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Dick Vitale Archive


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Can Sutton make another run at Oklahoma State?

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

John Howard, Tulsa
Can Coach Sutton develop his young OSU players enough to make a conference championship run?

VITALE: When you look at what Oklahoma State has done since Eddie Sutton's arrival, obviously he is a very competitive person. You don't win like he has unless you understand how to blend players into a unit. That is his magical touch, getting his kids to execute offensively, taking high-percentage shots. When you have those two factors going for you, there is a chance to win. They have young talent, different than the experienced talent they lost in John Lucas, Joey and Stephen Graham, etc. It will be tough to win the conference because Texas and Oklahoma are clearly top 10 teams. Led by JamesOn Curry, I feel they will make the big dance.

Stevie Trevino Peoria, Az
Do you think Arizona has a chance to win it all this season?

VITALE: Lute Olson is an architect who has a winner's mentality. He has a nice basketball team with Hassan Adams and Mustafa Shakur in the lineup. This will be a deeper team, an athletic and talented team that will put pressure on the opposition and score off of its defense. They will be the class of the Pac-10 and will certainly have a shot at winning six in a row come tournament time.

Andrew (Albuquerque)
How many tournament teams will the ACC have this year, will North Carolina get in?

VITALE: North Carolina will be an up-and-down team this season, but I feel the Tar Heels are capable of shocking people. They will beat some people you don't expect and they will fall to some others you wouldn't predict. They have such a young team but there is talent. With the class coming in next season to join the nucleus of Tyler Hansbrough and company, then you will see something special. I feel that six teams from the ACC will make the field of 65. Duke is certainly the class of the league, and Boston College will be in the hunt as well.

John -- York, PA
Coach -- what do you think of Roy Williams' incoming 2006 class?

VITALE: I recently wrote on my Web site that this is one of the premier classes in America. Williams covered all the bases with Tywon Lawson and Wayne Ellington in the backcourt, Brandan Wright, Alex Stepheson and Deon Thompson up front. Then add William Graves and anyone who thinks North Carolina will be down after losing the likes of Sean May, Raymond Felton, Rashard McCants, Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel and Marvin Williams, think again.

Tanner, Connersville, Ind.
Do you think Indiana has a shot at the Big Ten title?

VITALE: Mike Davis believes he has two legitimate candidates for Player of the Year in the conference in DJ White and All-Marco Polo transfer Marco Killingsworth. If they live up to the billing, watch out. The Big Ten will be really improved and the Hoosiers could be right up in the hunt. I still feel Michigan State is the team to beat at the start of the season.

Big Leff -- Ozone Park Queens, N.Y.
Coach what do you think about the Johnnies this year? Do they have a chance to make tourney?

VITALE: I think St. John's is moving in a positive direction. Norm Roberts has done a good job selling the program to the local kids, and that was something that didn't happen for a few years. The fact that the conference is so tough, with the addition of Louisville, Cincinnati, DePaul and Marquette, makes it even more difficult to succeed. It will be hard to make the first division in the Big East this season. So I don't see the Johnnies getting an NCAA bid.

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

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