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 (11:04 AM)
I'm looking forward to the college season, especially the fact that I was assigned to do the first game of the season on an aircraft carrier. It will be Michigan State and UNC. My preseason top three will be UNC, Kentucky and OSU. That should be a special, special game.
James (San Antonio, TX)
Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky are each set to have a huge season with their influx of talent and returning starters. So, by the time the season is over:1) Which of those three do you think will have the better team? 2) Which will have the biggest breakout star? Who?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
I think Kentucky has a way of getting better and better at the end of the year. John Calipari has a way of getting new guys and blending them together. They will be even better this year. The freshman group will be off the charts.
Vicky D (lost, ohio)
What do you think of Thad Matta and the Buckeyes?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
I have them preseason No. 3. Sullinger has to be one of the leading candidates for the preseason choice of player of the year. He's trimmed down and I think he's going to have a major, major year. I was fortunate to receive the first Wayman Tisdale Award winner and he was the Wayman Tisdale Diaper Dandy winner. He's a terrific human being. He's a winner and he'll have a monster year.
Do you have any early season teams to watch as potential "dark horses" for the NCAA tourney this year?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
I have a couple. Check out my website at espn.com/dickvitale, I have six teams that are under the radar. We talk Florida and Kentucky in the SEC all the time, but you better keep an eye on Vanderbilt and Alabama. Vanderbilt has some guys returning. They're going to be dynamite. Alabama has a good freshman class coming in. And clubs that are going to really going to give teams nightmares are Harvard and Paul Hewitt and his new setting at George Mason. Those are two teams to really watch. USC, I think Kevin O'Neill will make some noise.
Jonathan (New York)
How do you think The Duke Blue Devils will do this season?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
Duke's one of my Super Four, right at No. 4. There is no question that Austin Rivers is going to have a phenomenl year. He's a scoring machine. He'll improve in areas like defending and all areas. Coach K will teach him everything he needs to do. He's been around basketball all his life and he's the leading candidate to be the freshman of the year.
Dwayne (tupelo, ms)
Dick i want ur thoughts on mississippi state. I think theyre highly underrated.
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Mississippi State returns a heckuva cast. There is no question that they can create problems, especially at home, they'll be tough to beat.
JESalukIL4ever (Decatur, IL)
Can Illinois get to a top 10-15 program(where they belong) annually with Weber as the head coach?
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
It's a pivotal year for coach Weber. Illinois is going to have to make a real impact, big time. Some people are unhappy with the progress, which I think is unfair at times. I thought they were really talented last year.
Kevin (New Jersey)
Hey Dicky V, just first wanted to say that you are by far my favorite analyst for any sport! Keep up the great work!Do you think anything can be done to attract more of the elte players to stay longer then 1 yeah in college basketball? It has gotten to the point where it hurts a players draft status in the NBA if they stay 4 years in college to get their degree? Teams want potential more then college sucess, and I think it hurts, waters down the college game.
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
I've been preaching for years that it benefits the NBA. College basketball creates the name recognition after one year. I've been preaching the same rules as baseball. If a kid wants to go right from high school, let them go. Everyone else, once they step on a college campus, they have to stay 3 years. They'll be that much more ready for the NBA.
Buzz King (Dinkytown, MN)
If you had $100-large riding on picking the 2012 NCAA champion, would you take Kentucky/North Carolina/Ohio State or the rest of the field?
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
I take UNC. When you look at Roy Williams' track record, I believe in 2005 and 2009, when they won the titles, they were projected to win it. They just went out and dominated and won it in 2005. In 2009, they went out again. They backed up their ranking. He embraced that. I would be shocked if anybody doesn't pick them preseason No. 1. I take UNC. I know one thing, if it were the NBA and best four of seven, nobody beats UNC. But that's the beauty of the college game. It's just one game.
Jeff the holy land (Lawrence) [via mobile]
Dick. You picked the Jayhawks 5th in the Big 12 last year..11 th this year?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
They're a mystery team. The jersey says Kansas, the coach Bill Self is on the sideline, but they're a mystery team. They've lost some big guys, the Morris kids to the NBA. With their tradition, their returning groups, you still have to go to Lawrence to win the Big 12.
ryan (san diego)
With everything Larry Scott has done for the Pac-12 and the seemingly new flood of solid recruits going west, ie... Arizona, Ucla, Washington... do you see the Pac 12 returning to a level of dominance that could yield higher attention from the rest of the nation, or will this be like a few years ago, with a bunch of one and done's and a year or two of great young talent? Also, any shot with all this talent coming in Sean Miller can win a national championship?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
The Pac-12, well, the Pac-10, it was years straight of UCLA going to those Final Fours, but then they lost all of the players to the NBA, Kevin Love and all of them. But I think they'll be back. I still think that Sean Miller is a winner. He's won everywhere he's been. He has the necessary elements to get them back to the Lute Olsen days. Then you add Colorado and Utah. Utah brings a basketball tradition. Everything runs in cycles. Basketball, you can change a team with the influx of one player. It's not like football where you need 50-60 guys. Basketball can change with a handful of guys.
Good day sir...how did you come up with "Dipsy-Do- Dunkaroo"?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
I steal them from all of you fans. I use them and take credit from them! I get a lot of ideas now on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter.com/DickieV. Follow me!
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
Send me some new ideas. I'll use them and take credit for them.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which Former College Basketball who was drafted in the 2011 NBA Draft do you think will be great in the NBA?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
I'm going to pick a guy that a lot of people questioned, Jimmer Fredette. I think he'll surprise a lot of people. The shooting range, the toughness. People say he can't guard, but who can guard guys like D-Wade. Defense is a team concept.
What are your thoughts, given the recent success of Kentucky and late bloomers (Harrellson and Liggins), that Vargas or Hood step up and give Kentucky experience as well as added depth? Vargas showed flashes of his potential in the tournament, and Hood is supposed to be an excellent shooter.
Dick Vitale (11:24 AM)
John and his staff do a great job of breaking down and developing their teams. Who knew that Harrellson would be a second round pick? People say John is a great recruiter, but check out his practices and he's a great teacher. Then the kids that he's adding, those kids are unreal. I think there's no question the teachability of the staff plays a vital role.
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
The one thing I love is sharing time with fans. Andy Cook was tweeting me regularly the last month or so and he invited me to his wedding and he was shocked to see me at his wedding. I love mingling with the fans. They're all so great. I told Chris McKendry on SportsCenter that the beauty of Twitter is how much I get to interat with the fans. Send me the teams you love the teams you watch. I learn a great deal from the fans. Love em.
Buzzmaster (11:25 AM)