Friday, October 30, 2009
Updated: November 13, 11:14 AM ET
By Dick Vitale
Each week, I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Congratulations to Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim on career win number 800. He has been a special coach for so many years, succeeding with the Orange as a player (with Dave Bing as a backcourt mate), assistant coach and head coach. The Hall of Famer was an important part of the success of USA Basketbal in the Olympics, and now he has reached that special milestone in college hoops. He is awesome, baby with a capital A! He also has a new star on the horizon is Wesley Johnson.
• Arkansas coach John Pelphrey had a busy week meting out discipline. The Razorbacks will be shorthanded for a while, but the coach made the right moves by suspending several players for off-court issues. Top returning scorer Courtney Fortson and starter Stefan Welsh have been suspended indefinitely. Marcus Britt, a contributor off of the bench, will miss the first six regular-season games.
• Seton Hall guard Keon Lawrence, a transfer from Missouri, has been suspended by coach Bobby Gonzalez following a police decision to charge him with DUI. Lawrence was involved in a car accident while driving the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway. It is time for the young man to grow up; hopefully he will learn from this big mistake.
• I recently visited Indianapolis for a speaking engagement at a Big Brothers, Big Sisters event. In Indy, the word is Tom Crean's Hoosiers have a future star 6-9 Chris Watford. He will be a Diaper Dandy who can score and rebound.
• Rick Pitino told me that his team will have depth and size. He likes their potential! Louisville has a good blend of experience and newcomers, and the expectation level remains high even with Villanova and West Virginia picked as the favorites in the Big East.
• It has been a rough start for the UCLA team doctors. The Bruins have been plagued by injuries, and freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt will be out 3-4 weeks with a stress reaction in his right tibia.
• Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford believes transfer Matt Pilgrim can be a big factor for his team. Pilgrim posted a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds) in the Cowboys' final exhibition game.
• If you get a chance, you should watch Jerome Randle of Cal. My friends, he is one of the best guards in the nation.