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)
Good morning and welcome to our latest chat. The NBA draft is only a couple of weeks away and it is pretty wide open after the top few picks. You may get a player at 30 that is as good as someone late in the top 10. Today is my birthday and I am a reverse 27. I have the spirit of a 27 year old. My grandson hit a home run for a birthday gift.
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Playoff time tonight, pivotal game as LeBron playing his most important game to date. There is pressure on him and there is a right to be. We will see what happens.
Were you surprised with Hamilton taking so long to go and how will Cuonzo Martin do with the Vols?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
Martin will do ok, he has a great attitude and has battled through tougher things than basketball as a cancer survivor. He is going to have a tough time with Ws and Ls since Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson left early. Judge him over a five-year period, not just this one. I was not surprised that Hamilton left and was shocked it took that long. You have to be accountable over what happened with Kiffin and Pearl.
Rookie (storrs) [via mobile]
What is yoour take on the Huskies now with the addition of DeAndre Daniels
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
They got a versatile athlete who will benefit from their style of play. They have athletes and they will always have players. Daniels should fit in.
Josh S. (Philly)
What do you make of the NBA possibly making players stay in college for 2 whole years now?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Obviously it would help the college game making them stay two years. I wish they would use the college baseball system of keeping kids who go to college for three seasons.
Does Kansas have a chance at winning an 8th straight conference title after losing so many players and not having a great recruiting class coming in?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
Every time they step on the floor with the name Kansas, they can contend. They have a decent class and with Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson, they will be right there. Those kids play with a sense of pride and they are so tough at Allen Field House where the fans don't let them lose. Robinson will develop into a star. Rock, chalk, Jayhawk, my friends.
Is Taylor an All-America for the Badgers next season? You had to love him when you called the game against the Buckeyes.
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
Taylor was phenomenal against Ohio State and he should be in consideratio for my first-team All-Solid Gold squad.
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
Bo Ryan always get the most out of his players.
Dick, how do you think George Mason will end up being now that they lost Luke Hancock on top of Cam Long graduating? With the returning talent and the recruiting class, do you see them as a factor come March?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Paul Hewitt is in an environment where he can be successful like when he was at Siena. I think he inherits a decent nucleus despite losign Long and Hancock. Jimmy Larranaga set the table for him and now GeorgeMason can contend in a league that is vastly underrated nationally. Just look at what VCU did in the tournament. I think you will hear from George Mason this season for sure.
Can Mike Rice get Rutgers into the top half of the Big East?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
He is excited about his new recruits and he brings a lot of energy It is so tough because the Big East is loaded up top. There are no cupcakes in the Big East and Rutgers will not be a cupcake.
What is a realistic long term programmatic goal for Marquette?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
Buzz Williams has done a great job there and I think with Johnson-Odom back, the Golden Eagles will be an NCAA team once again. He has built the foundation but as I said earlier, the Big East is just so tough.
Is Kevin O'Neill the right fit for USC?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
I think USC will be heard from out west next season. Remember they got Jio Fortan as a transfer midway through the season. The Pac-10 will be interesting since Arizona lost Mo Mo Jones as well as Derrick Williams. UCLA, witht eh Wear twins, will be tough too.
Josh S. (Philly)
How good do you think Villanova will be this upcoming season?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
Despite losing a lot of talent and going through struggle city at the end of the season, Villanova will be very competitive next season. It is funny because I understand Jay Wright recently was talking about not having that much strength at guard. I think Villanova will be in the mix again in the Big East.
Dicky V, how long will it take the Utes to be relivent in the pac-12?
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
I like the hire of Larry Krystkowiak by Utah. I think it may take a little time but Utah has had success over the years despite struggling last season. It will be interesting to see how Colorado and Utah adjust to joining the Pac-10 teams.
What are the positives and negatives of Kyrie Erving decision of not participating in the combine? How will this effect how teams look at him of being number one overall?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
I think the upside potential of Kyrie Irving makes him the top pick. He showed flashes early in the season against the likes of Kalin Lucas and Jacob Pullem, two established, solid guards. The downside is an concern about the toe injury which sidelined him until the NCAA tournament. Then you look at how he did in the tourney and you see why people like him. I do feel this will be one of the weakest drafts in my 32 years on television.
I am a fan of ESPN, but why is the coverage of the NBA finals so one sided? It's all about what the Heat are not doing,, Not about what the Mavs are doing? When are the Mavs going to get some coverage? It is 2-2,,
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
I think people have been talking a lot about Dirk Nowitzki. I think tonight is a very big game but the experts should be talking about the big three of LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Michael tyson front royal va [via mobile]
Hey dick be fan! how will duke do next year? Where do you put duke in the poll. Thanks
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
Even though Duke loses the likes of Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving, the Blue Devils will be right up there in the ACC. North Carolina will be the dlear favorite but Duke will be second choice. Austin Rivers will be one of the premier diaper dandies in America. Seth Curry will be more comfortable in his second season there. The Plumlees will be more effective up front.
The Gators are stacked at guard and weak on the frontline...Do you expect them to progress or regress this year??
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
I think Billy Donovan's team has a lot of talent with Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker returning in the backcourt, Brad Beal as a top-notch diaper dandy and Mike Rosario being eligible as a transfer from Rutgers. You are right, they are loaded in the backcourt but I also expect big things from Patric Young up front. They lost a lot with Alex Tyus, Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin all gone, but I feel Billy the Kid will still have a top 10-15 team. The SEC will be very good up top with Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Alabama making major noise.
Hey Dickie V, is there any chance Jay Wright leaves Villanova in the next few seasons for another college program or the NBA?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
I do not think so. By the way, I am thrilled that Jay will be honored at my Dickie V gala next year, along with Gary Williams and Lou Holtz. I think Jay Wright loves being at Villanova and I see him there long-term.
Matt (Cold Spring, KY )
How do you think Calipari's recruiting class this year will do? Are you fgoing to be in Siesta Key, FL the week of July 4th. I will be down there with my family. I would enjoy seeing you at breakfast at the Broken Egg!
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
Calipari's class is loaded. I look forbig things from Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis up front. Teague will be a star in the backcourt and Kentucky has a lot of depth with Miller, Lamb and Terrence Jones all returning. Kentucky will be my number two teams behind North Carolina. I love having breakfast at the Broken Egg so I hope you stop by and say hi.
Can Penn State ever become consistant in the Big 10 (12)?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
That is going to be tough and I think that is one reason why Ed DeChellis left for Navy. It is tough to consistently win against the likes of Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Losing Talor Battle from last year's team makes life challenging for new coach Pat Chambers from Boston University.
Dusty (St. Louis)
What is your take on Lebron? He has taken a lot of shots the last couple days from just about everyone it seems.
Dick Vitale (11:42 AM)
Tonight is a big game and I expect LeBron to come through. DeShawn Stevenson may have been a little wacky to run his mouth and say that LeBron kinda packed it in in the fourth quarter the other day. You don't attack LeBron like that and it may serve to motivate King James even more. I don't think Dallas wanted to give him more motivation. He took extra shots in practice yesterday and I expect him to be more aggressive. I see a 30-10-7 type of game.
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
Thanks for all of your questions. Today is a special day as I am a backwards 27. Wow, I am so lucky to be spending time with my lovely wife of 40 years, Lorraine. ak to you next week.