Chat with Jay Bilas
Bilas provides expert color commentary from courtside on college basketball games, and serves as a studio analyst and as the co-host of ESPN's popular studio shows College Gameday and College Gamenight.
He also writes for ESPN.com, and contributes numerous reports for SportsCenter. Since 2003, Bilas has provided in-depth player scouting and analysis for ESPN's coverage of the NBA Draft.
Send your questions now and join Jay in The Show Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Bilas Archive: Columns
Jay Bilas (4:12 PM)
Hello everyone! Let's get started. Fire away! Jay Bilas
BK Needham, MA
Georgetown at Duke...Who do you like Mr. Bilas?
Jay Bilas (4:14 PM)
Duke is playing its best defense right now, and Gerald Henderson is starting to "get it" to be a great player. I think that Georgetown is really good, and has a great starting five, but very little reliable depth. The key will be how Georgetown handles Duke's pressure. Duke has not shot the ball well, and that has bothered them the last two games. I like Georgetown just by a hair in this one, but it will be really close. If Duke shoots it well, Duke wins, though.
How good can Craig Brackins be? He is almost averaging a double double this year. I think he can be the guy to put Iowa State back on the map.
Jay Bilas (4:16 PM)
Very good. He is versatile and can play inside. I like his game a lot. If he gets tougher on the defensive end, he will be one of the very best players in the country. He has a lot of ability.
Jay, Arizona schools go to Westwood this weekend, how do the Bruins fair?
Jay Bilas (4:19 PM)
Arizona State is really good. I think that UCLA can give Glasser problems with pressure, but the Bruins will have a really hard time with Harden and Pendergraph. I think that Harden is the best all-around player in the country. And, nobody works harder than Jeff Pendergraph. UCLA is getting much better, and Darren Collison can be the difference with his ball pressure. I like Arizona State to win, but it is tough to win in Pauley. As for Arizona, it depends upon which version of the Cats show up...the Wildcats or the Mildcats. The team that beat Gonzaga or the team that was soft against Stanford? I think that Hill, Budinger and Wise have done a nice job with three coaches in three years. I think that UCLA is better, and will win that one.
Haven't seen the Deamon Deacons this year, so can you tell me how they've gone from an NIT team to #2, beating UNC and winning ACC road games by 20?
Jay Bilas (4:22 PM)
I like Arizona State, they are really good. Harden is the best all-around player in the nation, and Pendergraph never gets outworked. The key will be Glasser. Does he handle the UCLA pressure? As for Arizona, will the Wildcats or the Mildcats show up to play? They are talented, but three coaches in three years does not make it easy. Budinger and Hill are pros, and having great years. I like UCLA in that one. Darren Collison, I will say again, is the best and most efficient point guard in the country.
John Boy (Cincinnati)
After Tuesday's one man show, is UK now the favorite to win the SEC?
Jay Bilas (4:24 PM)
Perhaps, but remember how everyone was fawning over Arkansas a week ago? This is a strange year in the SEC. You can be crowned king and written off in the same week. Kentucky is the odds on favorite for two reasons. They have two big time players in Meeks and Patterson, and the SEC is not as good as it usually is this year. That is not a knock on the players, but does anyone think the SEC is as strong as it has ever been? It will still get teams into the Tournament....they have to take 65.
Jay, I haven't seen a lot of Cal playing this year, how real are they?
Jay Bilas (4:25 PM)
I would expect so, but people were fawning over Arkansas a week ago, too. UK will be right there because they have two pros in Meeks and Patterson and because the SEC is a bit down. But, UK is doing some really good things. Just keep hold of the ball and all will be better in the Bluegrass.
Jay, I haven't seen a lot of Cal playing this year, how real are they?
Jay Bilas (4:27 PM)
Very good shooting team and very good guards. Randle is ultra quick and can really shoot it, and Christopher is a tough kid. They have good balance, but not a lot of size. Montgomery has done a nice job with the strengths of this team, and has hid some weaknesses. Nice team that will be ranked at some point in the season.
Jay Bilas (4:30 PM)
This chat room is not working right, so sorry for the weird ordering issues. On Cal, they Bears are good. They have good guards and can really shoot it. Cal's Randle is ultra quick and can knock down shots and Christopher is a tough kid. Montgomery has done a nice job of working with their strengths and covering up a few weak spots. Good team that will be ranked this year.
What's wrong at Tennessee? Talent is there, but I think they miss Lofton's leadership badly.
Jay Bilas (4:31 PM)
They miss Lofton, Smith and Smith, but they are just not playing any real defense. UT plays hard, but they need to play hard together. When they get the mindset to stop somebody, they will be as good as anyone in the SEC.
Tony (Louisville) [via mobile]
Will Louisville beat pitt this sat?
Jay Bilas (4:32 PM)
They need to guard better. The Vols are not taking the collective mindset to stop somebody, and we have pointed that out for weeks now. It shouldn't take 54 to make that clear.
Jay Bilas (4:33 PM)
This is killing me. I think I am having a stroke or something. The questions I just answered are coming up after I answer them.....I think I am in the Matrix.
Freddy (Tewksbury, MA)
Jay, Should I worry about Syracuse after their loss last night, or chalk it up to a tough night where they didn't play well in the Big East? And how will a Rautins injury affect the team if it was serious?
Jay Bilas (4:34 PM)
Yes. Be afraid. Hide under your desk. They will be fine. Like I said before, you can be king of the hill one day, and down and out the next. Just gotta keep playing. And I just have to keep typing.
Jay, your answering questions twice and not answering the questions inbetween.
Jay Bilas (4:35 PM)
No I'm not. No I'm not.
Chris (Albany, NY)
Jay, I say Providence finally beats a good team and beats Marquette Saturday night on ESPN2. PC is improving game in and game out under Keno Davis and even though they don't have a notable win yet, I think this is the time for them to break through and then post a nice record in the league. Thoughts?
Jay Bilas (4:37 PM)
PC has good pieces, it just may take some time to get with the new system. Keno Davis inherited a good team, and it is nice for any new coach to get some talent to start off with. The bad news is that his good team is in the Big East! If PC finished 9th it would be a great year and would probably mean the NCAA Tournament.
Mike (Lexington, KY)
Jay, what is the deal with the critics of Jodie Meeks? Is any player playing today doing what Pete Maravich did or even before Pete Maravich? I mean come on saying his performance wasn't great because Maravich did it is like saying Kobe isn't great for getting 81 and not being as good as Wilt. You know Kentucky is faithful and hears everything, you think the critics will be apologizing to them come March?
Jay Bilas (4:40 PM)
Who is criticizing Jodie Meeks? I have heard nothing but platitudes, and rightfully so. He was magnificent, and has been all year long. If you are talking about those argument shows, I wouldn't worry about it. Just ask yourself this....when the people that cover only one sport don't have the gumption to act like they know it all in that sport, how do some act like they know it all in EVERY sport? Meeks is a great player, and had an unforgettable night. We'll be talking about that for a long, long time.
Jay, Higgins, Burr, and Hightower are killing the Big East with their awful Reffing. How does someone go about getting them more accountable for their bad calls and whistle antics?
Jay Bilas (4:42 PM)
First, I disagree witht the assertion. All three are very good and seasoned officials that do a good job. But, I do think your point about accountability is a fair one. Officials, in my judgment, should be made to meet with the media after games. They get paid a lot of money, and it would be good and helpful if they would answer questions about the rulings they make. It will never happen, but it would be really good.
Matt, Rockford IL
Glad your weekly chats are back, Jay. What do you think is the biggest factor in the Illini's improvement this year (besides FTs!)
Jay Bilas (4:44 PM)
They are older. Experience is a big deal in college basketball. Bruce Weber is a very good coach. Having older players that understand what it takes is really important. Last year, it was a coach directed team. This year, the players are more active participants in thier development. Illinois is a good team, and will get better and better.
Carolina played horribly and only lost by 3 at Wake....do you still see them going on a run and getting a 1 seed and finishing their season in Detroit?
Jay Bilas (4:45 PM)
I would not say horribly, but certainly not well. I tend to agree with you generally. I think that UNC will get better, and will be a Final Four team in the end. Is the question not posting on this one, either?! I am going to go all Homer Simpson on this machine!
Will Mizzou go dancing this year or another year of agony?
Jay Bilas (4:46 PM)
I like their team, but I am not crazy about the pressing. If Missouri pulled back on the press, I think the Tigers would be better. But, Mike Anderson is one heck of a coach, and he knows his team far better than I do.
Jay, Please say somthing nice about Indiana and Tom Crean. This season has been rough.
Jay Bilas (4:49 PM)
I know, but it will get better. IU is a great program, and Tom Crean is one of the best coaches in the country. He will get things straight, and you will look back upon this season much like Kentucky looks back upon the Unforgettables. I have really been impressed with how Crean and the players have handled this season, and how IU fans have supported the kids.
Randy (St. Paul)
Hey Jay, do you agree with everyone else that the Gophers are still only a borderline tourny team? They are 15-1 and young, but as the season has gone on they are only getting better!
Jay Bilas (4:51 PM)
I like Minnesota, especially they way they mix defenses and go after people. I think that Tubby Smith is one of the very best in the business. I also really like Nolen. He is a terrific passer and defender. I don't think Minnesota is Final Four good, but certainly NCAA Tournament good.
Jay, I see you on another network also doing college basketball, do you just work for multiple networks?
Jay Bilas (4:53 PM)
I am exclusive to ESPN. I have done NCAA Tournament games on CBS when ESPN has allowed it. I am ESPN through and through, and very fortunate to be with this outfit. Without sounding like a homer, we have the best basketball people around.
Jay, I do not want to sound like a homer, because I am actually a Zags Fan. But why doesn't Isaiah Thomas get more attention? Leading the Pac-10 Frosh's in scoring and Assists (8th and 9th in the Pac-10 overall, respectively). Is it his size? If you have seen him you have to admit, he is pretty dynamic.
Jay Bilas (4:57 PM)
Because he totally screwed up the Knicks. Oh, you mean THE OTHER ONE?! Seriously, he is a really fine prospect, and I have seen him play a few times. He is explosive and can score and impact the game. He is also disruptive on the defensive end when he wants to be. West Coast has something to do with it, and also the fact that UDub missed the NCAA's last year. Nobody gave Brandon Roy short shrift. Thomas will get some pub as the season goes along.
Jay Bilas (4:58 PM)
Thanks for coming by, and sorry for all of the computer malfunctions. DOH!! Jay Bilas