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 know this is supposed to be all about basketball, fans. But what a night for MLB last night. I was right there in Tampa in front of the Yankees dugout. I yelled into the Yankees dugout that the Red Sox lost. The place exploded in the stadium when the rest of the crowd got word. Evan Longoria is a PTP-er. I've been there from the beginning. I've had season tickets since the inception. I can't wait until 11/11/11 with UNC and Michigan State. Should be special.
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
I would rank the moment last night as one of the top 5 moments in my life of witnessing a live sporting moment. It was so dramatic and a great win.
Garrett (Richmond, VA)
After North Carolina and Duke, which ACC teams do you see vying for the 3rd spot?
Dick Vitale (11:05 AM)
I think it's really wide open. I think FSU could make a run there. NC State could be improved. I think it's a wide open shot. We have two heavyweights and a lot of "we don't knows."
1 word describing Jared Sullinger?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
He's great. He's a great, strong, powerful guy. He's got leaner. Meaner. If I had a choice for preseason player of the year, my pick is Sullinger. Followed by Harrison Barnes. We need more people in sports like Jared Sullinger.
Chris (Lexington, KY)
Seems like the SEC is going to become a very good basketball conference but many people out there still don't pay attention to it, why?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
People aren't paying attention now, because football reigns supreme. You think of the success of the conference and the national titles. It's a dominant football league. But I agree, they're going to have a phenomenal season. Kentucky is in my top 3. But, saying all of that, keep an eye on Vanderbilt. This is going to be a big, big year. Also, the Gators. They won't have much size, but they'll have dominant perimeter play. Mississippi State is that mystery team. I think you're going to see a real surprise team there. I think 'Bama will cause some problems too.
Bailey (ABQ, NM)
Does Steve Alford get the respect he deserves with the coaching and recruitment job he has done at UNM? Second, is the pit looking at another great season like we saw a couple years ago...I can tell you that basketball fever is crazy over in Burque right now.
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
I think among his peers, they know he's a workaholic. He has great genes with his dad being a heckuva coach. Playing for Bob Knight and working for Bob Knight. Being on the west coast doesn't give him the exposure. but among his peers, he gets the respect.
Did you pray for the Rays to make the playoffs to the Pope?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
That was one of my bucket list items, meeting the Pope. I was praying for peace in the world and my family. But last night, I was certainly saying my prayers.
Dick Vitale (11:12 AM)
You're a Jersey guy? I will be really emotional guy with the "Dickie V welcome back to Jersey" event going on. It's going to be terrific. Bob Ley will be the host. We're raising money to fight cancer in children. I will always treasure Jersey. Jersey baby!
hey Dickie V. Why is Syracuse and uconn ranked higher than the UofL Cardinals? The cards own Syracuse and we have a better recruiting class then uconn, with 11 lettermen and 4 starters returning. Where's the love, baby?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
I love Louisville. I have them in my top 20. You can't put everyone in the top 5. They have good personnel. Rick Pitino gets the most out of people. Pittsburgh will be a factor. Then put in UConn. Jeremy Lamb will have a phenomenal year. I think it will be a big, big year in the Big East. It will be a battle.
The very nice thing about the NBA lockout is we are getting a taste of what it was like in the old days when players stayed for 3 - 4 years. I miss it. So how many teams do you see as having a legitimate chance of winning the NCAA tournament this year?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
The thing about college basketball this year is the quality of teams, not just the quantity. Jones in Kentucky, Jones at Baylor, Sullinger, Barnes. When it gets down to it, there's usually about 15 teams that have a chance to win it. A lot of times there are teams that can get to the Sweet 16 and after that there are some tough matchups.
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
I've got Rays on my mind! I see all of these papers in front of me and I'm reading all of the headlines. I've got the New York Post. The St. Pete Times. The paper from Sarasota. A W for the Rays!
greg canton ohio [via mobile]
Is ohio st a legit final 4 contender?
Dick Vitale (11:16 AM)
Absolutely. I don't know why not. They have some good, new players. Buford's back. Basketball efficiency starts in the 3-second area on offense and defense. There is some turmoil with their football team, but basketball will be supreme in Columbus.
Do you see UCLA as having deepest/best frontcourt in the country with Smith, Nelson, Wear twins and Stover?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
I don't know about best and deepest, but they're very good upfront. It will be pretty tough to find a better front court than UNC. I know UCLA will be interesting to see how the Wear brothers fit in. Will they be major factors or role players? I can't wait to see how they progress.
Dickie V, less than 30,000 at the Rays game last night for an epic performance. What can they do to draw better crowds?
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
No. 1, I think we need a new facility. I was in Arizona the other night and the Diamondback facility was gorgeous. They need a new stadium. You can't make it 3 of 4 years in the playoffs and not have a lot of fans.
Hey Dickie V, I'm so upset to see the Big East broken up. So much history, the battles in the Big East tournament. The league has become so competitive, its sad to see Pitt and Cuse going to the ACC for money. Is there anything that can be done to save the league? Do you think down the road Cuse and Pitt will realize they made the wrong decision?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
It's really interesting. The Big East commissioner said they had a meeting and the league is united. But I think there are still teams looking to leave. I don't know if TCU honors their committment. Syracuse and Pittsburgh should be in the Big East. Jim Boeheim said it best, it comes down to greed and football. Pittsburgh's guy was on the BCS committee and he's talking about trust and working together. I find that mind boggling. As leaders, they're talking about integrity. I agree with the NCAA. The perception out there is bad. It's really bad. Geographically, it means no sense. They don't talk about the tennis player or soccer player and their travel. Is that fair? I don't think so.
I think Uconn's front court could match UNC's. Oriahki, Drummond, Roscoe Smith and Deandre Daniels are all big players with large wing spans
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Any time you have a guy like Drummond in the middle, you have a great opportunity. UConn will always have bodies on the floor that are major league players. They will always compete. Drummond is an early Christmas gift for Jim Calhoun.
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
And Oriahki in there. Those are two big guys.
Will the Hawkeyes make the big dance in the next 2 seasons? Thanks Dickie V...You the man!
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
I think McCaffery is heading them in that direction. He's getting some buzz back there. When you talk about college basketball, it starts with recruiting. I respect John Wooden and everything he accomplished. But do you think you win with just the guy running the X's and O's? Do you think Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor helped? You can't win without players. That's an area they need to step it up.
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
Hoops season will be right around the corner. But right now, I have baseball fever. I hope the Rays can keep playing. I'm doing double duty on Monday. I'm going to see the Rays in the playoffs and then the Bucs and Colts on Monday Night Football!
Dick Vitale (11:29 AM)
People can really help us in the Jersey/New York area tomorrow night. Call (210) 410-0321 for tickets for the Dickie V returns to Jersey even on behalf of the V Foundation at the Blackston House, Patterson, NJ.