Commentary

Roundball Chatter for Jan. 14

Updated: January 14, 2013, 11:40 AM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

• The 20 finalists for top point guard in America have been named and the list is impressive. Among the candidates are Trey Burke of Michigan, Peyton Siva of Louisville, Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse, Phil Pressey of Missouri, Lorenzo Brown of NC State, Aaron Craft of Ohio State, and Pierre Jackson of Baylor. It is quite a list. My choice would be Burke.

• Very quietly, Leon Rice's Boise State team has put together a nice run. The Broncos are currently 13-2, including wins over Creighton (by 13) and Wyoming, the Cowboys' first loss of the campaign. Rice's club also lost a nailbiter at Michigan State. Boise State has a test in its next game, hosting New Mexico.

• UAB first-year head coach Jarod Haase must have been shell-shocked while watching a recent loss to Central Florida. The Blazers shot 0-for-23 on trifectas, with Jordan Swing and Terence Jones each missing six three-pointers each. At least the Blazers hit 20-of-54 two-point attempts. Then UAB missed all 13 of its three-point tries in a loss to Memphis. Rough shooting week for the Blazers.

• Missouri forward Laurence Bowers suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee during a win over Alabama. Bowers will miss upcoming games vs. Mississippi and Georgia. Then he will be re-evaluated. Injuries can take their toll in college hoops. Rotnei Clarke of Butler was also injured, hurting his neck and shoulder. Ryan Kelly's absence was a factor in Duke's loss to NC State.

• Tough week for a couple of Big East players who have excelled this season. James Southerland of Syracuse was held out of the game vs. Villanova due to an eligibility issue. Greg Whittington was suspended by Georgetown for a violation of team rules.

• Even with Sunday's loss in Columbus, I feel that Michigan has the best backcourt in America right now. Trey Burke has been one of the best players in America. Tim Hardaway Jr. has matured and Nik Stauskas, the diaper dandy, gives the Wolverines a dangerous three-point threat. John Beilein has done an outstanding job in Ann Arbor./p>

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.