Chat with Jay Bilas
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas will stop by to chat about the hoops season.
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 Bilas Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Jay Bilas (2:57 PM)
Hey everybody! I am doing the Georgia Tech at Duke game tonight, so I only have about a half hour....welcome to the fastest chat in college basketball! John Wall is not as fast as my typing!! Let's go!!
Jay, can my Mich St Spartans keep their lead in the BT and win the league title? We've seen them struggle with slow starts and were fortunate to escape Minneapolis and Ann Arbor, led by Kalin Lucas' big time shots. After Tuesday's loss in Madison, what concerns do you have with that team, other than the health of Lucas?
Jay Bilas (3:00 PM)
My concerns are in the post and in the paint. MSU is good enough to win this whole thing, but the Spartans are not as good as they were last year. MSU does not score easily in the post, and does not drive the ball or score off of turnovers. This is a jumpshooting team, and a very good one. But, don't be surprised to see this team in the Final Four, with the understanding that there are a bunch of teams that can beat them on a given day. However, I would hank on Tom Izzo and Kalin Lucas come Tourney time. They are that good.
Frank (Lawrence, KS)
Jay... still not convined that Marcus Morris is the most improved player in America?
Jay Bilas (3:01 PM)
He is really improved and was big time against the BIg 12 so far. His offensive rebounding display late in the game against Colorado was outstanding, and says a lot about the kid's heart. Remember, Kansas gets a different Colorado team than the rest of the league. If the Buffs played that hard and with that much passion all of the time, they'd be really tough for anyone to beat.
Daniel (Dallas, TX)
Jay, Indiana looks to be building their program back to what it should be, when do you see them making the tourney again?
Jay Bilas (3:03 PM)
Next year. Tom Crean is the real deal. I have not seen anything like the program he took over at IU. For whatever reason, the program was leveled and Crean had to start from scratch. With Maurice Creek, things would be easier right now. But, with some breaks and if they program keeps maturing, it is possible next year. I believe in Tom Crean. He is a great coach, and he should be given great credit for taking on this challenge and never wavering.
Dustin (Lexington, KY)
Does Villanova have enough size on their team to matchup with Kentucky?
Jay Bilas (3:05 PM)
No college team can match-up with Cousins, but he would have to match-up with Villanova, too. I think that Villanova would give UK fits, and could take the Cats out of what they like to do. To beat UK, you have to make them a halfcourt team, and Villanova could do that. Would it be easy? No. But, it Villanova can beat UK (or anyone else). That said, UK can beat anybody, too. That would be a great game.
Who's better: Demarcus Cousins or Cole Aldrich?
Jay Bilas (3:07 PM)
DeMarcus Cousins is the better prospect. Nobody can stop Cousins but Cousins himself. But, unless he matures and gets his emotional act together and learns to respect the game, he will not be what he is capable of being. He is just a kid, but he needs to start acting like a man. Aldrich is the more reliable college player right now, but Cousins has the potential to be special, and an NBA All-Star.
hey jay,im just a little curious who do you have in your final four and going to the championship? thanks
Jay Bilas (3:09 PM)
Here are the best teams, in order: Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, Kentucky, Michigan State, and West Virginia. But, this year is devoid of a truly great team. This year is like 2006 when UConn and Duke were the best teams, and Final Four teams Florida, UCLA, LSU and George Mason were not ranked in the Top Ten throughout the year. This will be a wild ride in March. That can be a good thing.
Jimbo (Niagara Falls)
Another tough loss for Pitt last night...can they play themselves out of the tournament???
Jay Bilas (3:12 PM)
Nah. They will be in. But, it shows you that you can't get too high or low on early results. People were saying that you cannot doubt Pitt or UNC, and you can doubt anyone this year. This is not a good year for great teams or great players. Very good teams and very good players? Yes. But there is not true greatness. It is just one of those seasons.
Jay Billas (Texas)
Is Kris Joseph 6th man of the nation?
Jay Bilas (3:14 PM)
He is as good as anyone, in my judgement. Scoop Jardine ain't bad either. Others I would put right there would be Gavin Edwards of UConn, Draymond Green of MSU, and Jonathan Tavernari of BYU. Throw in Taylor King of Villanova, too. Joseph reminds me of former Georgetown star Jeff Green when he drives it. Spitting image (whatever that means....who spits at or around an image?)
How bad is the ACC this year? How many teams do you see making the tourney? NCAA, not NIT... sorry UNC!
Jay Bilas (3:16 PM)
It is not bad, it is just not as great as it has been. A big part of that is North Carolina. Just like the SEC with Kentucky down, you are not going to get the same feel about the league with a big shot pulling up the rear. Ask yourself this about the ACC: How many drop dead pros are there in the league? Not as many as you usually have. That is a big factor.
What do you think about DJ and the USF Bulls and his performance last night at Gtown?
Jay Bilas (3:17 PM)
Dominique Jones is a pro. He is taking better shots, and he does not have to carry the team every time down the floor. Favors is a freak athlete. And, Mike Mercer played well, and when Gus Gilchrist gets back to full strength, South Florida is going to continue to be a tough team to beat.
Brian (Rochester, NY)
Jay, 34,616 in the dome on Feb. 27th. You excited?
Jay Bilas (3:18 PM)
No. My excitement begins at 34,617. Sorry.
Chris (New York)
A little disturbed by the events at the pitt/wvu game. After seeing how angry Brandon Knight was (Pitt Asst. Coach) i'm worried that we'll have a Ron Artest type event in college. What can be done?
Jay Bilas (3:20 PM)
Each school has to deal with its own house. That had been building a bit at West Virginia. Profanity that is audible and comes through television is one thing, but throwing things is another. I played in Europe and was hit by thrown coins like Tommy Herrion was, and it is not funny. Is it a national problem? No. But, fans are not part of the game. They are part of the atmosphere. The only people that are part of the game are the players, coaches and officials.
Jay, what are your thoughts on how the big 12 standings will look at the end of the year (especially after KU, texas, and KSU)
Jay Bilas (3:21 PM)
They will look exactly the same, with twelve teams listed from top to bottom. But, in Japan, where they read from right to left, it will look different.
What are your feelings about 3 of the most dominant historical programs in the country (UNC, UCLA, Indiana, and in terms of consistency, maybe you can throw Arizona in there too) probably missing out on the tournament this year? Nice to have some new teams in there? I tend to lean towards missing the traditional teams.
Jay Bilas (3:23 PM)
It is just a Perfect Storm of problems that have done this. Truth be told, I don't care who the 65 teams are, I just want the best teams competing for the national title. If the traditional big shots don't make it, too bad. But, we should not give away spots to the little guy just because we want something different. If we want a "tie goes to the runner" standard for mid-majors when competing with a major to get it, that is fine. But, we should always take the better team, no matter who it is or the level at which they play.
Jay, I came up to you and Rafferty in a chicken suit at a Villanova-Pitt game at the Wachovia Center my freshman year at Villanova, always wondered if you remembered that. Anyway, in the past few weeks analysts have been saying that Syracuse is "clearly" better than Villanova. I don't mind an opposing opinion, but how can people truly say they are "clearly" the better team? I can't wait for Feb 27th!!!
Jay Bilas (3:25 PM)
I remember every mascot encounter, especially poultry. Who could forget meeting a chicken? Neither team is clearly better. But, if someone thinks that one is, so what? My opinion and your opinion do not score a single point or grab a single rebound. It is just talk. It is fun, but it does not factor into the results one bit. Your chicken suit, however, plays a big role in Villanova's success. Keep wearing it.
Does it really say a lot about this season that there is not a real dominant team like Carolina was last season? Kansas is 21-1 but they are not as great as Carolina or even as good as the Kansas team that won it all 2 years ago
Jay Bilas (3:26 PM)
It doesn't matter, but it is true. There is no great team. What it does is make for a more volatile and interesting NCAA Tournament. And, if you keep improving and are hot in March, you can win this whole thing. So, keep with your team. They have a chance.
chris (west virginia)
Is west virginia the only school that has ever thrown anything onto the floor during a game!
Jay Bilas (3:29 PM)
Yes. You nailed it. The ONLY one. Congrats.Of course it is not. But, when it happens, don't be surprised that people are talking about it. It is not a good thing to have in your building, and people should be upset....at the person that threw something!!
Brad (Gael Nation)
Jay, What do you think of Saint Mary's and making the tourney this year? Omar Samhan is having a Player of the Year type season and is barely getting any press and Delly (Dellavadova) is one of the top freshmen in the WCC besides Harris...
Jay Bilas (3:31 PM)
I am a huge Omar Samhan fan. He would be a lock as an All-American if he played at Kentucky or Duke. But, I refuse to refer to any player, no matter how good, as "Delly" I just refuse to do it. I also refuse to put "izzle" at the end of words. Ain't happening.For shizzle.
Jay, you really think Kansas is better than Syracuse? They may look good on paper, but I think direct comparison (they have played three of the sames programs) has SU performing better against the same teams.
Jay Bilas (3:33 PM)
By a hair, yes. But, there is not a team out there that Syracuse cannot beat. And, I think that teams would have a big problem against the Syracuse zone. Kansas is the most efficient team at both ends. Remember, though, you are talking about my No. 1 and No. 2 teams, and I have said that no team is great. So, either of those teams can win this thing. It is a pretty close call, and reasonable minds can differ.
Michael (Durham, NC)
If you had to pick one player in the country to build a team around, who would it be?
Jay Bilas (3:34 PM)
Evan Turner or Wes Johnson. Turner can play the point, and is a Brandon Roy type player. He is the real thing.
John (Iowa City)
The number of mid-majors in the dance has been decreasing each year, is this the year that trend gets reversed?
Jay Bilas (3:37 PM)
Yes. The Pac-10 is down and will open up a few spots. I would say that the Mountain West and the Atlantic 10 will gobble up some of those, and if Northern Iowa or Cornell were to fail to get the automatic bids, they will still make it into the field. But, as I said before, the only way that mid-majors should get in is if they are among the 34 best. The same way any major should get in. If you think any team is among the 34 best, they should be in.
How will the Big East and Georgetown handle the weather situation for the big Villanova-Georgetown game on Saturday?
Jay Bilas (3:38 PM)
The game is indoors.
Mikey (Waukesha, WI)
Who is the better Wisconsin point guard, Trevon Hughes or Jordan Taylor?
Jay Bilas (3:40 PM)
Both are terrific. I was really impressed with Wisconsin in the win over MSU. They hit shots and guarded and really played strong the whole game. That team really battles.I gotta go....I have a game tonight and have to get over to the arena. Thanks for stopping by. See you next week! Best, Bilas