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)
Great to be back with you as college hoops is under way already with a few exhibition games. The balls are out and I am so excited about the Carrier Classic between North Carolina and Michigan State as I embark on my 33rd season calling games for ESPN. It should be a lot of fun with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and I calling the game. It will be exciting to have Prsident Obama at the game, Whether you are Republican or Democrat, it makes it special to have the President in attendance. I am looking forward to speaking to our troops as they are the real heroes. They put their lives on the line for all of mankind and they will be on the ship watching two great coaches going head-to-head.
How good is Austin Rivers?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
Austin Rivers is a scorer. He will be faced with a lot of pressure due to name recongition and everything will be scrutinized. It will be Tim Tebow style as some will love him and some will nt because of that Duke uniform. In a way that is sad, but I can tell you he will prove that he can flat-out play.
Dicky V! My buddy at works claims "allowing 68 teams into the tournament in March makes the regular season pointless, teams that are barely over .500 in big conferences get in" - How ridiculous is he?
Dick Vitale (11:09 AM)
The season is never meaningless. You are playing to win your conference, for seeding, and it is important to win games to get into the tournament. Then you start the tourney 0-0. How about Connecticut being 9-9 in the league last year and it won the national title. You want to finish as strongly as you can in the league. That argument is weak. If any team in college football lost two games already, they should fold their tent, right? That is ridiculous.
All this conference stuff is making me lose my mind. Is it almost basketball season? also your take on all this ridiculousness going on.
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
You are not the only one my friends. I am sick of hearing politicians getting involved, let them help find people jobs. It is absurd what is happening in college athletics, and we need a czar, someone with power who could put and end to this mess and straighten things out.
robby (Lexington, KY)
Is this the year Kentucky has the right combination of raw talent and experience to win the National Championship?
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
They have so much talent it is unreal. They will be tough to match with Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones. Don't go crazy about the stats in the Blue-White game. Jones had 52. People writing me on Twitter that I don't like Terrence Jones. Are you kidding me? I picked him as a first team All-American. There is little defense in that game.
Ryan, Ohio [via mobile]
How far can Craft lead osu this season?
Dick Vitale (11:15 AM)
They have a guy named Sullinger and a guy named Buford too. Sullinger has improved his range as a shooter and he is one of the top candidates for Player of the Year in America. Craft will be important too and I feel the Buckeyes will be a top five team.
When is Tubby finally going to put things together at Minnesota and bring us a Big Ten contender?
Dick Vitale (11:17 AM)
It is so tough when dealign with Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, etc. There was a time they looked like a lock for the tournament and they had problems at the end of last season. Mbakwe will be a super player this season. Sampson III also came back too. Keep a keen eye on the Gophers.
Are yiu excited to be seeing a new, revamped MSG?
Dick Vitale (11:18 AM)
I am always excited to go to New York to the Garden. We should have great games. Coach K could pass Coach Knight and then I am doing Kansas-Kentucky on November 15th in the second game of the doubleheader with two great coaches in John Calipari and Bill Self. It is always a thrill to be at the Mecca of college hoops.
Jacob (New Orleans)
Can Trent Johnson get it done at LSU? His first season was so promising but that was mainly with John Brady's players. Since then, LSU has struggled to say the least. I feel like LSU has sooo much untapped potential in basketball. What say you?
Dick Vitale (11:20 AM)
It all comes down to recruiting. It is tough when you have so many quality teams in the SEC. All he has to do is go down the hall and see what Les Miles has brought in. You need talent, and that makes coaches become geniuses. You need some Shaqs, Maravichs and Chris Jacksons.
Tony (Seattle, WA)
What's up with Gonzaga and their recruiting woes? They have lost a couple guys to WSU and don't seem to have anybody left on their target list?
Dick Vitale (11:22 AM)
Gonzaga will always do fine, don't worry about them. Mark Few always puts talent on their floor and they will win. They will be right there for the conference title, great fan base, tradition. They also play a rugged non-league schedule which merits them a lot of respect.
Why aren't the Cougars in the national spotlight any more? The days of Phi Slama Jama were special.
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Houston hosted the Final Four last year. Maybe there will be a buzz. James Dickey is trying to rebuild and if they ended up in the Big East that could create some added exposure. They got a few recruits to stay home so this is a time they may be able to turn the corner.
Tyler (Athens, GA)
Dick UGA is picked to finish 8th in the SEC. Do you agree?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
Who do you pick them over? It is like Notre Dame picked ninth in the Big East. Those leagues are loaded. Mark Fox has done a good job restoring some stbility to that program. Could Georgia finish higher in the SEC? Yes. That just shows how good that league is with the Bulldogs picked lower.
Jared (Charlotte, NC)
How quickly do you think Gottfried can get it going in Raleigh? They quietly have some good talent with Leslie, Howell, Brown and the class of 2012 is shaping up to be fantastic.
Dick Vitale (11:27 AM)
Gottfried is taking the right attitude. He is not intimidated by UNC and Duke and he is doing the right things. He got a good staff, good recruiting for the future, he had success down at Alabama going against the likes of Kentucky and Florida. CJ Leslie is going to have to have a big-time year.
Hi Mr. Vitale. How do you think coach Izzo and Michigan St. will do this year after a disappointing 2010-11 season.
Dick Vitale (11:33 AM)
I think the Spartans will have a better chemistry this season and will bounce back. It will not be easy with Ohio State and Wisconsin ahead of them plus Michigan, Purdue, Indiana. I am looking forward to seeing them on the aircraft carrier in San Diego against my pick for numero uno, the Tar Heels. Michigan State will need a big year from Mr. Appling in the backcourt. I think they will miss the leadership of Delvon Roe.
The mega confrence syndrome that has taken over the NCAA looks great for football but will it huelp or hurt college basketball?
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
It is all about football, football, football with teams jumping ship from conference to conference. As I said earlier, it is sad to see some of this going on.
I know you think the SEC is going to be pretty good. What do you think of Mississippi State?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
There is potential for big things out of the Bulldogs. One key will be the player of Renardo Sidney if he can live up to his earlier hype when he came out of high school. Dee Bost is a PTper and the addition of Moultrie, the All-Marco Polo from UTEP can be a positive. I look for good things from Rick Stansbury's squad but as I said, the SEC is really loaded this year.
Seth (Hokie fan)
Can Virginia Tech surprise some people this year?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
After North Carolina and Duke, the ACC is pretty wide open. Teams like Florida State, Virginia, Clemson, NC State and Virginia Tech will battle for the third slot. I was sorry to see Seth Greenberg's team left out of the big dance last season, especially after the big win over Duke late, near the end of the regular season. Losing Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen takes away two star players, but if the kids who were out last season can return healthy, at least a few of them, then Tech could do some damage. Erick Green is a player to keep an eye on is Hokie country.
Dick Vitale (11:44 AM)
Well, game six of the World Series is tonight and I picked Texas to win in six. I am wearing a Texas hat that manager Ron Washington gave me. He is an underrated manager. I think it is important for Texas to win tonight since Chris Carpenter would be tough to beat in game seven if it goes that far. I am always amazed how baseball players always ask about college basketball...how good is Austin Rivers, or how good is Kentucky, things like that. They love their hoops, baby! Also it seems like the NBA is getting closer to a new deal. The great news in college hoops is the number of super matchups in November. My only fear is do they get lost in the shuffle of college football with all of those games going on? I currently have a poll on dickvitaleonline.conm about the best team in college football and it is close between Alabama and LSU, so that is not shock city. You can go vote on that. See you next week as we are close to starting the regular season.