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Monday, December 3, 2012
Roundball Chatter for Nov. 26-Dec. 2

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

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

• I really love this Florida Gators team. It has great balance and Billy Donovan had to be thrilled with an impressive win over a good, hard-nosed Marquette team.

• I have said it before and I will say it again, it is so important to have good perimeter play in college basketball. Look at Indiana with Yogi Ferrell and Jordan Hulls. Look at Michigan with Trey Burke and company. Check out Duke with Seth Curry and company. It is a key.

• Memo to Big Blue Nation. Be patient! It will take some time for a young team to blend as a unit, but the Wildcats will win their share of games. John Calipari is a flat-out winner.

• Congrats to John Groce of Illinois on a great start. The win over Georgia Tech was hard-fought and this team is getting better and better. You have to be impressed with the W over Butler out in Maui after Brad Stevens' team beat up North Carolina. Again, guard play is so vital and the Illini are strong in that area.

• Tom Izzo was a prophet when he said his team was not shaping up. There were close calls against Boise State and Louisiana-Lafayette. The Spartans fell to Miami in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Izzo has to be a little frustrated early, but his teams get better and better as the season rolls on.

Missouri suffered a blow when the Michael Dixon Jr. saga came to an end. The veteran guard left the team after not playing at all this season amid off-court allegations. There was so much potential there teaming up with Phil Pressey.

• First it was Tyler Lamb, then Joshua Smith. UCLA lost some talent when those two said bye-bye, though Ben Howland will figure things out. Smith was still not in the proper condition this season and it showed in his minutes played.

• How about a salute to Virginia Tech coach James Johnson. The Hokies knocked off Oklahoma State. Wyoming stunned Colorado while Mercer upset Florida State. There are always surprises in college hoops, baby!