Chat with Dick Vitale
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale stops by to chat some college basketball.
Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style.
Send your questions now and join Vitale Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Dick Vitale (11:02 AM)
I am heading down to Houston tomorrow and this Final Four should be wild. It has been a wacky season. It is time to move forward and I don't want to talk any more about VCU getting in. They have done a fantastic job and they have earned their place at the Final Four. I keep hearing that my comments motivated him so I am waiting for a check from his bonus money!
Is this Calipari's best coaching job?
Dick Vitale (11:03 AM)
We can say that but he has done a phenomenal job wherever he has been. To me he has done a great job every year he has coached. You get excited because the ball bounces one way in a certain year. Look at what he had done at Massachusetts, Memphis and now Kentucky.
Should Matt Painter go to Missouri?
Dick Vitale (11:04 AM)
Matt Painter should go where he wants to go. The bottom line is if that is what he wanst to do, fine. He knows the situation better than I do. He is a Purdue guy all the way but he has a decision to make.
Who is the key for Kentucky Saturday?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Terrence Jone has shot 27-for-77 in the last eight games so they need to get a game out of him. Connecticut will get its share of points so the 'Cats need a good game from their freshman.
Is Tubby Smith's job in Minny safe?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
Yes, don't think there is a problem. I am looking forward to working with Tubby down at Houston in a speaking engagement with The Hartford. Remember he lost his point guard and other things went south, but his resume says it all.
Cuonzo Martin to UT. How do you think this will pan out?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
I personally thought he would have been better off at Missouri. He brings integrity and a great attitiude. He won at Missouri State and he was a fighter as a player. He did a great job but the question is, what will the sanctions be at Tennessee?
Dickie V, who is the player to watch in the McDonald's game?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
Austin Rivers is a guy who excites me. I love watching his skills and offensive ability. Also the incredible toughness of Michael Gilchrist, who is going to Kentucky.
Tim (Hartford, Ct.)
Do you think Jim Calhoun will retire?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
He loves the gym, loves coaching. A lot will depend on medical reports, physical situation. He eats, drinks and sleeps coaching. If he wins the championship, maybe he would walk away and the sanctions were frustrating because he prides himself in doing things the right way. He was accountable as the leader of his ship. It is a possibility if they win in the championship.
Teddy (New York)
Talk about the importance of Jeremy Lamb for UConn?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
Lamb has developed into a big factor for Jim Calhoun's team. He has been consistently hitting the trifecta in the tournament. Don't forget Doron Lamb at Kentucky. Both are so vital putting points on the board and overshadowed by other players like Kemba Walker. Lamb's father played at VCU and beat Jim Calhoun at Northeastern in 1984. Rolando Lamb paid Jim Calhoun back 10 fold with his son.
Smart Fan (Richmond)
Will Shaka be our coach next season?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Heloves it there and he loves them. It would have to be an unbelievable situation and it will be tough to match the dollars that will be thrown his way. It depends on what the individual wants. Jimmy V said you don't give up happiness. I think a lot of money will be thrown his way so he will have a decision. He is the hot name right now.
Did Jeff Capel get a raw deal?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
I like Jeff a lot but it is what have you done for me lately. I believe that someone else should give him a chance and I believe he will get another Division I job sometime in the future.
So are you going to apologize for your rant cutting on VCU with them getting in over V Tech and Colorado??? Clearly it's been proven this year that it's anyone's tournament to win and no dominant team like some other years but teams that didn't get in put themselves on that bubble and hardly think singling a team that did get in was fair at all.
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
As I said earlier, I am past this. I will say that VCU deserves a lot of credit for a great run, the best run I have ever seen in the tournament. I give Shaka Smart a lot of credit and have always felt he was a rising star in coachinf, from when he was an assistant under Billy Donovan.
John (Westborough, Massachusetts)
Do you think UConn's Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway is the reason Calhoun is thinking of leaving???
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
What are you thoughts on who will be in the Final Four next year?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
Too early to tell. A lot will depend on which players leave early. I just want to enjoy this weekend.
Mike (Oklahoma )
Considering what Kemba has done of late, do you think the player of the year voting should be finalized after the NCAA tourney?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
I understand your point. I would go with Jimmer over Kemba in the closest of margins...
Mr. Vitale, is this the best overall tournament you have seen. If not what year was better? I can't remember ever enjoying this tournament more (although it helps uconn is in the final four)
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
This is a very interesting tournament with a lot of close games and surprises. Is it the best tournament ever? That is hard to say.
DV, we all know that mid majors are frauds and no good. The BCS programs dominate and get the best recruits. How did a no good mid major program do this? This is killing basketball if you ask me
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I don't think your comment is fair. When you look at what Butler has done the last two years, come on. Look at Gonzaga, look at George Mason in 2006. If teams get an opportunity and take advantage of it, good for them. Give them credit instead of tearing them apart. Why do people have to be so negative?
So, who of the Final 4 coaches do you think has done the best job this year?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
To get to this point, you have to have done a good job and all four have in different ways. Jim Calhoun's team is young and yet they have been incredible in a tournament scenario, starting in Maui. Calipari has a new team with three diaper dandies and three veterans yet this team has advanced further than the team with Wall and Cousins that probably was more talented. Clearly Brad Stevens has done an amazing job with Gordon Hayward leaving early. Then you talk about Shaka Smart and a team that was 3-5 in its last eight games before the tournament. This team has been hitting the trifecta as a weapon consistently and as I said earlier, you have to give them credit.
Dicky V... Tell me buddy, how can Purdue be so (forgive my harshness) stupid to let it get to a point to where Painter is considering leaving? Give the man some money! Give his assistants the money! Give him money to recruit and compete with IU!!! He has brought Purdue into relevancy... don't throw it away!
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
I believe Purdue has increased its offer. As I said earlier, it comes down to a coach making a decision about his future. He has certainly done an outstanding job at Purdue and I believe we may have seen the Boilermakers in Houston if Robbie Hummel wasn't injured.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Mid majors are better because they have players who stay for 4 years. So which is better, A level players who only stay for 1 year or B level players who stay for 4? College basketball is more of a team game.
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
I agree that mid-majors can have more continuity when players stay four years. You have the teamwork and guys are used to each other. You know how I feel about the one-and-done. I have had this argument with John Calipari n regard to winning a championship with so much turnover on the roster. We may find out more about that this weekend.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
Dickie V! It's the dome, baby! Chicks dig the dome! It's like Fabio & Roseanne Barr...NO CONTEST! (never forgot you saying that!) Do you think Arizona retooled well after Lute Olson's departure? Do you seem them contending again next year?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
You must go to the same barber that I do, baby! I believe Derrick Williams will go to the pros and maybe even be the top overall pick. That said, they do have a lot of talent returning and Sean Miller deserves a lot of ctredit for the job he has done in a short time. You saw Lute Olson at the games during the tournament and he was so happy. I think that fans at University of Arizona should be very happy.
Dicky V, Do you think that players such as Tyler Hansborough who stayed all 4 years with a BCS program end up being better NBA players? I've seen a trend that players that stay in college longer, end up playing longer careers in the NBA. What do you think?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
I think it depends on the player. Tyler Hansbrough is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen on the college level and now in the pros, that hard work is translating into success. I am very happy he is doing well with the Pacers now.
Another question about BYU. Do you see any of the teams with job openings going hard for Dave Rose?
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
Coach Rose has done a super job and he is also a cancer survivor. I have been impressed with BYU and I know a lot of people thought Gonzaga was going to beat the Cougars. I think Rose is a good fit but if I ws another school looking for a coach, I would have him on my short list for sure. That said, I think he will be back in Provo next season.
Let's talk Kentucky and UConn. Not to take away from the other two teams, but on paper, this looks like THE Championship game. Considering the two teams' post season play thus far, what are the keys for each team in this game?
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
Easy to say that. I heard the same thing about Louisville and Houston in 1983 and that game was so intense with so many high-flying plays. Jimmy V and NC State cut down the nets in Albuquerque. My friends, don't sleep on Butler or VCU. The Rams beat five major-conference teams in five games. Butler was there last year and beat quality teams like Pittsburgh and Florida already. As for keys, I already said Terrence Jones for Kentucky. Connecticut you immediately say Kemba and Lamb but I feel Alex Oriakhi has to have a good game on the glass and score some points inside too.
there will be a party on euclid Monday night......the UK students will be rioting after #8!!!
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
Right now I like Big Blue nation to celebrate and cut down the nets on Monday night. That said, I hope there is no rioting. Go out and celebrate but do it in a reponsible way. I consider the fans of Kentucky to be the most passionate in the sport. I just hope they act in the right way if they win it all down at Reliant Stadium.
Dicky V! My wife said if Butler wins, I can buy a motorcycle finally!!
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
Really...good luck. I will leave that between you and your wife. Get a helmet, baby!
Dick Vitale (11:45 AM)
I am so excited to be going down to Houston. That is why we had to move the chat to today. Thanks for your support as I really enjoy doing these, interacting with the fans. I am looking forward to speaking at an event with Jeff Van Gundy as he is trying to raise dollars for kind down in Houston. I hope everyone enjoys the games. I am picking Kentucky to face VCU in the final on Monday night, with the Wildcats cutting down the nets. See you for another chat next Thursday.