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 (11:02 AM)
Good to be with you again. There is a lot to talk about, starting with Shaq hanging the sneakers up, plus Jim Tressel's resignation. Shaq was something special with his size and strength. When I first saw him at the McDonald's High School All-American Game, I was amazed with his agility and quickness for a big man. I remember saying he was going to be the next big star in basketball and I was right. I loved his personality and his fun personna. He gave me a big bearhug every time he saw me. Thanks for the 19 years of memories in the NBA, big fella.
Come on Dickie V, I saw what you said about Tressel. Can you honestly support what this man has done?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
I am not sure what you are saying? He had to step down and he made major mistakes. You never mess with integrity and he covered it up. It definitely messed with his legacy. I was not defending Tressel. He was a very good coach on the field but he made an error protecting his players.
quick question do you believe Mike Gilchrist starts as a freshmen for the talent laden Kentucky team next year if so who do you believe gets relegated to 6th man
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
Gilchrist will be a major star from day one. He and Anthony Davis will be a dynamic diaper dandy duo. Players like Gilchrist may not always impress in the boxscore but they lead you to the winner's locker room. Big blue nation will be jumping with joy with both of those guys. Gilchrist will do a lot right away. They will have a rotation of eight players or so, and Calipari will do fine getting them all playing time. It is really about who finishes, especially when the game is on the line. Gilchrist and Davis will be on the floor.
Dickie V. Don't you think there are too many fouls called or free throws shot in a NBA game? It interrupts the beautiful flow that is inherent in the game of basketball. No one wants to see 60 foul shots.
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
Physical contact must be curtailed. You cannot have guys beaten up. You cannot blame officials and refs have to blow the whistle. Both in college and pro they have to clean up the fouling.
Harrison Barnes make a case of Player of the Year this season?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
He has the talent and ability and he is on a team that will get notoriety. If he starts this season the way he finished last year, he will be part of the equation for sure, right there with Jared Sullinger of Ohio State.
Will the Pac-10 be tougher this season?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Can't be down like the last few years. They were a bit down but it goes in cycles. I think UCLA will be better with the Wear twins. Stanford and Oregon have to get better. Washington and Arizona have been very good. The big three need some help. USC should make a turn up after being in the field last year.
How good will the Crimson Tide be next season?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Very good. Terrific recruiting class to join JaMychal Green and Releford. I think Anthony Grant has put together something special and the Tide should challenge Kentucky and Florida. There should be excitement down in Tuscaloosa and it will be great to see something positive after what happened with the tragedy with the tornadoes down there. The sports programs have a lot for fans to be psyched about.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Did you give an interview for "Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN"? What are your thoughts/expectations?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
I was interviewed and I shared my thoughts about the ESPN family and how special they have been. I shared my insights with the writers about my 32 years here. They have been my second family. I have had so much love from the people here. I truly admire George Bodenheimer, the president of the company.
When will the college basketball (specifically big ten) season schedule be released?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Some schools have put out there already. It should be a great season and there are a lot of great early-season games to look forward to.
JE SalukiL4ever (Decatur, IL)
If bruce Weber fails this year would you give Jerrance Howard a shot at the job? (cant be any worse than whats going on the past few years)
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
People get carried away. They were in the tough Big Ten and made the big dance. Give me a break. The guy is a hard worker and he has done a decnt job. He has brought in a good class for this coming season and it is ridiculous to speculate on another coach for the future. Yes this is a pivotal year for the Illini but Weber has a team that can do potential damage.
do you think rivers will live up to the hype?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
I think the fans will be excited down in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Cameron Crazies will go nuts when they see Mr. Rivers play. He will live up to the hype and become a megastar for the Dukies.
Evan (Washington, DC)
who is penn state going to hire?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I think Rob Jeter of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the leading candidate but we have to see. If I was the athletic director I would have placed a call to the General, Robert Montgomery Knight. He would have been the perfect teacher to go with Joe Paterno, two Hall of Famers. Imagine what it would have been like to have Knight coach against Indiana!
RAYMOND DANIEL (DACULA GEORGIA)
DICK,WILL YOU BE AT ANY OF THE UK BSKETBALL GAMES IN LEXINGTON THIS YEAR?
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
I have not received my schedule yet but I would think I will be assigned to a few Kentucky games at some point this season. I love calling games at Rupp Arena and love the passion of the fans of Big Blue Nation.
Coach Vitale, what punishment would you give Ohio State, its players, and Coach Tressel? Although he resigned, should he face further punishment?
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
I think time will tell and the NCAA may impose other punishment on him in terms of whether or not he can coach again any time soon. As for the players, I have a simple question ... why did some of them get to play in the bowl game last year? I felt it at the time and still feel it sent out a poor message. This mess will take a while to get cleaned up. I expect it to stay in the spotlight for a little while longer, unfortunately.
What teams other than Kentucky and Duke even stand a chance at having a competitive game against the Tar Heels?
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
I think you have to put Ohio State pretty far up in the rankings with Jared Sullinger, William Buford and Aaron Craft among the players back, plus Thad Matta has another very good class coming in to Columbus. Hey, basketball is becoming the number one sport there after football has had its problems!
Dickie V fan (LA)
Was Shaq the most powerful player you saw calling college games?
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
He was incredibly strong inside. I was watching clips of him doign damage to backboards and laughing. He also got great low-post position inside and teams had to foul him.
Ted (Long Island)
How good will St. John's be next season?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
Steve Lavin brought in one of the top recruiting classes in America but his Red Storm will be very young. Talented, but we will have to see how long it takes to get the players to mesh as a unit. It is nice to see St. John's back in the limelight and he has done a great job turning things around in a short time. The Red Storm progrram is relevant again and the Big Apple is rocking and rolling.
Dusty (St. Louis)
There is a lot of hype for Baylor, Mizzou, and A&M to win the Big 12, but can anyone seriously discount KU's chances after Bill Self has guided them to 7 straight?
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
I will not make the same mistake aslast year and underrate Kansas. The Jayhawks will always be in the hunt and it all starts with Bill Self. He has done a brilliant job in Lawrence and next year will be the same despite losing the Morris Twins and a lot of talent. With Taylor, Robinson and a good group of youngsters, this team will be heard from again in the Big 12.
Do you think the NBA should make basketball eligibility the same as football-not eleigible for the draft until 3rd year. The basketball championship game this year reflected the talent drain in college b-ball.
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
I have said it before and I will say it again. The one-and-done rule is a joke and it is hurting basketball. This draft is the weakest I have seen in my 32 years in television and the rule has to be changed, maybe through collective bargaining but it is not helping the kids develop when they go out right away. They sometimes have delusions of grandeur given to them by their posses, people planting the seed in their head.
What is your take on scottie pipen saying jordan is the best scorer and lebron could be the best player. Who do you think is the best player ever?
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
From what I understand that is not what Scottie Pippen said. I know some writers said things that may have been taking Scottie's remarks out of whack. When it is all said and done, LeBron has the potential to get into the upper stratosphere of basketball with Michael the Magnificent.
Could Vanderbilt be a Final 4 caliber team?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
I mentioned Kentucky and Florida with Alabama before but Kevin Stallings has a team which will be up there as well. He has so much talent returning and the team chemistry should be great. Kentucky lost a lot and has so much youth, Florida lost Parsons, Tyus, Macklin up front. Yes, Vanderbilt has a legit shot to compete for the SEC title next season.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the NBA Champions since you picked the Finals right on the Money?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
I still like the Heat to win the series, giving LeBron James and Chris Bosh a ring, which is why they went to South Beach.
Are you a BYU hater?
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
Are you serious? I have a lot of respect for the job Dave Rose has done at BYU. I felt Jimmer Fredette was the Player of the Year. Enough said.
Are you surprised to see so many former NBA players like Stoudamire, Augmon and Harrington becoming college assostants now?
Dick Vitale (11:45 AM)
I think it is great to see players with pro experience giving back to the game on the college level. It is a positive at those schools.
Ryan J (obx)
how do you think wake will be this year and any hope coming in from this recruiting class
Dick Vitale (11:46 AM)
It has to be better than last season went.
Dick Vitale (11:48 AM)
Thanks so much for all of your questions. I am so excited about this evening as I am receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. It really is a tribute to ,y whole team, my family, the people at ESPN and my close friends. I am so humbled to have the owners of the Bucs, Lightning and Rays in attendance there and Jesse Palmer as the emcee. See you next week.