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)
I'm happy to be back with you this morning for this chat...Happy holidays to everyone out there...Just got back from the City of Palms annual HS tournament. Spoke to the crowd before the game and that was a thrill. Saw some incredible talent last night and remember these names as you will here a lot from them in college-- Julius Randle, 6-8, one of the premier juniors from Prestonwood Christian in Texas. Nerlans Noel, a shotblocker extraordinaire from Tilton in NH...they will be major impact players in two years. Saw great potential, 7-1 Isiah Austin who is going to Baylor.
Are you surprised with the Indiana Hoosiers start this season and how far do you see this team going?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
I am not surprised at all. Great win over Kentucky...other than that, they beat everyone they should, with maybe NC State being the lone exception. I was a little surprised with the win over Kentucky. Cody Zeller is the real deal. They have to sustain it by finishing in the upper echelon of the Big Ten and earn that NCAA tourney bid.
Rich (Wooster, Mass.)
I think the A-10 is really underrated this season...thoughts?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Yes it is. Saint Louis, St. Joe's beat Creighton and Villanova. Dayton just lost to Seton Hall, my alma mater which is now 10-1 and deserves a salute, but Dayton is dangerous, just ask Alabama. Then you have Xavier and Temple up top, so the league is tough.
Scott (San Antonio)
You got some SUPER-SOPHS this season, Perry Jones III, Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, and Jeremy Lamb. Who means the most to their team? And who's cutting down the nets in March?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
They all do. The loss of Sullinger if he is not healthy would be a major blow. If you took away any of them, it would hurt the goal of winning the national championship, which is the goal of all four teams.
Dick:What is your take on Marquette's loss to LSU? Is this a bad loss or an expected hick-up in a long season? Will this affect them in March seeding?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Obviously it is tought o sustain the unblemished record. Turner was hot and LSU needed as win badly. This may help ge Marquette to refocus. Johnson-Odom was suspended the game before and it may have affected chemistry. That said, I want to add that the court down at LSU should be named after Dale Brown. He meant so much for the school in getting it notoriety.
Hey Dick! My cards sure did struggle against C of Cha, in your mind, are they a top 5 team? This is the first year i wasn't sold on my own favorite team! , thanks
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Right now they have earned that right. We will see whent hey face Georgetown and Kentucky. That is the type of game that will show if they are top 5. I disagree with you on the Charleston game, that is not cupcake city as Bobby Cremins has a very talented team. Louisville came back and showed a lot winning that game. Injuries to Blackshear and Marra have hurt too.
How do you see the bragging rights game going down tonight between Mizzou and Illinois?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
You have to like Missouri's quickness and explosiveness. Illinois wants to make up for the loss at the United Center to UNLV and a close game vs Cornell. Ratliffe has given Missouri solid play inside too. This will be an exciting game and Bruce Weber wants a win badly.
Could it be the best team in the state of Tennessee is not Memphis, Vanderbilt or Tennessee but maybe Middle Tennessee State, baby! How about some love for the Blue Raiders!
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
You can make that claim. It may be a down year but I think memphis has a wealth of talent and can solve its problems on defense. Cuonzo Martin inherited a team where the cupboard was bare. Right now you could say Middle Tennessee State is up there and Kermit Davis' team just beat Mississippi. They beat UCLA out west too. In the end, I think it will be Memphis.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Do you think SLU is a good team to go watch this year? I would like to go watch them play this year.
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
Yes, I just got a note from Rick Majerus and I am glad he is doing well. He is putting the pieces together and he is a great tactician. He will put together a great run in the Atlantic 10.
FSU/UF tonight, will FSU's length bother UF? Love your work Dicky V...
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
hat will bother them for a while but the perimeter play will be too much. The Rowdy Reptiles will be fired up. Florida State has had some trouble scoring points. I give the edge to Billy Donovan's Gators.
Harry (Kansas City )
Some teams get better during the long season. Please tell us who you think those teams will be. Thanks, Merry Christmas.
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
I think Memphis will get better. Washington should be better than they have demonstrated. UCLA is playing better.
How do you feel about my MSU Bulldogs? Moultrie and Bost look All-SEC caliber, Sidney has put together 3 double digit point games in a row, and the antics of last year seem way behind us. If we can take down Baylor next week, will that start to get people talking about a possible Elite Eight run for us?
Dick Vitale (11:24 AM)
I liked what I saw when I did their game at Madison Square Garden earlier in the season. Rick Stansbury's team has talent and they have been playng together as a team. Sidney doesn't have to put up huge numbers for them to win. I agree that Bost is one of the most valuable players to his team in the SEC. Hood has given solid play as a diaper dandy. There have been a few closer games than expected. If Mississippi State plays to its potential, it deserves to be ranked. The Baylor game will be a great test.
an Jim Larranaga get the job done at the U?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I think he can. He has been super at George Mason and it may take a little time. He does have Reggie Johnson back now and that is a plus. The game against Florida Atlantic was a Maalox Masher. I like the guard tandem of Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant. Miami could make a run at the upper echelon on the ACC. The 'Canes also got Jones back recently and that could help.
Jason (Ellicott City, MD)
Buy or sell Georgetown? Do they beat Memphis again tonight?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
The next few games will tell us more about the Hoyas. The rematch with Memphis and then the game against Louisville will tell us a lot. John Thompson III's team deserves credit for beating Memphis and Alabama and the lone loss came against Kansas out in Maui. Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson have to produce for this team to win.
Dre Michigan [via mobile]
Is this the best Syracuse team since 03? An can they cut down the nets I'm march?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
There is a lot of talent and depth, but the Orange have not really been tested much. Stanford was a close game at the Garden, and after falling behind early at NC State, Jim Boeheim's team showed a lot in the win at Raleigh. hey have many different scoring threats. I like Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph a lot. This team should be number one right now but there are a lot of challenges ahead in the Big East. This is a very good team and I had them in the top five in the preseason, so I am not surprised with the good start.
The same Davidson team that beat Kansas on Monday got drilled by Charlotte. Niners are young but rising, can they break the A10 Top 4 this season?
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
There are some challenges ahead too, plus the A-10 is good. We will see against the likes of Memphis and Arkansas coming up. It is good to see Charlotte playing better.
RickDVD (Aberdeen, MD)
Any soon-to-be eligible players who could make an impact and really help a team?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
I think you have seen a few guys back that will help. Kevin Ware adds some depth to Louisville. Reggie Johnson is a difference maker in the paint for Miami as he is back from his knee injury. St. John's has been shorthanded and now has Amir Garrett, a top 100 recruit, eligible. There are a handful of guys coming back from injuries too.
What do you think of the Ohio Bobcats win on Tuesday? they are 10-1 with only dropping a tight game to Louisville, is this team for real?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
John Groce has done a really good job there. Ohio almost beat Louisville in that game as it was a real defensive dogfight. The MAC has some quality teams and the Bobcats should be up there.
joe (new jersey)
hey dickie v....Is seton hall for real this year? can they actually make the dance?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I salute my alma mater. I was really thrilled earlier this season when I was honored won in Patterson, New Jersey and coach Kevin Willard presented me with a chair from the Pirates bench. Herb Pope is experienced and a factor up front. The win over Dayton was a good one. I think the Hall could surprise some people in the Big East and finish above their preseason ranking in the conference.
i'm curious to hear your thoughts on calhoun's coming stretch on the bench, and what that means to a team that is just starting to really gel..
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
Coach Calhoun will be back on January 7th and the Huskies have experience on the bench with George Blaney and Glenn Miller. This team is getting used to playing together and Andre Drummond seems like a different player with the goggles off. I have said all along that Jeremy Lamb is one of the premier scorers in the nation. Shabazz Napier is an outstanding passer and leader. I think the Huskies will be fine even with Calhoun on the sidelines and sitting out the three-game suspension.
Quinn (Omaha) [via mobile]
How good do you think Doug McDermott (Dougie) can be? A few coaches have already thrown out comparisons between him and the great Larry Bird.
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
He had 35 vs. Tulsa on Monday and he has been super for the Blue Jays this season. I don't know about comparing him to Larry Legend, as that is pretty high praise. McDermott has been one of the premier players among mid-majors this season. I thought going into the season Creighton could be a sleeper team and they have been super.
Jon (Victor, NY)
Any under-the-radar teams we should watch going into conference play? KSU strikes my eye, as does UVA and LSU. Thanks and Merry Xmas!
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
We will find out which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
Happy holidays to all of the fans out there. Ireally enjoy spending time with you doing these chats. I hope that Santa brings you all of the gifts you want. To all of my Jewish friends out there, I want to wish you a Happy Chanukah. To everybody, I hope we see world peace, health and happiness to all in the future. God bless, talk to you next week.