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 (4:13 PM)
Hey everybody! Let's go!!
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Hey Bilas! You're late. Coach K would not put up with this and neither do I!
Jay Bilas (4:14 PM)
Coach K has bigger fish to fry right now, but I am sure I will be running lines for being late. And, I may not start on GameDay this week. Violation of team rules.
Will (Charlotte, NC)
I read your blogs on sportsmanship and on flying elbows, and I am in complete agreement with you. I think its only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured from an unnecessary elbow. I also wanted to know your thoughts on the technical foul Singler committed in the game last night? Did you think that was the right call, and was it an accurate example of what you believe needs to be stopped in college basketball?
Jay Bilas (4:18 PM)
There is no place in the game for intentional or excessive elbows. None. I thought that Singler's elbow was intentional and that the officials handled it the right way. When Manny Harris elbowed Chris Kramer, I went out of my way to say that Harris was a great kid. He is. From what I know of Singler, he is a great kid as well. But, what difference does it make whether an elbow is thrown by a great kid or not? The key is to judge the character of the action, not the kid. SIngler was out of line. Harris was out of line. Those two are the only ones that KNOW what their intent was, and I accept that. However, it is my judgment that both of them were wrong in throwing those elbows, and there is no place in the game for such things. That said, we should move on.
Eric (Columbus IN)
Jay, are we seeing the beginning of Illinois domination in the BigTen? Their next two recruiting classes are loaded and they already have a bunch of talent. As an IU fan, say it ain't so!
Jay Bilas (4:19 PM)
I would not say "domination", but significant improvement is certainly the case. That is an NCAA Tournament team, and that team will get better in the future. I think that Bruce Weber is a really good coach. And, Mike Davis has really improved.
Chris (Boca Raton, FL)
Hey Jay, What do you think about Florida State of late? Toney Douglas has looked so poor in the beginning of these last few games, but has really stepped it up in the 2nd half.
Jay Bilas (4:21 PM)
Toney Douglas is one of the best defenders in the country. He has great hands and really works. He is also an outstanding scorer and leader. The Noles are big and athletic, and will be in the NCAA Tournament. I hope people feel smart in keeping Leonard Hamilton. He is doing a good job building that program up.
How much of a factor was the crowd in the Kentucky Florida game?
Jay Bilas (4:23 PM)
A factor, but a bigger factor were the players. I like how that team fights. People may not want to hear this, but UK has played above its talent level this year. Billy Gillispie has done a good job, because UK really only has two big time players.
Jay, What are you looking forward to most in Madison this weekend? Do you think the Badgers can keep Bo's streak of 8 straight dances alive?
Jay Bilas (4:24 PM)
I'm looking forward to the Kohl Center. Plus, the food is good in Madison.
Alex (New Rochelle,NY)
I'm looking forward to the Pitt/Uconn game. What's your take on that game? Are those two teams legit FF contenders?
Jay Bilas (4:25 PM)
Both are legit, but UConn is probably the better bet. The Huskies guards don't get the credit they deserve. If Dyson is back healthy without missing time, UConn has every piece of a title team.
Michael: (KC MO)
Jay, What are your thoughts on the job that Mike Anderson is doing at Mizzou?
Jay Bilas (4:26 PM)
Outstanding. The Tigers play hard, have good personnel, and the press is good for this team. Any time you press, you will provide opportunities...for turnovers and easy scores, or for 3 on 2 o 2 on 1 advantage situations for the opponent.
Moe(Atlanta) [via mobile]
wwhats up Jay. Do you believe that Devan Downey is not receiving high praise simply because he's playing at South Carolina or because he's not as elite a player as the Gamecock faithful believe he is?
Jay Bilas (4:28 PM)
It is not fair or right, but usually television follows rankings, and ratings follow rankings. Downey would be a bigger deal if USC were ranked. Remember, everyone knew who he was when he was at Cincy and playing on Big Monday. He is a really good player and he is fearless.
Brian(milford ct) [via mobile]
jay, have you seen a more powerful dunker than Blake Griffin this year?
Jay Bilas (4:28 PM)
Not this year, but the guys that dunked on me when I played dunked a helluva lot harder.
What is going on with Wake Forest losing 4 of 6?
Jay Bilas (4:30 PM)
Young team in a league that punishes youth. Plus, it is a long season, and these kids haven't been through it yet, at least at this level. There is still time to get things right going into March. No worries.
Jay, so I was watchin' the 84 UNC/Duke games on ESPN this week and you had some quality hair back then? How close were you and Perkins to gettin' in a fight. It seemed as though both of you had some words after he threw one down.
Jay Bilas (4:31 PM)
Not at all. I was too slow to get out of his way, and basketball players are much better at glaring at each other than fighting. Sam Perkins was one of the best players I played against, and he is a great guy. It was just the standard frustration stare down. And, I really miss that hair. I still have it....in a drawer somewhere.
Dave (New York New York)
Jay Stop hiding from commenting on Villanova basketball. What is your expectation for this year? The pipeline of talent comming in provides for a good looking future.
Jay Bilas (4:32 PM)
That's right, Dave. I was hiding. I am in the fetal position under my desk. Good call.
John: (Henderson KY) [via mobile]
Does Jodie Meeks have a shot at player of the year and will UK make it to the dance?
Jay Bilas (4:33 PM)
A shot, yes. But, I tend to think that Blake Griffin of Oklahoma is better. But, Jodie Meeks is an outstanding player.
Jay, are you going to go the entire chat and not comment on the LSU-Miss. St. game. I mean it was only the top 2 teams in the SEC that played a double overtime thriller. since it didn't even rate a score on Sportscenter or College Basketball final, I thought maybe you could talk about it.
Jay Bilas (4:35 PM)
Yes. Just kidding. SportsCenter does scores for Top 25 games, usually. LSU should be ranked now, because Trent Johnson has some good players that are playing very well together. Having Tasmin Mitchell healthy and playing the 4 is a good move, and Marcus Thornton can really score. I like the way that Bo Spencer guards the ball, but he has not had his best games lately. Very good team, and maybe the SEC's best.
Jay. You missed the 2nd part of John's question on Meeks being POY and if UK, in your opinion, will make the big dance?
Jay Bilas (4:36 PM)
They should make it. Good team, and some good wins with more games to win coming up. Sorry I missed the second part.
Jay, who do you think wins tonights battle of UCLA vs ASU?
Jay Bilas (4:36 PM)
UCLA is better. I think that UCLA is a totally different team than we saw in November and December. Much better and more efficient.
Tim (Lexington, KY)
Who is your favorite Kentucky player of all time?
Jay Bilas (4:37 PM)
If you're an AD, would you have any trepidation about hiring Bob Knight after he resigned in midseason at Texas Tech? I've always been a Knight supporter, but that situation didn't sit well with me.
Jay Bilas (4:40 PM)
NONE. Knight did that when he did because his son was in place as Head Coach Designate. It allowed Knight to step away and for Pat to get some on the job training at the end of the season. That's all. If he came back again, Knight would be great for any program, and I would hire him in a New York minute.
Jerry (Norman, OK)
Shame on Travis Ford or normal stuff that occurs during the heat of the game?
Jay Bilas (4:42 PM)
You know, I use the occasional salty word....I think we should all strive to eliminate profanity, but I know that I never will. I think that if you put a microphone near a coach during the heat of competition, you will get some salty stuff from time to time. I think our virgin ears can take it. But, I understand those that would be offended by it, too.
Anyone in the country playing better defense than Memphis?
Jay Bilas (4:43 PM)
Not that I have seen. The Tigers guard people, and are athletic and long armed. That team really works hard. The only thing they do not do is score easily. But, that team will win games in the NCAA Tournament.
He doesn't have Blake Griffin's all-around game but Trevor Booker may lead the NCAA in Tomahawk dunks this year.
Jay Bilas (4:44 PM)
Nasty. The ball hits the ground before he does. That guy dunks on the way up.
Jay, I think Dave has a point... What are your thoughts on Nova? Big East power capable or going deep into the tournament or are they peaking too early?
Jay Bilas (4:46 PM)
How does a team peak early? I have never read a definitive book on basketball peaking. I think that Villanova is playing at a very high level, and has really good balance. Not a big team, but bigger than Marquette. The Cats may be better than last year, and that team made the Sweet 16. Jay Wright is a terriffic coach.
I'm intrigued by your dunking comment. Who dunked harder in your day? Who are the most ferocious dunkers of all time in your opinion??
Jay Bilas (4:48 PM)
"In my day" makes me into a geezer. When I played, the best dunkers were Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, any Louisville player, and Olajuwon and Ewing. I got dunked on by three guys.....Ralph Sampson (and my head still hurts), Tom Hammonds, and Duane Ferrell. The rest, I was quick enough to get out of the way.
Pervis: (Louisville, KY)
This 1986 Championship ring sure looks good on my finger. Any chance the Cards can do it again?
Jay Bilas (4:49 PM)
Nah. You guys are too old now, and out of eligibility. This year's team has a shot at it, though.
Brad (Charlotte, NC)
In what area(s) does UNC have to improve in order to win it all this season?
Jay Bilas (4:50 PM)
Halfcourt defense and focus. That team scored 101 against the No. 1 defense in the ACC. I think they will be fine if they keep a collective focus only on winning. Great team.
James - Philadelphia
I agree with the insinuation that you have an anti-Nova bias. They're playing as well as any team in the country right now and you will only talk about them begrudgingly.
Jay Bilas (4:52 PM)
Dude, I was joking. Have a sense of humor. Do you ever watch the games? I practically have drooled on Villanova. Who said they were a Tournament team last February when all the bracket geeks had them out? Me, that's who. Apology accepted.
Come on Jay! stop talking about Villanova. How bout a comment on the Dayton Flyers chances!
Jay Bilas (4:53 PM)
I am still busy drooling over Villanova. Wait your turn.
Are you even seeing any of the questions I am submitting?
Jay Bilas (4:53 PM)
No. Not a one.
Are the major shooting woes coming from UM a sign of inexperience on the perimeter from guys like Lucas-Perry, Novak and Douglass? Or are they more likely a lack of talent? I'm really hoping for inexperience.
Jay Bilas (4:56 PM)
I think that Michigan is a tournament team. The team is still a bit young in spots but has two stars in Harris and Sims. I really like Stu Douglass and Zack Novak. Good shooters and smart kids. Anytime you rely upon the three point shot as much as Michigan does, you will get varying results. Michigan looked great against Duke, and not so great against some other teams. But, John Beliein runs a different style that can trip some people up. I think you will see the Wolverines in the NCAA Tournament this year.
I'm with Ben. Dayton's chances at competing in the dance? And what effect do you think the crowd at UD Arena had on the game?
Jay Bilas (4:58 PM)
Dayton is in. No worries. Great record and wins over Marquette and Xavier. UD Arena is one of the great venues, and Brian Gregory is the real thing. Be nice to him, because I would hire him away in a heartbeat if I had a big job to fill. I hope that Rob Lowery is okay. I have not yet checked on him, as I have been traveling today.
Charlie (Ann Arbor, MI)
Jay, regarding UM, are they dancing even if they go 8-10 in conference play? All the pundits have said it would take a 9-9 record at least.
Jay Bilas (5:00 PM)
A .500 record is not required. I think that an NCAA team has to have proven it is one of the best 34 at large teams, and I think you do that by proving you can beat really good teams. Michigan has proven that with UCLA, Duke and Illinois. I think that they still have to win some more (because of that STUPID last ten games thing), but I believe they will do that. Good team, outstanding coach, and lame year for depth of really good teams. That helps, too!
Jay, what arena/campus you haven't been to is highest on your list of places to go.
Jay Bilas (5:02 PM)
Chaminade. I have been freezing my toukas off this winter. Also, I would like to go to Oregon State (never been), and Ole Miss (never been).
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
As a Hokie fan, I'm a bit worried about closing out our season on a bad note. We play FSU, Clemson, Duke, UNC, FSU to end the season. If we end with a poor run, should I be worried about us making the tournament?
Jay Bilas (5:04 PM)
If you think it will help, worry away. I would not be too concerned. If the Hokies play well and win a couple, it should go a long way. The only problem I have is that the Committee will not value a close loss to a giant as they do a close win over five guys out of a clown car. That always bugs me. And, it is why we need only basketball experienced people on the Committee.
Steve (LA, CA)
How does Southern California get kids like Larry Drew and Deon Thompson to stay home rather than go out East. Is it just a matter of getting the right coach?
Jay Bilas (5:05 PM)
I am fron SoCal. Grew up in Rolling Hills, I left town because basketball was a bigger deal in the ACC and Big East when I was coming out of high school. The right coach helps, though.
David (Washington DC)
Jay, how much will the selection committee look at quality losses? It's inevitable that Big East and ACC teams will rack up much more losses than other teams across the nation because they beat up on each other within their respective conferences.
Jay Bilas (5:09 PM)
Good question. I was just talking about that. Not nearly as much as they should. If you process close losses, do you also have to proces close wins that could easily have been losses? I think you have to really know the game to make good judgments on teams. Look, the selection process isn't perfect, but it isn't bad either. The only problem I have with it is that it is a formula that is sadly predictable. Does it bother anyone that we can all get 64 out of 65 teams every year? Of course, the bracket people spot themselves 31 of the 65 out of the gate (the automatic qualifiers), and the next 25 or so are so easy a caveman could do it. At best, we get 8 out of 9, or something like that. You don't have to watch a single game to do it. All you have to do is be able to count up wins and apply the selection principles. It is way too formulaic for me. That said, it is impossible to screw up.
Aaron (Little Rock, AR)
Do you think that Gonzaga has a chance to make it past the sweet 16?
Jay Bilas (5:10 PM)
A chance, yes. But, I think the Zags could lose before then, too. Good team that can play. But, not a Final Four team, and I never thought they were.
Jay....Chris Wright coming out party last night? We all knew he was good but last night he put it all together. U see the game? Go Flyers!
Jay Bilas (5:11 PM)
I did, and I was really worried about Lowery. I think that Wright is very good, and I also think that Marcus Johnson is really good too. That is an NCAA team.
A little mid major love. Why do i feel noboby believes in the Butler Bulldogs? Disrespect or do i have an inferiority complex?
Jay Bilas (5:12 PM)
Both. Just kidding. I think that Bulter can really give people a hard time. Well coached, smart players, good shooting, and Matt Howard is a really good player. Also, Gordon Hayward can really shoot it. I like his game.
Manny - Michigan
On a previous reply of yours you said that Manny INTENTIONALY hit Kramer with his elbow. How can you say it was intentional when he was just trying to get some space, a move that happens at least fifty times a game, perhaps he could have used better judgement seeing how close Kramer was, but INTENTIONAL that's weak man.
Jay Bilas (5:13 PM)
Good gracious. Have we not talked about this enough?! Manny is a great kid. He threw an elbow. It is over.
Jay Bilas (5:15 PM)
Thanks again everybody!!
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