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)
Great to be back with you chatting. I love doing this with the fans and we are getting closer to the start of another great season. With so many stars coming back like Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger, I think this is going to be an exciting season. I am really excited about the Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic. Portion of the proceeds go to the V Foundation. It is November 8-12. Among the teams playing are Florida, Notre Dame, Duke, Alabama, Minnesota, Miami, Pepperdine, Tennessee, Clemson, Oklahoma State...wow.
Ron Walker (Hartford Ct.)
What do you think the chances are of a Uconn repeat(The Drummond factor)?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
Drummond is among my dazzling dozen...I cannot get over all of the Twitter comments. There will be a lot of good impact players. Which one of the 12 would you knock out. Drummond will be an incredible asset in the low post. His presence will make Jeremy Lamb a big-time scorer. I have Connecticut in contention to repeat as a Final Four team.
Rich (Orchard Park, NY)
As a fan of Florida, how will the Gators do this season?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
I think the Gators are heading for a big-time year. They are guard-oriented with Walker and Boynton coming back plus the addition of Brad Beal, one of my dazzling dozen diaper dandies. They also get Mike Rosario in, the transfer from Rutgers. They will press, press, press. If Patric Young can develop into a star, watch out.
What kind of relationship do you have with Bill Self? It seems as though ever since coach Roy left KU that you are constantly under-estimating the Jayhawks if not ignoring them?
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
I have a great relationship with Bill Self. He joined me at a Make-a-Wish speaking event at KC recently. He waas the perfect guy to step in when Eoy Williams left Kansas. In fact we will be honoring him at the 2013 Dickie V. gala in Sarasota. I did not underestimate him this season with Thomas Robinson and Tysjawm Taylor coming back. Last year they lost Henry, Aldrich and Collins and were exceptional, a credit to coach Self. I have a lot of respect for him, thank you.
Dick, how surprised would you be if Duke makes it to the Final Four this year? Who do you think needs to step up the most to make this happen?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
You can never be surprised when Mike Krzyzewski is involved. The development of the Plumlee brothers will be a key as they have to become consistent factors every night. I have Austin Rivers in my dazzling dozen diaper dandies. Coach K is a master motivator who gets so much from his talent. Duke will be a top 10 team.
Are you tired of hearing all of these conference changes? I am getting sick of this.
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
I think we are moving in a direction where we have five super conferences. I have no problem with the ACC, Big Ten, Big East, SEC and now Pac-12, maybe even four different 16-team conferences. It is chaos and all about dollars. Does anyone ever think about the travel involved with all of those non-revenue sports like tennis, volleyball, swimming, etc. Football players don't miss class time, they fly Friday, play Saturday and get home Sunday. I know because my daughters played tennis and rode a lot of vans. Does anyone think about them?
With a lot of the all-conference players gone in the Big Ten, who do you expect to win the conference?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
Ohio State is my favorite. How culd you not like the Buckeyes. They have the best center in the country in Jared Sullinger. They have a great wing in William Buford. Aaron Craft will be solid at the point and improved shooting on the perimeter. The kid Thomas will have a breakthrough year. You can never count out Wisconsin, or Tom Izzo and Michigan State, and Illinois could have a good season. The Buckeyes are my pick.
chris (stillwaterr ok)
how good do you think the ok state well be this season
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
Travis Ford has a potential surprise team. The talent level is good and LeBryan Nash will be an instant impact player. Ford has a team to keep a keen eye on. Oklahoma State has not been getting much publicity and could be a dangerous team.
Mr. Vitale, you met my father (older gentlemen with a slight limp) twice about a month in a half ago at the Atlanta airport. He said it was an honor to meet you. I was wondering I absolutely love coaching and would love to coach in college. What would be your best advice for going about this?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
If you chase your dream, pursue it and go for it. Try to get some experience at other levels, work at a summer camp, etc.
Hey, Mr. Dick don't you think it's too early for BB?? Are you that bored??Come on man!!!Get a life!!!
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
It is never too early to talk college hoops, baby! It is my passion and I cannot wait for it. I do a lot of different things in the off-season, so my friend, I do have a life!
Kb (northern va)
Dickie V, Hey huge fan of yours for years now, and love what you have done for college basketball. Now to my question. I'm a Gtown fan and have been since I was 5 yes old. With all these top schools getting top 10 kids year after year, what will it take for Gtown to be in the mix of that conversation? Or is it the system they run that kids shy away from?
Dick Vitale (11:24 AM)
It is going to be tough because the Big East is loaded. Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Syracuse for starters. JT III has done a good job therebut it will be tough to crack the top 3-4 in the league this season. I think the Hoyas will still be a very competitive team that fights hard, it is just in a tough conference.
Coach, what kind of statement did the Hawkeyes and Coach McCaffery make yesterday in getting a verbal commitment from Adam Woodbury? This 2012 class Coach Fran is putting together takes me back to when Alford took the program over!
Dick Vitale (11:26 AM)
That is the kind of news that Iowa really needed, adding a quality big man. To beat out some big-time schools had to be a great feeling for coach McCaffrey and the Hawkeyes have really not had that much to cheer for in recent years. There is some great tradition there and it would be nice to see the Hawkeyes back in the hunt in the Big Ten. The addition of the big fella will help, baby!
Michael (Dayton, OH)
Hey Dickie V... UNC will lose all their big Men this year to the NBA. I have notice all the TOP PF are signing with other colleges. Should I be worried about next year?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
Just concern yourself witht his ea for now, plus they have a young man named James McAdoo who will be super, scintillating and sensational when he gets the opportunity down the line. Roy Williams will always bring in quality recruits and the Tar Heels are the team to beat this season. To their credit, Barnes, Henson and Zeller all came back this year instead of taking the lure of the green from the NBA.
Rick (Michigan State fan)
Can my Spartans bounce back this season and how will Appling be in the backcourt?
Dick Vitale (11:30 AM)
Tom Izzo is a fighter and a scrapper and I know last season was disappointing. I feel the Spartans will bounce back and there is confidence with Appling in the backcourt. He is developing into a special player. I cannot wait to see Michigan State in the Carrier Classic against Carolina on 11-11-11 in San Diego in the first game I am calling this season. It should be excitement galore.
Garrett (Richmond, VA)
Can you get the word out about Virginia this year? With fifth-year senior Mike Scott back, they are stacked and ready to compete!
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
I think Virginia has the potential to really move up in the ACC. Carolina and Duke are the favorites but then it is wide open with the likes of Virginia, Florida State, Miami (despite injuries), Clemson and a few others trying to move into the upper echelon. Tony Bennett needs a healthy Scott, I agree with you. He was a double-double guy until the ankle injury took him down last season. This could be a tough Cavaliers squad, a program back on the rise.
What are your thoughts on Alabama making a run deep in the tournament and also your take on Coach Grant's recruiting
Dick Vitale (11:35 AM)
I think Alabama will make a strong run this season. Having guys like Green, Mitchell and Releford back gives them a talented trio. I am a fan of Anthony Grant as he was a rising star at Florida and VCU and now with the Tide. The SEC is going to be tough this season with Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State if Mr. Sidney can live up to his prior hype and develop. Those will be very talented teams in the deep league.
Dick, what are UCF's chances of seriously challenging Memphis on CUSA this season. I think Donnie Jones has done a pretty good job so far and they'll have two Jordan brothers on the squad this year.
Dick Vitale (11:37 AM)
UCF will be competitive but I feel Memphis is the clear cut favorite. I like what Josh Pastner has done with his coaching staff, adding Damon Stoudamire and Luke Walton (through the lockout) and the newcomer Adonis Thomas can be a big positive as well. Guys like Joe Jackson and Will Barton will be even better with the year of experience under their belts.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Dickie V, do your Tampa Bay Rays have a miracle finish in them? They're making it exciting, baby!
Dick Vitale (11:38 AM)
Big four game series in Boston starting tonight. Wish the Rays didn't struggle as they did in Baltimore the last few games. Have a shot, baby! 4-1 at Fenway this season.
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
My friends, I am heading to South Bend to see the Michigan State-Notre Dame game this weekend. I will be doing a book signing for my new children's book A-B-C's at the bookstore there from 3-5 on Friday so stop on by. Then I will go to the pep rally and dinner at Parisi's with my family and my buddy Digger and his fiance Linda...you know who will be picking up the check and it is not Digger! Let me tell you, for all of the naysayers against the Fighting Irish, Brian Kelly will get the last laugh. Starting Saturday, Notre Dame will win a lot of football games this season. Back to basketball. There are going to be a lot of quality teams out there and I am so excited about next season...see you next week. Thanks for all of your questions.