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Roundball Chatter


• A lot of people have asked me what happened to the ACC? For the first time since 1979, the conference has less than two teams in the Sweet 16. North Carolina, a number one seed, was the only one of seven ACC schools in the big dance moving through two rounds. Just thinking out loud, I wonder if that fact that these teams beat each other up physically wore each other out. Every game is such a pounding, and that is an advantage in the way for a school like Memphis, that was hardly challenged in Conference USA. How exhausting was it pouncing on people in that league? ACC teams went toe-to-toe and it wore on those squads physically, mentally and emotionally. I am not putting down what Memphis did because any school that can go unblemished in league play is special. Calipari certainly knows how to motivate his team.

• Out at Stanford, coach Trent Johnson received some good news when big man Brook Lopez said no to the NBA draft. His decision to return to Stanford was a real positive for the program. Trust me, by the end of next season, he will be a household name, a dominator. He will team up with his twin brother Robin as big factors for the Cardinal.

• Congratulations to Dr. Tom Davis on his retirement. He had a great career, coaching at Lafayette, Iowa, Stanford, Boston College and Drake, winning almost 600 games. Now his son Keno will take over at Drake, joining the likes of Sean Sutton (Oklahoma State) and Tony Bennett (Washington State) taking over for their fathers.

• Glen "Big Baby" Davis made his decision to move onto the NBA. He trimmed his body down and was in much better condition than a year ago. He made a wise decision to go back to school this season. Now is the time for him to move on and for LSU to go forward. I wish him all the best.

• I cannot understand it ... when is Louis Orr going to get another head coaching job? The former Seton Hall coach took the Pirates to the NCAA twice in a three-year span, yet he got a raw deal when he was let go. He would be an ideal candidate for many of the schools looking for a mentor.

• It was great to see that former Mississippi coach Rod Barnes and former Colorado coach Richardo Patton were hired as head coaches this week. The bounced back and earned the opportunity to do something they love coach. Patton will be in the Mid-American Conference, coaching the Huskies of Northern Illinois. That school has one of the best young athletic directors in America in Jim Phillips. Barnes will have a chance to compete in the Colonial Athletic Association with Georgia State. You can win there; just ask the lefthander, Mr. Lefty Driesell, who enjoyed some success at that school.

• There are some reports that Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet are considering that possibility and both would be smart to return to college next season. He can improve in many areas. Thabeet is absolutely not ready and he would be labeled for potential, potential, potential. He could be a one contract guy and gone if he left now. His offensive skills are lacking, and while he is a shot-blocker and rebounder, there is a lot of room for improvement. Scottie Reynolds of Villanova was thinking of going pro, and he made the right decision and will be back at school next year.

• People need to realize that former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker has a world of talent and ability. Things did not pan out with the Wolverines despite a winning record. There were a lot of factors involved and if you don't make the NCAA tournament over a long stretch, in this day and age it is costly. Michigan has to think about its lacking facilities in the future compared to other schools. Amaker also came in at a time where the school was overcoming the stigma of the Fab Five scandal. Amaker has class, integrity and a wealth of knowledge. He would definitely be worth another shot on the sidelines.

• Winthrop's Gregg Marshall made a wise decision when he turned down the College of Charleston job. Now he is one of the hot items with his name popping up all over the country. Schools like New Mexico, Minnesota and South Florida have given some interest in Marshall. His name will be on the lips of many Ads. That's what happens when you take a school in the Big South to seven NCAA tournaments in nine seasons!

•I felt it was a good decision out of Boston College to give athletic director Gene DeFilippo a contract extension through 2012. He has done a solid job there with all of the revenue-producing sports, creating a lot of interest among the Eagles alumni.

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