Chat with Dick Vitale
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Dick Vitale (11:03 AM)
Great to be back with you chatting. I love talking to the fans, even in the off-season because there is always lots of news in college hoops, as well as talking about my Rays, baby! Hectic week in Lexington. I am speaking in Greensboro tonight. Great news for North Carolina with Harrison Barnes coming back. Kentucky will still be very good with the class coming in. Sad news at Carolina with Woody Durham retiring.
Dick, with all the returning talent, McAdoo and Hairston will both most likely be sitting the bench for UNC in 2012. Does this affect their morale?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Not at all. They will blend in perfectly and they will get their minutes. They will provide offensive firepower when they are on the floor and they will get their share of minutes. It is a great problem to have. Everyone should have that dilemma.
Pete Willenborg (St. Louis)
Coach, what do expect out of Michigan State? Got to love the development of Payne and Appling....another year with DaDa and DRoe.
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
I think Appling will become a solid player. I think they will have better chemitry and players having problems off the court create issues. They have a great freshman coming in named Dawson and I think Tom Izzo will have a super season.
Ryan (Huntsville, AL)
Hey Dicky V, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings announced that Ezeli, Taylor, and Jenkins will be back next year. Meaning all 5 starters will return. What's Vandy's preseason ranking coming into next year?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
Ezeli, Jenkins and Taylor should lead to a special year at Vanderbilt. This should be one of the best teams he has had in his tenure. They have to find a way to get over the hump com tournament time. They have had some problems in the NCAA the last few years.
Rickie (Tar Heels fan)
Isn't the key to the Heels Kendell Marshall? He made such a differenc elast season.
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
The key is the fact they have the best frontcourt in America. When you have great backcourt player that helps immensely. Marshall will get better and better. I have North Carolina as the number one team in America next season. It also helps to have depth.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Instead of targeting flashy recruits, Bo Ryan recruits the same type of players that allows him to run his specific offensive and defensive sets. Why don't more college coach follow the Bo Ryan model?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
It fits him perfectly, you are right. The talent level is a step below the upper elite. It comes down to talent+ coaching experience. Are you going to tell Duke and North Carolina that their system doesn't work? End of story.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
Dick, I just want to say as a University of San Diego basketball fan I was stunned to hear one of our teams biggest players was involved in points shaving. Our team has been through a lot, and I have been one of Bill Grier's biggest critics, but the man deserves to be commended for the way he is handling this whole situation. I think if there is any coach to take USD back to the prominence it showed during the 2008 NCAA Tournament...Coach Grier can. Thank You.
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
It is a problem which is a major concern. People are hustling easy dollars. You have people in every profession trying to do it the easy way. I don't think there is any indictment on San Diego and Coach Grier is handling it. You don't want a repeat of what happened in the 1950s.
How do you see the Memphis Tigers finishing next year now that our roster is set?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
Memphis will be very good with a year of development. They are the class of the Conference USA and I look for a big year. I spoke to Josh Pastner recently and he is very excited. Barton and company will be one to watch.
Dick! Hey man...with Sullinger and Buford coming back next year, and the incoming talent, Ohio State should still be loaded, right? What are your expectations?
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
They will be very good. Craft is back too. Amir Williams is coming in. Sullinger will be a dominant force. Craft will improve shooting the basketball. Thad Matta has done an amazing job. I see Ohio State as the class of the Big Ten once again.
What do you make of Andre LaFleur leaving UConn?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
Guys move on to become the number one assistant. He played at Northeastern and is familar with the Big East so he will be an asset to coach Cooley. Some guys move to try to get ahead to become a head coach in the future.
I am a huge UK fan. And I wanted to know out of the three Knight, Jones, and Liggins, Which do you think will come back and play another yr. for the Cats? And if none do, who is being mentioned as possible recruits to fill the spots left? Cause I don't think Coach Cal wants to have another yr. of only 10 players on the bench.
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
This will still be a very talented team with a great class coming in. There is no way Liggins is a first rounder so why would he want to give up playing there. By the way, I think this will be the weakest draft in my 30 years plus a ESPN. I feel Knight and Jones will go and be in the top 10 of the draft.
Hey Dickie V! I know VT is losing a lot but they are returning some good players and getting a good DD is Dorian Finney-Smith, so what do you think they may do next year? Could they finally get over the hump?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
Losing Delaney and Allen is tough. They have gotten some raw deals over the years with the selection committee. The 6-7 diaper dandy is highly regarded and should have an immediate impact. I think Seth Greenberg will have some talent and they could be dangerous though it is tough losing Delaney.
Dick, with the depature of Kemba Walker, how good will the Huskies be next year.
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I think Connecticut will be very good with Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi Jim Calhoun will have a club that will be very competitive in the Big East. Sure they will miss Walker.
How do you think Fab Melo, Baye Keita, Dashonte Riley and Rakeem Christmas will do in taking over for Rick Jackson next year?
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
Syracuse will be very talented. I am curious to see how Dion Waiters' situation plays out.
Amidst Bruce Pearl being fired how well do you think UT will do next year?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
It will depend on the Tobias Harris situation. I think Cuonzo Martin was a good hire and he wil rebuild the integrity of the program. Tennessee will always have some good talent. We have to see how the sanctions down the line, if there are more, affect the program.
Hey Dick congraculations on being In the Hall of Fame. You Deserve it And Enjoy it Once more congraculations.
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
Thank you very much. I appreciate the kind words.
Justin Jones (Somerset Kentucky)
With the "Big Three" Returning to UNC are they the clear favortie going into the 2011-2012 season?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
No doubt about it. I have Carolina number 1, Kentucky 2, Texas 3, Ohio State 4...
Duke V Carolina gonna be a top 5 battle?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
Yes, in my early reflections of the rankings, yes. Stay tuned as this is only April, baby!
Kyle (Johnson City, TN)
What are your thoughts on the looming NBA lock-out's effect on the college game? And what should the NBA do about the one and done rule?
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
It could have an impact on youngsters who want to work out with teams. Summer league experience usually helps and there are reports that has been cancelled already. There will be a draft, so teams will add players, but we will have to see how a work stoppage hurts the sport. I would tell a kid who is borderline for the first round to come back to school and work on his skills and try to get his draft stock up.
Ted (Long Island)
How busy is the off-season for you?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
Very, very busy. I have had speakign engagements and I am getting ready for my Dickie V. gala on May 20th in Sarasota at the Ritz-Carlton. Preparing for that is like a full-time job. I am looking forward to going to Greensboro tonight speakign in honor of my late buddy Fred Barakat. He had such a passion about the ACC and John Swofford and Karl Hicks are supposed to be there tonight. Wow, his passing was so sad. I remember going to the Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley fight with him and then he passed away about a month later. You have to enjoy life every day, my friends. I look forward to answering your questions again next week. I have to take a TO baby!