Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat some college basketball.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:01 PM)
Howdy everyone, thanks for dropping by. Really good week of hoops underway, lots of interesting games, themes, storylines, etc. Let's get to the questions.
colton (salt lake city)
who ya got tonight Pat, BYU or San Diego St.?
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
Colton: HUGE game, can't wait to see it. I'm taking BYU based on home-court advantage and recent success against SDSU -- Cougars have won six of last eight in the series. I'm expecting a good one, close all the way. Think both teams are legit.
PatHow many Teams do you see making it out of C-USA this season? Just the A-Q? Or can 2-3 teams get in this year. I would say the Conference is almost on Par with a weak SEC this year. Thoughts?
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
Matt: I think it's still a one-bid league. Central Florida has collapsed. Memphis' body of work isn't great. UTEP doesn't have any great wins. And given the league, they won't pick up any major SOS boost playing each other. Competitive league, but probably just one bid.
Dan (New York)
Pat, Im already depressed with this cold and snow now we have a team, on a three game losing streak that at one point last night was shooting 17%...Is it possible Syracuse is this bad?
Pat Forde (2:05 PM)
Dan: Put on some beach music and watch Hawaii Five-O, bro. It will get better. Syracuse should snap out of this ... I think. Surprised at what's happened to the defense last couple games, but I believe Cuse is too talented to go into the tank.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Obviously the situation surrounding Thomas Robinson and the Jayhawks is extremely sad. How far do you think the NCAA is willing to bend to help him and his little sister out?
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Dusty: Yes, extremely sad. Even that is an understatement. The NCAA has taken some great steps to help, allowing Robinson's little sister to come to Lawrence and donors to assist her, plus paying for the mother's funeral. I think that's tremendous and shows the NCAA really is interested in helping student-athletes.
Pat, can you discuss what Rick Barnes has done with this year's team? He's even got guys like J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton not only playing unselfish but talking about how selfish they have been in the past.
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
John: Barnes has done a great job, think he learned from a lot of the mistakes and problems last year. The maturation of those two players has helped a lot -- though I think it's fair to say both still have some maturing to do. But that team has come light years in terms of its cohesiveness, and Barnes deserves credit for that.
Jim Trevethan (Solon, Ohio)
No time to wait. Will Buckeyes run the table? Where will Jared go next year/ Do the Cavs get him to right the LeBron ship which was like the Titantic.
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Jim: Buckeyes will not run the table -- too early to even seriously entertain it. Nobody runs the table anymore. Don't know where Sullinger will go next year, but it won't be back to campus.
Who are your four top 1 seeds?
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
Ryan: Normally I leave this up to Joe Lunardi, but right now I'd say Ohio State, Duke, Big East champion and whoever wins SDSU/BYU tonight. That will change by next week almost assuredly.
ballard (monkeyes eyebrow)
Will UK make it past the first round of the NCAA?When will Cal start Jon Hood, he is a KY. boy and deserves his shot?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Ballard: You clever devil, you. Kentucky will certainly make it past the first round of the tourney and could make a deep run, if the Cats keep improving. As for Hood: UK still needs some bench help, and if he can make some shots and defend adequately it would help.
With Gonzaga's recent meltdowns should I move closer to the cliff?
Pat Forde (2:14 PM)
Matt: You can if you want, but fans of Kansas State, Baylor, Michigan State and North Carolina might be in your way. They moved out closer to the edge quite a while ago.
Tony Iliff (Salt Lake City)
Hey Pat, Jimmer is a freakin' highlight reel. Aside from his huge 3's and reverse layups, he is solid big time player. His statistics make a good case for him to take POY. What are your thought?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Tony: Hey, I'm a big Jimmer fan. If you're not, you don't like college basketball. He's definitely among the three favorites for POY, along with Kemba Walker and Jared Sullinger. Think those three are solidly ahead of everyone else right now.
What is happening in East Lansing? Why are the Spartans having so many on and off the court issues this year?
Pat Forde (2:16 PM)
Stacey: No idea what's going on in E.L. After the past two years I have sworn not to bail on Izzo before the tournament, but this could be his toughest reclamation project yet to get this team into Final Four shape by mid-March. Booting Lucious is a pretty big jolt at this time of year, and given how the team is playing.
Year in and year out Kevin Stallings puts together solid teams at a school that is very tough to recruit elite players to. Is he one of the most unheralded coaches in america?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Kevin: Yes, absolutely. If I were Vandy I'd give the guy a 10-year contract and be very happy.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Hokies sure hurt their odds of making the tournament with that second half against GT last night. Do you see them making it in or do they fall short yet again?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Richard: That was a pretty bad loss. I see the Hokies where we always see the Hokies: on the bubble. Seth Watch, Part 9, should be morbidly fascinating yet again.
Jacob S (Fargo, ND)
If BYU-SDSU series gets split 1-1 do you think they will still end up in the top 15 by the end of the season?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Jacob: Absolutely, unless they have a bunch of other losses. There are some other tough games ahead in the MWC, but if they take care of business I think both will easily be top-four NCAA seeds.
Rick (Terre Haute, IN)
Pat, do you feel Indiana is still capable of returning to DI prominence? I feel the Admin is not interested in making that commitment, and that comes from within as of this week. There is internal strife........it seems they are content to be average. Your thoughts?
Pat Forde (2:20 PM)
Rick: Don't know what the internal strife may be, but I have no doubt that Indiana will again be an elite program -- and probably fairly soon. Recruiting has really picked up and there are way too many good players in-state not to succeed. Plus, the fans just won't tolerate bad IU hoops for a long period of time.
Bubble Field (USA)
Can you imagine the garbage that would have made the tourney if they had expanded to 96 teams? It is gonna be dreadfula again adding only 4 new ones.
Pat Forde (2:20 PM)
Chuck (Muncie, IN)
Pat- Purdue looked less than impressive.........are they really a top shelf team?
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Chuck: I believe Purdue has been overachieving all season after the loss of Hummel. Think this "market correction" was overdue. Purdue is an NCAA tournament team, but without Hummel it's not a top shelf team. That's nobody's fault, just the way it is.
How bout Isaiah Thomas? 19ppg 8apg in Pac-10 Play.
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Chris: He's playing great. Best player on by far the best team in the Pac-10.
What percentage of the questions pouring into your chat are about Jimmer or the BYU/SDSU game?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Ryan: Pretty high percentage, and that's as it should be. Huge game tonight -- and we will be doing Cover It Live on that game this evening on ESPN.com, so drop in.
Do the Morris twins make up the best frontcourt in america?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
Owen: Quite honestly, they weren't even the best frontcourt on their home court Saturday. Texas controlled the paint in that game and turned the Morrises into jump shooters. Need to be stronger underneath offensively.
Coach of the Year? Who do you have Pat ?
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Dave: Right now I'd say the leading candidates are Jim Calhoun, Steve Fisher and Matt Painter. But the list doesn't stop there, and nobody has that award locked up in January. As Rece Davis might say, It's a fluid situation.
Jimmy C (stoors, ct)
how many 1/2/3 seeds is the BE getting this year? 5?uconn/pitt/cuse/nd/nova
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Jimmy: Could be. Though I suspect there will be a few L's for all five of those teams in the weeks ahead. If this week has shown anything, the gap between the top of the Big East and the rest is not wide -- not if ND can win at Pitt and Seton Hall can win big at Cuse.
Ryan (Louisville, KY)
Thoughts on UofL? Bad loss at Providence. Do they get past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament? Thanks!
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Ryan: Bad but somewhat predictable loss. Louisville had won two big games, was probably getting a little big-headed, going on the road to play a team better than its record. Louisville depends so heavily on its outside shooting that it is susceptible to losing anytime the 3s aren't falling. Which makes it difficult to foresee a deep tourney run -- but, again, it's only January. Let's see what shape everyone is in come March.
Kevin (Provo, UT)
Heading to the BYU-SDSU game right now, and let me tell you- I got nothing out of my classes this morning. My time will better be spent in the freezing temperatures outside of the Marriott Center waiting for the game tonight, don't you think? I think so, anyway.
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Kevin: This is what we like to hear -- on-the-ground reports from Provo. Enjoy the cold; game should be worth the wait.
Brad Brownell -- is he the real deal as he seems to be? Clemson's worst loss in pt differential is at Carolina (I know, I know) by 10 points when they couldn't hit the side of the barn the last 8 mins...and they had a huge comeback vs State last night with 8 healthy scholarship players. Am I warranted in feeling as good as I do about Tiger basketball?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
David: Yes. I am a big Brad Brownell fan. Very good coach, very solid. Future is bright in Clemson.
Who ya like-Zags or the Gaels?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Bill: Think I have to go with the Gaels, given recent Gonzaga performances. I know Zags are home and will play with great pride to defend their WCC bragging rights, but I just think St. Mary's is the better team this year.
What do you think of the struggling acc? which teams do you see making the tournament from that conference
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Tim: It's Duke and a bunch of yuck right now, really. I think Florida State and Carolina are probably next in the pecking order and will make the tourney. After that there are about five teams that look like they'll be in BubbleLand for the next several weeks. Depending on what happens elsewhere, ACC might only be a four-bid league. Maybe five, but that would be a pretty soft five.
Why is Duquesne getting no love in the A-10? It's always Dayton, Richmond, Temple, Xavier...
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Jim: We gave Duquesne some love yesterday on The Experts (1-4 ET Tuesdays on ESPNU, shameless plug). Very impressed with what Ron Everhart has done. Has improved the defense while maintaining an entertaining, up-tempo offense.
Why is Kentucky ranked ahead of Florida? Florida has a better overall record and is ahead of them in the conference. Not to mention their RPI and SOS is very close.
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
Joey: Welllll, Kentucky didn't lose to Jacksonville, for one thing. Or Central Florida. But here's the good news for you: rankings don't matter in college basketball. Irrelevant. If you insist on caring about them, Florida appears to be moving up in a hurry. Some good road wins in league play so far.
How many bids can the SEC expect this year?
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Tyler: Right now I'd say four, and I'd probably give those to Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Georgia. I'd keep an eye on Alabama and Tennessee still, but no one in the West has made a good enough case for the Dance yet.
Do you think Frank Martin's head will explode before the year is over? He has to be the most frustrated coach in the nation.
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Dan: Fortunately, Frank keeps all his frustrations well-hidden beneath his stoic exterior.
Patrick Pollano (Philly)
Who would you want at point if you were a college coach?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Patrick: The guy I want has a bad toe and is spending his time in sweats in Durham.
Which G'Town team do you expect to see tonight vs. StJohn's and for the remainder of the Big East slate? Good G'Town which beat Mizzou and was ultra-efficent running its Princeton O or bad G'Town which struggled to score and dropped winnable Big East games vs. St. John's and WVU?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Brian: I wish I knew. Hate teams that are so hard to figure out that you have no idea what to expect from game to game. I'd imagine JTIII agrees. Still think GTown is a Top 25-level team that will be OK in the long run, but it's time to show it a little more consistently.
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Seriously Pat? You'd take Irving right now over Fredette?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Greg: I would, and I have a bunch of NBA GMs who would agree with me.
Who are some sleepers outside the top 5 that could make a deep run with the right matchups (Mizzou, FSU, Baylor,Etc)?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
DJ: I'd put Mizzou in that category. I would NOT put Baylor in that category -- I thought the Bears were simply horrible at K-State the other night. FSU ... iffy, given Leonard Hamilton's NCAA tourney resume. Really too early for me to think seriously in those terms yet. Ask me again in a month.
What kind of feedback are you getting about your UW/Pitt questions from the Dash? I'm a huge fan of getting to the tournament each year...hated the 90's in Madison never knowing if we'd be dancing.
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Garrick: Lots of feedback on that, most of it very thoughtful. I'd say it's split -- about half the fans of Pitt/Wisco are very happy the way things are, and about half would trade a Final Four run for a few seasons of struggle.
Doug West (New Albany IN)
Can you ever see Alford returning as the anointed one at Indiana?
Pat Forde (2:47 PM)
Doug: Anointed to do what? To one day take IU to the round of 32? I guess that's my way of saying no, I don't see that happening.
Pat if you coached at Auburn University, how would you make us a good team. New arena and national champions in football and great alumnis like marquis daniels and charles barkley?
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Matt: New arena helps. Give Tony Barbee some time and see how he's doing in a couple of years. Not like he has to climb Kilimanjaro is socks to win the SEC West.
Zach (St. Paul, MN)
Sort of along the Pitt Wisco lines, but taking it a bit further...what college bb fan base should be happiest based on their teams performance over the past 10 years based on wins, consistency, tournament performance, no problems off the court, etc.?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Zach: That's a very good question. I'd say Butler, and a pretty big gap to second. In fact, not sure who I'd put second right now.
word on the street has it that over 2 dozen NBA scouts will be at the BYU/SDSU game. Who, aside from Jimmer, will be on their radar?
Pat Forde (2:50 PM)
Nater: Kawhi Leonard of SDSU, definitely. Those two guys figure to very much be on the NBA radar.
Will Aaron Craft be on your all freshman team? How high is the ceiling for him?
Pat Forde (2:50 PM)
Jay: Yes and high. He's been terrific this year. Surrounded by a great cast, but I'm really impressed by his poise and tenacity. Nothing he can't do so far, really.
Pete (Wichita, KS)
How many bids can the missouri valley expect to get this year?
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Pete: I'd say one, maybe two if Wichita State finishes the season strong but doesn't win the league tournament. But given the uncertainty, Arch Madness should be another donnybrook fighting for that auto bid.
Derrick Williams, Jimmer Fredette, or Jared Sullinger for POY
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Kyle: Of those three, Fredette. But I'd take Kemba Walker over all three as of today.
Pat -Seems like Villanova is kind of under the radar and a little under respected. They were a floater away from a possible top 10 road sweep last year and have beaten Temple, Cincy, Louisville, and Cuse throughout the year. Why do most analysts have questions about them? They've been more consistent than any Big East team in 2010-11
Pat Forde (2:53 PM)
Joe: No questions from me about Nova at this point. Could be the best team in the Big East. Game against Pitt in Feb should be must-see.
Rob (SLC, UT)
Is Butler fading into another Bucknell or George Mason? or is there a reason to keep hope alive in Indianapolis?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Rob: Wow, tough crowd. When a school like Butler loses a Top 10 NBA pick, there will be some slippage. But given what Butler did before Gordon Hayward, there is ample reason to believe it will keep winning at a high level after him as well.
Who is this years Butler?
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
James: I don't believe we'll have one, in part because I don't put a BYU or SDSU in the Butler category. But again, give me a month and we might be able to read the tea leaves a little more clearly.
How about Ohio State losing the #2 pick? Any slippage there?
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Nick: And this is why Ohio State fans are so ... interesting. Think there is a SLIGHT difference between Butler and Ohio State. Just a little.
Pat: Are there any coaches out there in the lesser-hyped conferences that you feel are ready to move up to coaching at one of the power conferences?
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
J.B.: I'd say the aforementioned Ron Everhart at Duquesne starts that list. There are plenty of others, but he's a hot name at the moment.
Who did you have in the final four preseason ?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Red: I honestly don't recall, but I'm thinking it was Duke, Michigan State, Kansas State and Syracuse. Not too spiffy right now.
Dave (San Francisco, CA)
More important secondary piece in tonights game, BYU's Jackson Emery or SDSU's Thomas or Gay?
Pat Forde (2:59 PM)
Dave: All of them important, but I'd say D.J. Gay. Has to run the show with aplomb in noisy arena and do his best to check Jimmer. (With plenty of help, I am sure.)
Hazeltine (Las Vegas)
Shumpert's triple double was impressive last night, but is there any reason to believe in Hewitt at Tech anymore?
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
Hazeltine: Not in my mind. I think his contract is the best thing he has going for him.
What are your most suprising teams?
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
Alex: UConn, Texas, Purdue, St. Mary's, Louisville. I thought SDSU would be good, but not this good. Texas A&M, Notre Dame.
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
OK folks, that's a wrap for me. Thanks for all the great questions, over 500 of them today. Enjoy the games tonight and the rest of this week and we'll chat again next week!