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)
Good to be back with you. We are now down to two unbeaten teams--Syracuse and Murray State--so we will see which one stays unblemished. Baylor fell and now has to face a good Missouri team. Now we find out the pretenders and contenders and sort them out. Indiana has to see how they respond after losing three in a row. The A-10 and Mountain West don't get enough credit. They are both better than the Pac-12, though those teams will get better in the future. Also salute Cincinnati and South Florida.
Dick, after last night's loss to UCF do you think Memphis will be able to turn things around this season or does it seem inevitable we will see a new champion emerge from C-USA like UCF, Marshall, or So. Miss?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Marshall got blown out by West Virginia as Kevin Jones was phenomenal. Memphis came in on a roll so it is a great win for Central Florida. The league is better than in the past and on paper you still have to like the talent level of the kids on Memphis. There is great competition in the Conference USA ranks this season.
Dick , Do you think Alabama has a chance to beat Kentucky at Rupp Saturday?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
Very tough to go into Rupp and beat them. Davis is playing off the charts and Calipari has not lost at home there. Alabama will fight and scrap and play hard but it is tough to beat Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist as they are as good a pair of diaper dandies together as you will find over the last decade. I think Kentucky will have a battle but will keep rolling.
Zack Travis (Lancaster,ky) [via mobile]
Who do you think the player of the year will be?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
Right now, Thomas Robinson is on a roll though Anthony Davis has closed the gap. Don't count out Doug McDermott of Creighton as he has had a great year. I know some will say mid-major but he has been a PTP'er.
Do the Virginia Cavaliers get enough credit?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Virginia is a team that has to prove it can win on the road against ACC competition. They had a 12-game win streak before the tough loss in Duke. Mike Scott is one of the top five players in the conference. Just keep winning and the Cavaliers will get all the credit in the world.
Alex Stambler (Syracuse)
where do you think syracuses bench lineup would rank in the country
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
I would say Waiters, Southerland, Fair, Keita would be a legitimate in the 20-30 mix. That si saying a lot and that's how good Waiters is. Waiters is absolutely sensational. If he played 30-35 minutes a game, he would be among the elite. It is like Thomas Robinson last year playing 14 minutes a game and then coming back and being one of the leading candidates for Player of the Year. If Waiters comes back, he will be like that next season.
Grant K (Erie, PA)
Dick, do you think that Ohio State has enough weapons to win a national title?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
Absolutely, especially on a neutral floor. Sullinger, Buford and Craft are as good a triangle as there is and factor in Smith Jr. and Thomas and this team will be heard from in March and maybe, April.
Is Murray State overrated?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Are there teams out there better? They might struggle with the top teams but ratings are based on who is hot at the moment. The only rating that counts is in March Madness. It is great for debates, Facebook, Twitter, talk radio, and Murray State is being rewarded for its performance against certain competition. Let's keep giving credit to Steve Prohm doing a super job in his first season as the head coach of the Racers.
How long do you think it will take Texas to be legitimate contenders agian?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
Played Kansas State tough last night. Thjey are getting the most out of their people. Losing Thompson, Hamilton and Joseph, that is a major threesome to lose early. JCovan Brown is scoring for them, Kabongo contributes on the perimeter. Rick Barnes has his kids playing hard, with purpose and understanding the game. Texas will be back up among the elite soon as he is a solid recruiter too.
Do you think Iowa State is tourney bound?
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
They are a club the is right there. They need to turn the corner to get close wins. They have the opportunity to face some good clubs. You get no prize for finishing close my friends, except in horseshoes. Fred Hoiberg has done a good job with a number of transfers and it was a great win on the three-pointer at the buzzer against Oklahoma State last night.
POY Pollster (Lexington, KY)
Hey Dickie, I'm the only one who gave Anthony Davis a first place vote for POY!!! The kid leads the top 4 candidates in all of the following categories: fg pct., blocks, steals, turnovers, off. rebounds, floor pct. (70%). He's 2nd in pts. per possession, fouls committed, def. rebounds, total rebounds. How many more votes does he receive in the next poll? Is he your POY?
Dick Vitale (11:24 AM)
Davis is up there, though right now Robinson is my pick. Davis has been the premier diaper dandy. He is lived up to all of the billing out of high school and more. He has already broken the school record for blocked shots and had 27 points vs Arkansas. I asked last night if you were starting a team and could go with most of the best, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tweeted back that it was easy, Anthony Davis. It tells you a lot about him as a teammate. Davis got the most tweets and you cannot put a number on the value of his intimidation as a shot blocker. His length, timing, who is polishing up hiw offensive game as well. He has been a major factor.
Gus (Los Angeles)
I think its time to finally start looking at SDSU as a contender if you ask me. What do you think of last nights win over New Mexico? Do you think Steve Fisher is a finalist for the Coach of the Year if they win the Mountain West?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I agree, no question, Fisher is in the argument for Coach of Year. Losing four starters, including Kawhi Leonard, and to beat New Mexico on the road is impressive. I think this season the Mountain West is better than the Pac-12. The Aztecs have been a very underrated story in the nation.
Thoughts on Indiana?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Have to see how they respond to adversity., They must learn how to win away from home. They created excitement and enthusiasm at home but losing at Nebraska is a negative. They had a lead in that game last night. We will see how the young players respond.
Rusty Shackleford (Bronx) [via mobile]
Do you think St. Johns will get back on track?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
Tough situation with Lavin and lack of depth. Did beat Cincinnati. Good young talent with Harkless and Harrison. Wearing down a bit.
Nathan Allen (Atlanta, GA)
How about the job Mick Cronin has done since the Xavier brawl. Other than 'Cuse, has anybody in the country been more impressive since the start of conference play?
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
He has done a great job and Cincinnati has just one loss in league. Great win at Connecticut last night. Great shot by Kilpatrick and great job by Cronin letting his player go for the shot instead of a timeout.
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I have had people teasing me about my commercial with Bridgestone Tires. I really had to work hard to study my lines for that! I hope you like it. Follow me on Twitter.com/dickiev. I am going to Connecticut to join Mike and Mike and Erin Andrews for a commercial shoot. I still act about 12 as I have so much fun. What a life, baby! Then it is off for the Oakland Zoo. Pittsburgh needs a win badly and they need to shoot the 3 better. They played Marquette tough and led on the road at half. Had it down to 4 vs. Syracuse. They need a win desperately. Louisville is 2-4 in Big East play and ned to win away from the Yum Center so this is a gigantic game for them. They have to find a way to win. They have had injury and shooting dilemmas. Something has to give. Tomorrow the Missouri vs Baylor game. Can Baylor come back after being dominated by Kansas. Baylor size vs. Missouri speed. We will see how Florida State does at Duke this weekend. See you next week.