Chat with Andy Katz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com senior basketball writer Andy Katz stops by to chat.
In addition to covering college basketball on a daily basis and breaking news for the site, Katz pens the "Daily Word" and "Weekly Word."
Send your questions now and join Katz Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Andy Katz (3:02 PM)
Here to chat for a few.
Ryan (Norwalk CT)
I realize its early, but is Providence staring to turn the corner to hopefully be a contender in the big east once again?
Andy Katz (3:07 PM)
It's early. And remember Indiana had a great recruiting class, but it hasn't meant wins yet. But the first step toward turning the corner is getting players and Providence has started that under Ed Cooley.
T.J. (Norman, OK)
If you look at the Big XII in the sense of college basketball, would the Pac-12's addition of Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Texas Tech/& Texas give the Pac-12/16 a conference that would rival the ACC or Big East in terms of power and prestige?
Andy Katz (3:08 PM)
I wouldn't say it would rival it. Texas is the only school in that foursome that hsa national appeal at this point. So it would still be a notch below. A 16-team Pac-16 would be a mess. Just a collection of teams.
Ever been to Hec Ed at the UW? Has been remodled and is a great, loud, intimate arena.
Andy Katz (3:08 PM)
Yes. Love the way it is cozy and lots of purple when it's packed.
Who do you like to win the Big East and your final 4?
Andy Katz (3:09 PM)
Connecticut to win the Big East.And at this juncture I'll stay chalk with UNC, Kentucky, Ohio State and Connecticut.But I reserve the right to change my mind when we get to the bracket.
Zach (London, KY) [via mobile]
Who do you see with the most potential to win the NCAAB championship?
Andy Katz (3:11 PM)
The experience and overall talent on North Carolina make the Tar Heels the pick.
Palmer (Ridgefield, CT)
What should UCONN fans expect from Andre Drummond? Will he live up to the hype and help UCONN return to the Final Four?
Andy Katz (3:15 PM)
He's not Greg Oden. But he could be a Greg Oden-lite for the Huskies. He is a game changer. He allows the Huskies to have a post player who will command double teams, opening up opportunities for Lamb and Napier. He immediately makes the Huskies a national title contender.
Andy, after watching the Duke team go undefeated in China and in UAE, did your impression of the team change? How good do you think Seth Curry will be?
Andy Katz (3:17 PM)
A little bit. I thought the Blue Devils were a top 10 team prior to the trip. Now I'm convinced they are somewhere in the 5 to 7 range. Curry can be a knock-down shooter for the Blue Devils, a player who can stretch a lead or help Duke climb back from a deficit quickly.
Who are your preseason TOP 5
Andy Katz (3:18 PM)
1. North Carolina2. Kentucky3. Ohio State4. Connecticut5. Vanderbilt6. Syracuse7. DukeI know I'm higher on Vandy than most, but love the experience.
What are your expectations for the new Pauley Pavilion?
Andy Katz (3:21 PM)
Well, I don't have a say, but I'd like it to be state-of-the-art. No, seriously, for UCLA's purposes it does need a makeover. The rest of the league is improving, notably Oregon and if the Pac-12 were to expand more then UCLA would have to keep up. I'm not surprised it took a while to get this done, based on the budget situation in the state. But UCLA found a way and will be caught up when this is done. The Bruins have a magnificent recruiting advantage with its history, location, weather, the beauty of the campus and now it will have the facilities.
You Work in Albuquerque what you think about The Pit
Andy Katz (3:27 PM)
I worked in Albuquerque. And yes the Pit was one of the best facilties in the country when I covered the team in the '90s. Why? It was loud, really loud. But then the team faded a bit and apathy settled in a bit. The seating situation got messed up a but it still remains one of the best venues. The new look to it -- even if it was a headache getting done and there were still/are plenty of kinks -- makes it an even better facility.
Mark Few (Spokane, WA)
How do you think my Zags will do this year with the addition of BYU to the WCC?
Andy Katz (3:32 PM)
Gonzaga is the team to beat. BYU will finish second. Saint Mary's third.
If you match up UK and UNC by starters who do u think is really better?PG: Teague(UK)-Marshall(UNC)SG: Lamb/Miller(UK)-Hairston/Bullock(UNC)SF: Kidd-Gilchrist(UK)-Barnes(UNC)PF: Jones(UK)-Henson/Macadoo(UNC)C: Davis/Wiltjer(UK)-Zeller(UNC)it looks to me as if every position is a standstill aside from barnes winning the sf and jones and teague edging their respective positions. your thoughts?
Andy Katz (3:32 PM)
I would go with North Carolina at this point based on experience. But the game is in Lexington and a month into the season.
Andy, how are the coaches feeling with BB taking a step back to football?
Andy Katz (3:33 PM)
I haven't talked to anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go to 16 teams in a league. Yet, that's what the presidents may end up doing. And yes that includes athletic directors and coaches.
If the Big 12 does collapse, what would you like to see happen with those schools? Where would they fit best?
Andy Katz (3:33 PM)
Tough call. Don't know where Kansas and Kansas State will land or Missouri. Those three are the first on the docket to be plucked -- assuming OU and Texas go their own way. And we can't assume that the Big East is staying together at 17, either.
Adam (Houston, TX)
If the Big 12 folds, what is Kansas' best option - assuming they have more than one.
Andy Katz (3:35 PM)
Pac-12 is the first option.Big East is the second.
Jeff (Chicago, IL)
Michigan State will fly under the radar this year. Do you think they can surprise people?
Andy Katz (3:35 PM)
Yes. The addition of Brandon Wood will turn out to be a huge get in the offseason.
Bill (New York City)
Ultimately, how do you see the conference re-alignment impacting the Big East and specifically bball only schools like St. John's and Georgetown?
Andy Katz (3:37 PM)
Best scenario for Big East is if the Big 12 remains intact. The second scenario for the Big East would be if some combination of Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and/or Iowa State were available to bump up to 20.The worst scenario is the Big East loses West Virginia (SEC), Syracuse and Connecticut (ACC) and then is scrambling to stay alive.
Andy Katz (3:39 PM)
I could add to that last response if the Big Ten wanted to poach Pitt and Rutgers too. But I don't see Jim Delany jumping at this juncture to expand just because another league opts for that option.
How come the cats will not host a gameday again this year?
Andy Katz (3:41 PM)
The sites are rotated and scheduling does come into play. Sometimes certain teams aren't home against the other elite teams on a Saturday that fits the schedule. It's putting together a giant puzzle. And why not go to Nashville? The Commodores deserve a chance to host, too.
Is going undefeated thru the season a good thing or bad? seems to me it adds too much pressure for the players, most likely North Carolina this year appears the most polished team to make a run
Andy Katz (3:46 PM)
I've never believed that losing helps a team. Playing competitive games is good, but losing isn't a must. But I don't think Carolina is that dominant to where the Tar Heels won't lose games.
GBOTT (Windsor Locks, CT)
How realistic is it to think about Syracuse and Uconn going to the ACC?
Andy Katz (3:47 PM)
If the ACC were to ever expand to 16 then I'd be surprised if it didn't happen. If the ACC goes to just 14 then it's not a lock by any means.
In an earlier comment you said you like the experience and overall talent of UNC to win it all. I know its early so taking everyything with a grain of salt but I hold you to that comment it doesn't necessarily hold true. Kentucky went to the final four last year and has 4 players from that game returning. UNC lost to that Kentucky team in the elite 8. So deeper team for UNC maybe but final four or deep tournament experience...i'm not buying it.
Andy Katz (3:52 PM)
But that Kentucky team doesn't have Brandon Knight leading the team. There will be another new point guard for the Wildcats going against Kendall Marshall of North Carolina. Also, Tyler Zeller and John Henson join Harrison Barnes to provide an experienced lineup up front. Kentucky can still win this game at home. But Kentucky had changes that North Carolina didn't endure. Still, the Wildcats are ranked No. 2. No reason to complain about that ranking.
Is Uconn a blue blood yet or do they need to do more to solidify themselves?
Andy Katz (3:53 PM)
Hard to ignore the Huskies anymore as a national power with three national titles since 1999.
Flava (San Clemente)
You remember that 10-year rebuilding plan needed at Arizona to replace Lute Olsen?!?!?! Come on Andy you are way better than that......When do you think Coach Miller will lead the Catz back to the promised land?
Andy Katz (3:55 PM)
Wow. Now it's 10 years? I still stand by my statement that at the time Sean Miller was hired the Arizona program was headed for an Indiana like implosion. We can't have revisionist history and not forget that had Tim Floyd not been out at USC the majority of the team that went to the Elite Eight wouldn't be on the roster. Arizona and Sean Miller were fortunate and the timing was perfect. Miller was also the right hire at the right time. Arizona is going to be fine as long as he stays put.
What's Skinner up to these days? Pretty telling he hasn't even gotten a nibble anywhere.
Andy Katz (3:58 PM)
He deserves a second chance. He doesn't have any violations on his record. He wins. His teams play hard. And he's a solid person with high character.
Shouldn't Syracuse and UConn try to go to the Big 10?
Andy Katz (3:58 PM)
They can try but it won't happen.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Andy, do Cronin's Bearcats make a 2nd straight trip to the dance? Does Cincy have a bright future under Mick?
Andy Katz (3:59 PM)
Yes. It would be a major disapointment if the Bearcats aren't in the Dance in March.
Andy Katz (4:00 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. Keep checking ESPN.com for all the latest updates on college sports.