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Player of the Year: Morrison or Redick?

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Adam, Cincinnati
With the Bearcats lack of size can they make a run at the Big East championship with a freshman running the point.

VITALE:
Devan Downey, the freshman point guard you are referring to, has had a pretty solid season. I think Cincinnati's biggest problem came when Armein Kirkland was injured in the Connecticut game, costing the Bearcats a key scorer from the lineup. With players like Eric Hicks and James White, this team will be dangerous in the Big East tournament, but I feel that Cincinnati's streak of 14 straight NCAA appearances will end this season. Andy Kennedy has done a good job as the interim coach, but I just feel this club will come just short. The Big East is such a strong conference, the best league in America.

Craig, Indianapolis
Why in creation would Indiana University ever rename the arena for Bob Knight?

VITALE:
Bob Knight did a lot of great things for the University of Indiana. He won championships and he graduated players, and I feel strongly that it is the right thing to do to honor his accomplishments.

Jesse Gudmundson, Madison, WI
Why do you not mention Wisconson in the upper echelon of the Big Ten? They are consistently overlooked by the national media even though Bo just keeps on developing players and winning.

VITALE:
I have said many times that Bo Ryan is one of the unsung heroes in the coaching profession. The Badgers lost at home recently to Illinois, but this Wisconsin team should make the big dance and most opponents don't want to face that hard-nosed defense. I give Ryan credit for doing a great job with the Badgers year after year.

Ben, Birmingham
Dick, what's wrong with the Tide this year? Why aren't they producing like they should, and will they pick their game up?

VITALE:
Alabama got out of the gate slowly, and certainly the loss of Chuck Davis was a major blow. Mark Gottfried's team has performed better, going 5-2 in January. There is enough time to get some more quality wins and make a push for an NCAA berth.

Xavier, parts unknown
Who will be the player of the year? Adam Morrison, Gonzaga or J.J. Redick, Duke?

VITALE:
Wow, I get asked that a lot. It is really too close to call. Every time I feel one gets a leg up, the other puts up 40 on the board. It is a shame that one of them will finish second, unless there is a split between different awards. Both players have been simply awesome with a capital A, baby!

Dan, Roch, NY

How do you think West Virginia will fair the rest of this season and onto the Big Dance after being a cinderella team last year?

VITALE:
John Beilein does a terrific job at West Virginia. Mike Gansey may be the Big East Player of the Year, according to one coach I spoke to recently. Opponents know they will have a battle on their hands against the Mountaineers and I don't think they will sneak up on people. Just look at the resume with wins over Villanova, Oklahoma, UCLA, Georgetown and Marquette. This is a tough out come tournament time because they are so well coached and disciplined.

Ed , New York, NY
Can UCLA go deep into the tournament, given their lack of strength and depth in the frontcourt?

VITALE:
Ben Howland's team has been hampered by numerous injuries. If this team was 100 percent healthy, it would go far come tournament time. The potential is still there for a nice run, and the Bruins lead the Pac-10 standings as I am answering this. Howland has already done a good job with this program.

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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