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 (11:07 AM)
Good morning and it is great to be with you chatting again. I love interracting with the fans as the summer rolls on, baby! I hada great time in Boston this week at Fenway, shooting the breeze with big hoops fan Terry Francona, a former season ticket holder at Arizona. We talked about my top teams for this season with Carolina number one. Preseason is not what it is about, it is all about postseason, baby! I was with ESPN's Mike Soltys, Josh Krulewitz and Howie Schwab and we had a blast.
What do you think about Washington this season? I think Lorenzo Romar is an underrated coach and East Coast bias may play a part against him.
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
I appreciate all the tweets I have received about my top 40 and that is the beauty about the fans. Washington will have a talented backcourt but lost its three top scorers, led by Isaiah Thomas. Romar has done a great job and the Huskies will be in New York for the Jimmy V this year so they will get some more exposure in the East. For those of you who were concerned about my preseason 40, remember, if you do it on the court, you will get the recognition. For those who feel Virginia, Washington, Mississippi State and ODU belong, we will see. My friends, it is not easy to project a top 40 because there are really 50-60 teams that could be considered.
Frank (Los Angeles)
Steve Alford's take on player Ban of the use of Facebook and Twitter....what is your take?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
Every coach has their own reasons. I would not mind if players did it as long as they did not do personal stuff from the team or the locker roon. Maybe he learned that growing up at Indiana...do you think the General would have gone for that with the Hoosiers... NO! It all depends on the individual coach. This is the real world and social media is a fact of life these days.
J. Mi11er (NC)
Good Morning Mr. Vitale. I took the time this morning to read your top 40 and couldnt help but notice you have uconn in the top 10. are you sure even with the loss of their scoring machine Kemba and the rise of napier and lamb they are a top 10 team? also who do you think will be this seasons BYU a team that surprises everyone by being in the top 10 in the latter half of the season
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
Lamb is going to have an incredible year. He could be one of the top five scorers in America. BYU could be a surprise but it will be tough after Jimmer Fredette left. The return of Brandon Davis will be a plus. Who knows what they would have been if he was there at the end of last season?
Dick who will win the sec this year?and do you think Lsu deserves to be in the top 25/
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
Kentucky is my favorite but the league is loaded up top with Vandy, Florida and Alabama too. I do not think LSU will be a top 25 team this season.
How Far Do You Think Memphis will Go in the NCAA Tournament?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
We have to see if they can play together. They have the talent level and I think they are special since I have them in my preseason top 10. In the postseason it is about hitting threes, efficiency in your offensive sets...there are a lot of factors and we are a long way away.
Sandy (Los Angeles)
You have put forward two points:(a) superiority of the Big East (b) It is time to pay the Players and now you have the large group of College presidents on your side for they were against this in the past but now that they are under depresed funding, they see this as another path toward raising funds for the atheltic Program and then can redirect college funds toward their needs.You are to close to this subject for your empathy is obvious.Yes, without this, look at the NCAA infractions that take place in quantity so guess what, your idea will wind up quadruple the incidents if not more and make what is a bad situation already bad. Anyway commentPlease explain why as an example in the last two seasons, the Big East has sent the largest number of entries to the big dance but after the first round, they are down to no more than 2 or 3, yet they have at least twice the number of entries as the next conference?They do not play a Home and Home series with each team within their conference which gives them a big advantage since they only play two on the road whereas all the other major conference do play a home and therefore please validate your position on this questionThe answer is simple to even the playing field and that is to divide into two divisions and then at the end of the season, have a conference championship and invite the top 12 teams to participate and all conference teams share the revenue.Please be realistic especially when you have some coaches want to expand the conference! Get Real and comment on this?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
Years ago I wrote in a bookw ith Dick Weiss that players in revenue sports should get a stipend but I do not know the legal ramification. These kids don't have the flexibility to get a job because they have to work out, improve their game, etc. As for thwe Big East, they will be dominant again this year. I do not agree with the critics that the league was overrated. When a team was ninth in the conference and still wins the national championship that tells you something. Look at what the teams in the Big East does for a full year, come on. I think that ends the argument. I feel Charles Barkley, whom I love, was off-base in his criticism of the Big East but I think the was a PR move.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What do you think of the NBA Lockout?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I think i is really sad on both sides. When you think about the money both sides are making, are you serious. If players go out and get a real job and feel real pressure...wow. I spoke to people recently at a motivational speech and you see an NBA player with an average salary of over $5 million, then think about the little guy, people not making major dollars and losing their jjobd. I think this will be a long lockout and the owners are holding together and not giving in to 57 percent of the split. The owners are making a lot of money too and I don't want to hear crying. The owners don't make money when they go to sell their teams...come on. This is sad and it will not be settled for a while.
When will DePaul return to prominence?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
Oliver Purnell is working hard to get the Blue Demons back on the map, but it is so tough in the Big East conference. Every game is a real challenge but I think he will rebuild the program in the long haul. There is great tradition there, from the Mark Aguirres and Terry Cummings of the past.
Brian (North Carolina)
Will we ever hear you call a Final Four/NCAA Championship game?
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
I wish that was the case but CBS has the contract and I will be long gone by the time it is over. I am very lucky to have had a great career here at ESPN and if that is one thing not on my resume, life still goes on, my friend.
This point guard the Seminoles picked up from Arkansas, is he a Hamilton kind of player? Or just someone to tide them over at point this year?
Dick Vitale (11:32 AM)
He can be an asset and a great addition for so late. Remember though, he has been a basketball vagabond, from Iowa to Arkansas and now FSU. We will have to see.
Do you think Ben Howland was disappointed with Jerime Anderson when he had to suspend him?
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
It has been a tough off-season. Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt left early for the draft and both went in the second round. I personally felt both should have returned to school and may have been in the first round in 2012. In the case of Anderson, yes that is disappointing because he could have been a major factor. I understand he is suspended for the first game and maybe more and that it involves suspicion of taking a laptop. It is all about making good or bad decisions and then paying a price for using poor judgment.
When Coach K breaks the all time wins total in November, he has to be considered the greatest coach in NCAA Mens basketball considering all the parity, expanded field (sorry Wooden fans more than 16/32 teams in field), integrity of Duke program, and 4 national championships, gold medal head coach in Olympics, gold medal assistant coach in olympics, and gold medal head coach in Worlds. What do you think?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I have said it before and I will say it again. I would take Coach K as the number one coach in all of sports and that is not to be disrespectful of a guy like Bill Belichick, or of Phil Jackson or Joe Torre in the past. I think Mike's resume speaks for itself as you alluded to.
Dick, who do you like to win the big east this year and do you think it will once again be the strongest conference?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
I am picking Syracuse to be in my top five and I think this will be a big year for the Hall of Famer, my buddy Jim Boeheim. Kris Joseph and company will be loaded and their is also a nice class coming in. I feel the Big East will have great depth once again, though also keep an eye on the SEC with the likes of Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida and Alabama. The ACC will be very tough up top with North Carolina and Duke. Wow, I cannot wait to tip it off...I know it is the summer, baby, but I get my juices flowing thinking about college hoops.
Zach Rastall (Marinette, WI)
How will the Wisconsin Badgers do next season?
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
The recent surgery for Jordan Taylor willhave some impact, but I understand he should be ready to go. Bo Ryan always gets the most out of his talent and they play so hard. It is so tough to go againstt he Big Red in Madison and I think they will be jumping with joy there at the Kohl Center. I still have to go with the Buckeyes of Ohio State to win the Big Ten, and the league will be very competitive this season. It should be a good year for Bo Ryan and the Badgers. I have them just out of the top 10, though the surgery of Taylor may mean I have to lower them a bit.
Without question, the heels are preseason #1 with their big name players coming back to school. What hurt the heels last season was 3-point shooting. Besides Barnes, who else can step up to hit the perimeter jump shot like Wayne Ellington did from 07-09? and what can we expect from the freshmen class with James Mcadoo and P.J. Hariston?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
I thik the injury suffered by McDonald could mean some of the younger guys like McAdoo and Hairston will have to step up and get a greater opportunity to contribute.
dickie v! i was at a dinner party in my dream last night and you were there! for whatever reason we greeted each other as if we were childhood friends, which of course is chronologically impossible. anyway, it seems every year that a couple teams from the big east surprise alot of people (like st johns and perhaps louisville did last year). who ya got this year as the teams that cuse uconn pitt etc. should be watching their backs for?
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
Some dream my friend. I would say keep an eye on Cincinnati and a tough team in the Big East. Yancy Gates is going to be the big man on campus and I like what Mick Cronin is doing there.
Indianapolis indiana [via mobile]
Hey dick do u think that vcv will be recognized and not made fun of as much as the under dogs considering what they did last year
Dick Vitale (11:45 AM)
Shaka Smart's team made a great run last year and I think the expectations after that will be high this season. He is one of the rising stars in the coaching profession. I think there will be a target on their backs and that league is very tough with the likes of George Mason and Old Dominion.
Dick Vitale (11:50 AM)
I will be heading off to Rome, so I will be away from chatting the next few weeks. I hope and pray I can get an audience with the pope as that is on my bucket list of things to do. I also want to give big thanks to Cafe Gabbiano down here as my friends Susan and Peter have been so generous to host a fundraiser for the V Foundation tomorrow night and it it sold out! They were so kind to donate all of the food and wine so every dollar will be going right to the fight against cancer. If you would like to donate to cancer research, go to my website at dickvitaleonline.com and learn more as I try to raise $1 million by next May for the V Foundation. Remember, you are helping save lifes in a battle that we must win. Enjoy the rest of you summer and talk to you again later in August.