Roundball chatter

Updated: October 10, 2011, 11:00 AM ET
By Dick Vitale |

Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:

• Missouri coach Frank Haith got bad news when starter Laurence Bowers was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The 6-8 Bowers started 27 games a season ago, averaging 11.6 ppg. and 6.1 rpg. The Tigers have a lot of depth and talent, but this is still a major loss for the new coach.

• Conference re-alignment continues to be a soap opera. Big East presidents gave commissioner John Marinatto authority to look at expanding. Other schools have been looking for a place to land. We are a little more than one month away from the start of the season and I cannot wait for the focus to shirt on the games!

• A good sign of how good North Carolina is doing came when the list of John Wooden Award nominees came out. Four Tar Heels were on the list -- Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Kendall Marshall. The bad news for the ACC came as those were the only four players from the league nominated.

• Speaking of the Wooden Award, one player that surprised me by the lack of a nomination was Cincinnati center Yancy Gates. He should be a double-double guy this season and I am expecting big things as the Bearcats compete in the tough Big East.

• I was thrilled to see Jameer Nelson honored by being selected to the St. Joseph's Athletic Hall of Fame. Nelson was such an electrifying guard and I truly enjoyed watching him play.

• Nice to see that former NC State coach Sidney Lowe has a new job. He was hired by Tyrone Corbin as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz. Lowe was a former NBA coach as well; now he hopes to have the pros back in action, baby!

• Former Dukie Thomas Hill, a member of the 1991 and 1992 men's basketball national championship teams, has joined the Sun Belt staff as the league's Director of Championships. Here's wishing him all the best!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick 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. Vitale also contributes columns to