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Dickie V Notebook | Oct. 28, 2005

Tough luck for Sumpter
In recent years, Villanova has had some tough luck with injuries. The latest bit of bad news came when Curtis Sumpter suffered a knee injury.

I think about the tough times California's Leon Powe went through in rehabbing to get back on the court. I hope Powe has a big year ahead as he comes back from multiple surgeries.

Now it's Sumpter, who has worked so hard to come back from adversity (torn ACL vs. Florida in NCAA Tournament last season). Early in practice for the upcoming season, he reinjured his knee, and that is a major blow for the Wildcats. He should be out for the rest of the season.

Any time you lose a player of that stature, it is a major blow. Some people bring up how well Villanova played without him in the one-point loss to eventual champion North Carolina. That was a one-game scenario vs. an entire season.

Coach Jay Wright's 'Cats will still be a very good team with Allan Ray, Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry, Mike Nardi and Jason Fraser. There is still optimism on the Main Line.

Hopefully Sumpter will come back next season and finish strongly.

Tech gets Young
Down at Georgia Tech, Paul Hewitt has to be on cloud nine because the Ramblin' Wreck won the recruiting battle over Thaddeus Young. Many people felt that Kentucky, Arkansas or Memphis would get the 6-8 Young, rated among the top five prep players in America.

When he announced his decision, Young talked at length about the importance of academics as a factor in his choice. He also said he felt comfortable with Hewitt as his coach.

Hewitt has a magical way in the world of recruiting. He and his staff work diligently, and getting a player of his stature is a great victory for Georgia Tech.

Indiana loses Ratliff
At Indiana, where coach Mike Davis has to have everything going right, there was bad news when A.J. Ratliff suffered a broken thumb that should sideline him for the start of the season.

At least Davis doesn't have to deal with the same wacky scheduling that hampered his team last season.

Indiana needs depth to succeed, and the loss of Ratliff, a freshman standout last season, is a setback. It happened early enough that he can be ready to be a factor come Big Ten season.

Believe me, the league is much stronger this season. It will be a real challenge.

Sad to hear about Rossini's passing
Former NYU basketball coach Lou Rossini passed away recently. I don't know if people realize NYU was a dynamite program that I used to follow when I was coaching at the high school level in New Jersey.

Under Rossini, NYU produced a number of standouts, including Barry Kramer, Tom "Satch" Sanders and Happy Hairston. They made sweet music, and Kramer was one of my favorites.

Time just flies. Rossini had so much class and handled himself well when basketball was big on the NYU campus.

Our sympathies to coach Rossini's family and friends.

Sorry to see Granik leave
Reading about Russ Granik's decision to leave the NBA, I know his importance in the growth of the league. Granik has been a solid contributor to the NBA as David Stern's right-hand man.

Stern accepted a five-year extension, and it has been amazing to see the league's growth. Granik worked so diligently, and I would compare him on the college level to Tom Jernstedt, who has been an important man behind the scenes with the NCAA.

Guys like that are so valuable to their organizations. I know that Granik will be a big Orange fan. Even though he went to Harvard, his daughter is a Syracuse student!

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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