all over things though I did not like the stomping and punching. Those kids will miss one Big East game...
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
Tim Abromaitis was suspended four games for playing in an exhibition and those guys got a little more for that? It is Christmas time so let's get positive. I just had a Christmas party at my house for Boys and Girls club and it was special. Tis the season, watching them open gifts. Go to Bradenton.com to read more. Let's talk hoops baby!
Justin (Columbus , ohio)
Ohio state vs. Kansas , with sullinger....different outcome?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
It is tough to project but when you take him out of the lineup, it was tough. Salute Kansas and playing at the Phog is tough. Give the Jayhawks credit for doing what they were supposed to do.
scott (us army)
Hey there MR Vitale!! Im a huge marquette fan and would like your opinion on how far do you think they will go this year? And how much do you think chris otule injury will hurt them especially with conferance play coming up and so many tough games on the road in the big beast? Keep being you baaabbbyyy. Much love from the front line troops!!!!!
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
It is obvious that they are doing well. Athletic, tough, balanced. We will see how good they are in conference play. I think they will be one of the elite teams in the Big East and that is a tribute to Buzz Williams. He has built on what Tom Crean has initiated. The Otule injury is a blow, hurts the depth and frontcourt...
What did you think about Ben Howland getting rid of Reeves Nelson and will UCLA compete to win the Pac-12?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
It has been a tough start for UCLA. Good win last night. Nelson has been an enigma and it is time for him to look in the mirror and get his life in order. Howland would have loved to have a Nelson who did things the right way and did not have the attitude issues that took place. He is a talented kid. There is time for UCLA to turn things around, in conference play.
Do you think theBig East is a little down this season
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
When you compare it to where it has been. A lot of leagues would love to be where the Big East is now. It is still one of the top leagues in basketball with Connecticut, Syarcuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Marquette. It is not as strong from top to bottom as in the past. Next year it takes a hit without Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
Dickie V: Congrats on the naming of the Court at Detroit. Does Ohio State have enough depth to go deep into the tournament? Matta has not had a history of developing a long bench and the injury to Sullinger demonstrates the risks involved in not developing younger players by tournament time. I understand OSU has some good but raw youngsters.
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
It was a great honor to have the court named after me, it was truly emotional. Thanks for your kind words. Ohio State is one of the elite teams, and there is a separation with the Buckeyes, North Carolina, Syracuse, Connecticut and Kentucky up there, and then the likes of Duke, Pittsburgh, Xavier, etc. Ohio State has talent in key areas with Craft, Buford and Sullinger. They will be heard from for sure.
Wasn't that Hoosier game one of the greatest ever... nothing better than seeing you going crazy!!! Do you think Indiana can really be a Big Ten title contender?
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
I think that Indiana has a realistic goal of getting into the big dance and be one of the better teams in the league. They have to win their home games and try to steal a couple of games on the road. I think a realistic goal is top five in the Big Ten which would mean a bid to the big dance. Ohio State and Wisconsin are going to be very tough. Michigan and Michigan State are very good too. Keep an eye on Purdue. The league is loaded, baby!
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
By the way two of my favorites to watch are Robbie Hummel and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Hummel has been a tough-luck player. He does so many things well and plays so hard. Those kids are warriors and winners. Sullinger does things the right way and is a winner.
Rick (North Carolina)
If State can knock off Syracuse, does that put the rest of the ACC on notice that the Pack may really be back?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
That is going to be an interesting game and a tough assignment for Mark Gottfried's team. Obviously, if the Wolfpack does what Indiana did against Kentucky last week that would create a lot of excitement and a buzz down in Raleigh. Right now the ACC is top heavy and we will see whether it is Virginia, Florida State, NC State or another team that develops into the third and fourth best teams in the conference.
Dan Shulman (ESPN)
"Jones...Watford for the win....YES! YES!"
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
It was an exciting moment and a great atmosphere. The security did a great job protecting us after that wild celebration.
Who is the best diaper dandy you have seen so far this season? Davis, Rivers, Zeller?
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
You named three pretty good ones. Right now I would give the slightest of edges to Davis at kentucky. He can do so many things which impact a game.
Is this the year the Tide gets back in the tourney? There have been some good moments and some tough ones so far
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
I think Anthony Grant has done a solid job down there. It is more than just football when fans yell Roll Tide these days and it is tough to win if you are an opponent coming into Coleman Coliseum. I like Green, Mitchell and company and they should be dancing this season. The SEC is tough with Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi State and now that Ezeli is back, you will hear a lot from Vanderbilt.
Tom (Saint Louis)
Thoughts on Rick Majerus' team this year?
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
The Billikens are off to a good start. Xavier and Temple were the favorites in the league but Saint Louis opened some eyes by being up 25 at half against Washington. Also look at the win over Villanova. Give a salute to St. Joe's in the A-10 as improving wit the win over a very good Creighton team. Majerus eats, drinks and sleeps hoops. He draws up plays while he is eating out at an Italian restaurant. He loves the sport.
Are Wichita State and Creighton both top 25 teams this year and good bets for the Big Dance? I watched the K-State - West Virginia game and Wichita State looks like it could handle either team. WSU has much better guard play than what I saw from K-State or West Virginia.
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
I think the Missouri Valley has several teams to keep an eye on. I do feel that Creighton and Wichita State are among the best 68 teams in America and that the league will produce several bids to the big dance. McDermott is underrated in national circles.
Dusty (St. Louis)
If Thomas Robinson keeps playing the way he has, is he a 1st team All-American?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Yes, he has been one of the best big players in America so far this season. Bill Self has to be thrilled with his performances.
What do you think of Villanova this season?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I like what I saw from Malik Wayns when I watched him a the Garden. He will have the ball in his hands a lot and will score his share of points. Jay Wright, who we will be honoring at our Dickie V gala next May, has a good team but the Big East is so, so tough. The Wildcats will probably finish somewhere in the middle of the pack and compete for an NCAA berth.
Do you think Isiah Thomas can turn around the program at FIU? They have looked bad this year. Do you think he's 100% committed?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
FIU almost beat Maryland last night. I believe he is trying to build the program down there but it is never easy.
what's more impressive by a mid-major ? VCU and George Mason final 4 run. or the racers going 32-0?
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
It is a little early to say Murray State will go 32-0. Let's give credit to the Racers and it was a big win over Memphis.
Draymond Green took over the Kennel saturday night. What are his chances to Big Ten POY?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
Green shows versatility and is a hard worker. I would give the nod to Sullinger for Big Ten Player of the Year over him but Green has certainly played well and Michigan State has raised its level. That was a super performance against a very good Gonzaga team, and it happened at a very tough place to play.
Zack Bauer (Portland, Maine)
Hey, Dick: UNC's last 2 championship teams featured similar style players at the point. Both Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson were punishingly fast and could also shoot the ball effectively. Do you think Carolina can win with Marshall, who is the best passer in the game but whose offense is practically non-existent?
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
Marshall will have to score and also play solid defense on the perimeter for the Tar Heels. You are right that Lawson and Felton were a little different, especially Lawson's scoring ability on that team. Carolina will be right up there with the elite teams.
Hi Dick, I have been trying to tweet multiple analysts from multiple sports stations and no one wants to answer my question. Everyone is publicly tearing down XU-UC for not doing enough with their suspensions. However, no one is coming out and saying anything about the A-10 and Big East conferences for not doing more. If the suspensions were so light as most people think, then why didn't the conferences step in and add more games? Why haven't sports analysts brought this up instead of just blaming the schools?
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
That is an interesting question. It is my understanding that the conferences signed off on the punishments given by Mick Cronin and Chris Mack, two outstabnding coaches. I don't think anyone was happy with that situation. I just feel that when you throw punches like that, the lessons after the fact have to come through harsh punishment. If that happened on the street you would be arrested. It was a black eye for college hoops. Time to move on.
Dick Vitale (11:45 AM)
I am excited to be going back to Indiana to call the Hoosiers and Irish this weekend with my buddy Dan Shulman. Follow me on twitter at twitter/dickie v. If you are buying flowers or gifts this time of year, go to coast-to-coastflowers.com and click on the V code at checkout and 10 percent of your order will be donated to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Come on people, we must beat that dreaded disease. Let's all unite in the cause. Thanks for your questions, enjoy the games this weekend and see you back here chatting next week. You are awesome, baby with a capital A!