Chat with Andy Katz
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Andy Katz (11:12 AM)
Here to chat before heading to New York for the Jimmy V.
Who's in your Top Five as of now?
Andy Katz (11:14 AM)
North Carolina Connecticut Gonzaga Pitt Still not sure about the fifth best team right now..host of teams that could fit this spot...
Rich (Columbus, OH)
Just curious on your thoughts about the Buckeyes. I know they kind of got a lucky one with Miami;s best player getting elected but the win at ND was nice. Just curious about your thoughts on Coach Matta and what the Buckeyes could possibly do this year. Thanks
Andy Katz (11:15 AM)
Certainly have outperformed what I thought. The wins last week were quality Ws for a team that could easily compete near the top of the Big Ten this season. Thad Matta continues to reinvent himself.
Andy Katz (11:18 AM)
Syracuse has a real shot to finish in the top four or five in the Big East. I wouldn't be surprised by any number, outside of No. 1. Jonny Flynn is playing the best basketball of any point guard in the country. Ty Lawson has been pretty consistent, too, but he has more to work with than Flynn.
Why is Michigan getting no love after beating two top programs in UCLA and Duke.
Andy Katz (11:20 AM)
Not sure how you define no love. The Duke win was a quality win but it came in the same week that Michigan lost at Maryland. That's why Michigan wasn't the team of the week over Ohio State. My rule is that the team has to win all of its games in a given week to be team of the week.
Is Stephen Curry the best player in the nation?
Andy Katz (11:22 AM)
He's definitely the most exciting player to watch. Blake Griffin and Tyler Hansbrough will outwork anyone in the country and put up gaudy numbers on the boards and in the bucket. But Curry is a special talent that is much more of a headline attraction. Still, if I had to vote today for player of the year, I'd probably lean toward Griffin.
What are your memories of Jimmy V?
Andy Katz (11:23 AM)
I was working in Albuquerque at the Journal and Jim Valvano came to do a game on ESPN. I was with him at the shootaround earlier in the day. He walked out to center court and kissed the Pit floor, the site of his most dramatic coaching moment. Cool stuff.
Ryan (Ferndale, MI)
When Laval Lucas-Perry joins the Michigan team December 20th, will he be able to help them get to the NCAA Tourney for the first time in ten years?
Andy Katz (11:24 AM)
It will help but they don't NEED him to get to the NCAAs. All Michigan has to do is stay above .500 in the Big Ten and not lose games it shouldn't lose the rest of the nonconference.
I don't think Trevor meant Big Blue gettin respect in your weekly watch, I think he meant getting respect in the polls. UM has two wins over what were top 5 teams. The loss @ Maryland isn't a horrible loss, and neither is the one to Duke on a neutral floor. I think he means how is a team with wins over Duke and UCLA not in the top 25???
Andy Katz (11:24 AM)
Yes, Michigan should be ranked. So, too, should Baylor. Villanova has done nothing to be ranked right now. The rankings at this point in the season should be based on quality wins, not strictly projection.
What are your thoughts on Seton Hall? They lack depth, but have great guard play. Are they going to make noise in The Big East?
Andy Katz (11:26 AM)
Seton Hall has something other teams like Villanova, Cincinnati, Providence and West Virginia don't yet -- quality wins. The Hall beat USC and Va Tech (which I'm predicting will eventually be looked at as a quality win).
David (Houston, TX)
What teams are capable to challange Memphis for C-USA title?
Andy Katz (11:27 AM)
UAB and UTEP. Tulsa hasn't proven it can hang yet.
jason (dayton ohio )
what about dayton katz tourney time you think
Andy Katz (11:28 AM)
Dayton has a quality win over Marquette. The Flyers have done this before, getting early quality wins (remember beating Pitt last year) but were unable to stay healthy enough to stay atop the A-10. But so far the Flyers look like the toughest test for Xavier.
Andy, the Seminoles now sit 8-1, with a bad loss to Northwestern, but wins over Cincinnati, Cal, and Florida. If they end up 13-2 (assume a "L" to Pitt) going into ACC play, do you see them winning enough games in the ACC to make the tourney? I would think they'd need at least 7. Thoughts?
Andy Katz (11:29 AM)
I'm still not sold on FSU. I know the Seminoles are young. These are all solid wins with Florida probably being the one team in the mix that has the best chance to be in the Dance. But FSU has as much of a chance as any of the middling ACC teams to emerge as a possible NCAA team.
Brian (Boston, MA)
IS there anyway Boston College can make it to the postseason this year.They have limited frontcourt depth but do have some playmakers in Rice and Sanders
Andy Katz (11:33 AM)
Yes. BC has NIT probability with an outside shot at the NCAA. BC can't afford to lose any games that are below them the rest of the nonconference, win the home games and at least steal a few on the road. It's good for BC that it plays Carolina only once (on the road) and Duke once (at home).
Joe (Grand Rapids, MI)
Million Dollar Question!! Whats wrong with Michigan State? Are they just not that good, is Suton this big of a loss, or should I give it time trust Izzo that the team just needs to gel?
Andy Katz (11:37 AM)
MSU isn't healthy. We know that now. I'm going to reserve judgment to see how much of a difference Suton makes once he's back. But I'm not sold on the go-to situation of Kalin Lucas. Raymar Morgan has to be much more of a force, too. Delvon Roe clearly won't be 100 percent this season.
Hey andy, How about my Missouri Tigers. They just beat cal by 27 and if they beat illinois in the bragging rights game does that get them ranked?
Andy Katz (11:38 AM)
It could be close. Missouri is certainly playing well, right now. But Cal and Illinois are like teams, teams that are bubble-like. Missouri could use a step-up win in the Big 12 before rendering a full judgment. But so far MIke Anderson seems to have his type of players playing the way he wants now.
Andy, what are your thoughts on Texas? They looked good against UCLA and decent agains Notre Dame. However, I am concerned that they can score enough if Abrams is off or shut down. What are your thoughts?
Andy Katz (11:40 AM)
Well, first off, who is going to shut down Abrams? Damion James is a big-time talent, too, and Connor Atchley still hasn't gone off. I fully expect Gary Johnson and Dexter Pittman to improve and produce more and more. Justin Mason is a quality on-ball defender. This team has Detroit potential.
Is Sam Young a Lottery Pick?
Andy Katz (11:43 AM)
Not sure yet, but the draft is considerably weak. Really weak. So a player like Sam Young could get some serious play up high.
Do you think Wash St. has achance to upset Gonzaga on Wednesday in Pullman?
Andy Katz (11:44 AM)
Yes, even though Gonzaga is clearly more talented. I don't think it will happen but the Cougs do have a chance. Gonzaga has struggled the past few seasons with Tony Bennett's physical style of play. But this Gonzaga team is a tougher lot.
Joe (Plainsboro, NJ)
Is there anything to the rumors that a job out West (e.g. Arizona) would be enticing to Jamie Dixon? Why leave the #1 conference?
Andy Katz (11:46 AM)
He will be approached by Arizona. But I believe at this juncture he'll stay put. A lot of coaches, like Dixon and Gonzaga's Mark Few, aren't into starting over. They have a machine going at their current schools, make very good money, and are comfortable with their family situations in the respective locales.
Uconn vs Gonzaga December 20th, best game of the season so far?
Andy Katz (11:47 AM)
It might be. If Gonzaga gets by Washington State and Arizona, which it should, then it sets up a 2 vs. 3 or 4 matchup.
Joe (Cincinnati, OH)
After already beating Memphis, do you think Xavier has a chance against Duke on Dec. 20 in New Jersey?
Andy Katz (11:48 AM)
Why not? But keep in mind that Duke in New Jersey is just Cameron north. This will be a home game for Duke.
Joe (Cincinnati, OH)
Andy, what's your take on the decisions the NCAA is making regarding players like Jordan Crawford, who left Indiana, and tried to get out of sitting out a year?
Andy Katz (11:49 AM)
I don't think they should get a free pass to play this season. Indiana didn't get a postseason ban. They could have all stayed and Indiana would have had a shot to be an NCAA team this season under Tom Crean. The NCAA made the right decision.
Who do you believe is the best point guard in the nation? In my opinion it's Calathes.
Andy Katz (11:52 AM)
He may be one of the most versatile lead guards but I would go with Syracuse's Jonny Flynn right now and then UNC's Ty Lawson. Saint Mary's Patty Mills needs to have a few more quality games. UCLA's Darren Collison has been solid, too. I don't consider Davidson's Steph Curry or Texas' A.J. Abrams true points. But if I had to pick a first team of guards right now I'd probably go with Curry and James Harden of Arizona State.
RE: Jordan Crawford. It is my understanding that IU would have to agree with it being a 'hardship case' for Crawford. They tried to do the same for Jeremiah Rivers and the NCAA denied the request to let him play, so Crean felt like he shouldn't turn around and do Crawford a favor when IU got stiffed.
Andy Katz (11:52 AM)
What's so hardship about Crawford's case? I fail to see how he suffered.
Kevin (Schenectady, NY)
Hey Andy, Any more present thoughts on the Terps so far? They got a much needed win verse Michigan and did what they had to do beating George Washington easily. If they win the rest of their non-conference games they will be 12-2 going into ACC play and possibly ranked, good shape for the tourney?
Andy Katz (11:53 AM)
Maryland is now taking care of business and rebounded very well from the Georgetown debacle. The Terps aren't overly talented, but bust their tail for Gary Williams. They have a chance to earn a bid by winning games they're supposed to and staying above water in the ACC.
Mat (Richmond, VA)
Andy, do you think the term "mid-major" is derogatory?
Andy Katz (11:54 AM)
Derogatory is reserved for a group of people who are slighted by race, gender or religion. I fail to see how being termed a mid-major equates to this. I have met plenty of coaches who are way too uptight about this term and others who embrace it. I have tried to come up with another version, like lower-profile but that doesn't seem to catch on, either. So that appears to be the term we have for now.
What do you think of Uconn just squeezing by Buffalo? Uconn seems to have trouble with the weaker teams? Will AJ ever live up to the hype?
Andy Katz (11:55 AM)
It was a true road game in a tough place to play so I wouldn't get too upset about the margin of defeat. Check back with me in a few months, but I think a game like that is only going to make UConn tougher.
Larry - Arizona
So if you don't think AZ can get Dixon or Few, who do you think they could pull? Great facilities, tradition and conference!
Andy Katz (11:56 AM)
Not sure yet. I could be wrong. It's only December.
Mat (Richmond, VA)
Duke has played a total of 4 road OOC games in the last three years...How much do you think that has been hurting them in March?
Andy Katz (11:57 AM)
Not at all. Duke plays difficult road games in the ACC. Duke doesn't have to play true road nonconference games, although it already has played two this season. Duke has had tired legs and hasn't been as deep the last two sesaons. Thanks for all the questions. Got to run to New York. Thanks Andy
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