Chat with Andy Katz
Send your questions now and join Andy on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Andy Katz (11:17 AM)
On board for a chat.
david (south carolina)
Andy, what is your take on the SEC this year?
Andy Katz (11:18 AM)
Rebuilding. No one will be dominant. Tennessee still should win the East, followed by Kentucky or Florida. I don't see the other three getting into the Dance. LSU is clearly the best team in the West, although the Tigers haven't been tested yet. Alabama has been a disapointment and Ole Miss has had injuries. Miss State is missing a big-time scoring wing.
Can the Duke Blue Devils win the national championship
Andy Katz (11:19 AM)
Can they? Yes. Will they? I don't think so. I'll reserve judgment until after the two North Carolina regular-season games.
Assuming the decision is upheld and Syracuse losses Eric Devendorf for the season at some point, how do you see their NCAA tourney chances?
Andy Katz (11:20 AM)
Still solid, even after the loss to Cleveland State. The Orange are starting to get much more balance. But Jonny Flynn needs to continue to be one of the best point guards in the country.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Andy, there are some pretty good teams (UConn, Pitt, Oklahoma, etc.) but to me there isn't anyone close to North Carolina's caliber and depth. Do you agree?
Andy Katz (11:21 AM)
I want to wait and see. I would like to see Hasheem Thabeet against Tyler Hansbrough or Hansbrough against Blake Griffin. Remember, Wayen Ellington, Danny Green and Ty Lawson wouldn't be here if they were talented enough to be in the top 20 of the NBA draft. So, it's all relative. Carolina has a special team this season, but let's put it in perspective for this season. This isn't the greatest team ever. It's the best team, this season, to date.
Michael (Evansville, IN)
With only the 8th best conference RPI, could the SEC be headed to the 2009 NCAA tourney with only a couple of bids. I mean they have teams with RPIs of 113 (Auburn), 134 (So. Carolina), 151 (LSU), 161 (Arkansas), 163 (Georgia), 191 (Alabama), and 206 (Mississippi St.). Playing those teams throughout conference play will be a drag on UK, Tennessee, and Florida's chances right????
Andy Katz (11:21 AM)
Yes, the SEC could be headed for a record-low number of bids.
What do you think was the best game of the weekend?
Andy Katz (11:22 AM)
Hmmm, probably Kansas-UMass.
What are your thoughts on Arizona? It seems if the big 3 play well they can beat just about anybody. right?
Andy Katz (11:23 AM)
Not sure I'd say anybody, but on a given day the big three at Arizona are capable of keeping up with most teams in the country. Jordan Hill has turned himself into an all-American candidate. His presence in the middle is the difference for this squad.
Andy hOW COME lSU NOT IN THE TOP 25?
Andy Katz (11:24 AM)
Need to wait and see the Tigers play a team mainstream America has heard of and that starts with Texas A&M in Houston this weekend. I believe in this squad but LSU won't get credit until the names are more recognizable.
Andy, What is going wrong with Alabama?
Andy Katz (11:26 AM)
I don't have an answer. I'm not sure Mark Gottfried does, either, because it appears from the outside the team hasn't played up to its potential. That has to be frustrating for a coach when you see talent that hasn't materialized into production on the court during the season. Gottfried was adamant that they would be a quality team this season but that was before the Mercer loss. Not having Richard Hendrix's experience inside doesn't help.
Who has a better shot a POY? Tyler Hansbrough or Stephen Curry?
Andy Katz (11:27 AM)
I would say right now that Curry has a better shot. I'm not sure that's fair or not but Hansbrough is definitely being overshadowed by the Tar Heels' overall team strengths. Curry stands out more this season. But Curry and Hansbrough will get a tough test from Griffin to win the award.
Jamison (Amherst, MA)
With the impressive win @ Kansas and taking Boston College to overtime, UMass seems to be improving with each game. Is the 1-6 start too much to overcome for them to be on the bubble in March if they keep on winning?
Andy Katz (11:29 AM)
Not yet. UMass has to keep winning and has some name games upcoming that could help power rating because of their conference affiliation like Vanderbilt and Houston. But beating teams like Dayton, Xavier and Temple are what will give them a chance for bubble status. They can't afford to lose to the bottom dwellers in the league, either.
David (LA, CA)
Andy, Stanford is 5-0, playing some decent teams early in the season. The starting 5 is pretty solid, though a bit small. How far do you see this team going this year?
Andy Katz (11:31 AM)
I saw the opener at Yale. Josh Owens will be a solid player for them at the wing. Stanford doesn't have great size but no one does in the Pac-10. The veteran guards should be able to withstand hostile road environments. This squad has performed better than I expected so far but the Cardinal still haven't faced a top 25-like team yet.
James, Lima Ohio
Do you think BJ Mullens will come to form and be like Greg Oden if not better, or will he just be another high profile talent flop
Andy Katz (11:32 AM)
I wouldn't use flop with him. It's way too early. And all of us hype these players too much early in their careers. Let him develop and see what happens. It was obscene that Mullens was projected as a lottery pick at one point.
I'm a Gator student, and I can just tell that this Gator team isn't going anywhere in the tournament. They just don't have that competitive fire. I guess it just makes me realize how special the 04's were.
Andy Katz (11:33 AM)
Well, let's see if you're right. But you're right to point out how much the '04s were committed to the team and to winning. Billy Donovan was fortunate to have such a group.
Andy, Do you see Mizzou keeping up the good play, and possibly making the tournament this year?
Andy Katz (11:34 AM)
I do know. I think Missouri will be in the mix. Let's see how they handle a team in a similar position like Illinois next week.
i asked danaoneal nowimasking you whowins the 2009 ncaa tournament?
Andy Katz (11:34 AM)
I'll still say North Carolina. It's O'Neil by the way. You're spelling it the way Shaq spells his last name.
Brad (Tucson, AZ)
Hey Andy, iv always seen you as a generous guy to the Pac-10, whats your take on both AZ school's, which has a better chance to win the Pac-10? And i know James Harden is a monster up in Tempe, but you saw what happened against IUPUI, what happens if they play a decent team with him riding bench most of the time... i see them highly overrated with little depth... and i though UA was limited on bench.
Andy Katz (11:35 AM)
Arizona State has one super star in James Harden and role players. Arizona has two emerging NBA players in Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill and a solid college guard in Nic Wise. The rest of the supporting cast is weaker. I don't think either team will win the Pac-10. I still think UCLA will.
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QUESTION TO ANDY KATZ AT 11.40 AM HI ANDY WHICH WAS BEST UPSET TEMPLE OVER VOLS UMASS OVER KANSAS ARIZONA OVER GONZAGA
Andy Katz (11:36 AM)
UMass over Kansas, based on the way UMass had played recently.
Ben Dover (Colorado)
What do you think about the Cleveland State Syracuse game last night?
Andy Katz (11:37 AM)
Hard to defend that shot. Cedric Jackson made a shot that he may never make again. I wouldn't put too much stock in it. Syracuse railled after not playing great to tie the game.
N Mathews (ca)
Is Tyreke Evans a first round selection or will he need a another year. I'm thinking one more year so far.
Andy Katz (11:38 AM)
He should stay another year. But being draft ready and NBA ready are two different things. The good news for those that want to see the freshmen stay is that there are plenty of capable first-round picks in the sophomore, junior and senior classes so there may not be as much pressure for this overhyped freshmen class to come out.
Milton (Bowling Green, OH)
Do you think that Ohio State Basketball is a strong contender in the big ten and can they go far in the tournament?
Andy Katz (11:39 AM)
Based on what they've done so far and who they've beaten why wouldn't Ohio State be a contender?
Hey Andy, Lets talk some mid-majors. Illinois State might be the favorite out of the Valley, unlike SIU and Creighton which everyone predicted. Nice 1-2 punch in Eldridge and Champ Oguchi, the transfer from Oregon.
Andy Katz (11:40 AM)
Yes. Tim Jankovich has done an outstanding job in year two. Illinois State is my new favorite to challenge Creighton for the title. But don't sleep on Evansville, which just beat Western Kentucky.
I know Maryland got blown out twice, but it was to Gonzaga and Georgetown on a neutral site. They also have wins over Michigan State at a neutral site, and a more impressive Michigan squad, which already beat Duke once. Is it possible that Maryland is being underrated this year, and should be getting more consideration for the top 25?
Andy Katz (11:41 AM)
Nope. Not possible. Maryland just needs to continue its consistent streak. But the Terps would be the first to tell you that they have a small margin for error and in both of those games it got away from them. But the resume is looking strong right now.
Hey ANdy! What do you think about colleges recruiting 8th graders?
Andy Katz (11:43 AM)
Ridiculous. As a parent I wouldn't want my kids to be thinking about college in eighth grade. Let them be kids. I can't imagine following around eighth-graders. I don't get it. Bodies change. Kids mature, some don't. How would you know what kind of player you would get in four years? It seems like such a waste of time to me.
Andy Katz (11:43 AM)
Thanks for the questions. We'll chat again next week before the holidays. Enjoy the games this week.
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