Commentary

Roundball chatter

Updated: December 12, 2011, 11:24 AM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

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

• The end of the Xavier-Cincinnati game was a blow to college basketball. It is an intense rivalry, but there is no place for that in the sport, it is that simple.

• Congrats to Rick Majerus on his 500th win; congrats to Tom Izzo with a super W over Gonzaga in Spokane. Also a salute to Phil Martelli of St. Joseph's for a nice win over Creighton.

• The return of Festus Ezeli to the Vanderbilt line-up clearly makes the Commodores a better team. Having a seven-foot who can block shots and dominate on the glass is a major plus for Kevin Stallings' club. It will also make players like John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor that much better.

• Marquette suffered a loss when junior center Chris Otule suffered damage in his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He gave a toughness in the paint and his absence will hurt the depth of Buzz Williams' team.

• Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was stymied twice in attempts to get his 200th win as Washington head coach. His Huskies lost twice in the Big Apple, falling in a nailbiter to Marquette and also to Duke. The experience was positive as his players got to see a couple of plays and got school credit and took tests on those performances. The bad news came when outside shooting threat Scott Suggs decided to redshirt due to a foot injury.

• I don't understand why most college coaches wear nice suits on the bench. I think they should be dressed in sweat pants and warmups. Think about all of the sneaker money involved in college athletics. Why not have the coaches wear those sweats, baby!

Reeves Nelson had a lot of opportunities but now they are gone. UCLA coach Ben Howland had enough of Nelson's negative behavior and poor attitude and said farewell to the talented but misguided player. It was time to move on for both parties and hopefully the Bruins can get back on track this season.

• It has been a tough season for St. John's after a number of magical performances a year ago. Steve Lavin has been battling cancer and the team has had some disappointing losses, including Northeastern and Detroit. The Red Storm came into the year shorthanded as three key members of the highly-regarded recruiting class were ineligible. Now comes word that diaper dandy Nurideen Lindsey, one of the top scorers in the history of Philadelphia high school basketball, has decided to transfer. This team will have little depth and it could be rough sailing come Big East league play.

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 ESPN.com.

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