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)
This has been a very special week for me. I was really choked up and emotional Monday night in Detroit when I was truly honored after the University of Detroit named the court after me. It was truly incredible as most of my former players and coaches were there. Plus Detroit beat St. John's. You have to understand that Detroit gave me an opportunity and there would be no Dickie V. on TV, no Hall of Fame, none of the great things that have happened in my life without the University, which has been so special. Then Tuesday we had a great game between Washington and Marquette in the Jimmy V Classic at the Mecca, Madison Square Garden. It was a special night as we remembered Jimmy and his legacy, the battle against that dreaded disease, cancer. I hope you heard my speech at halftime of the game. It affects all of us, family, friends, whether you are black or white, catholic or jewish, rich or poor, it affects everybody in some way. We need to keep raising money to get the research done to beat cancer. Please call 1-800-4-jimmy-v to help us out. Then I was at a commercial shoot yesterday in Los Angeles, and now I am with you despite very little sleep.
Why is UNC #4 in AP Poll with 2 losses in 2 consecutive weeks?Baylor is considered just as deep and Louisville is injury plagued and still winning (both teams undefeated fyi).Common sense points out that if you lose a game, you go down in the rankings...how does a team lose and still move up?
Dick Vitale (11:06 AM)
Relax about rankings. the only ranking that counts in March. North Carolina lost a heartbreaker on the court of the number one ranked team. A lot of people feel the Tar Heels are one of the elite teams and I agree.
Dickie V, congrats on the court being renamed in your honor at Calihan. Who do you consider the best player during your tenure at UofD?
Dick Vitale (11:07 AM)
My best player, I don't like to pick one over another but the threesome of Terry Tyler, John Long and Terry Duerod were the best in my tenure.
Love ya baby! Who wins the big east this year? Looks like another tough year for the conference. Also do you think Drummond will have his first dominating performance against Harvard tonight with the face mask coming off?
Dick Vitale (11:08 AM)
I think the face mask has affected him. Connecticut will be tough to beat with the addition of Ryan Boatright. I think Drummond will eventually be the player that people expected. Jeremy Lamb is having a terrific season and I like Shabazz Napier a lot. I like Connecticut over Syracuse and Louisville.
Awhile ago (either on Yahoo or ESPN) there was a debate on who would be on College Basketball's Mount Rushmore.Coach K and John Wooden are obvious choices but rarely did experts choose Phog Allen, how can you not choose Phog Allen?He mentored Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp and brought basketball into the Olympics.He wasn't the greatest coach ever but without him UNC and UK might not even be national powerhouses today.
Dick Vitale (11:10 AM)
My four would be Coach K, Wooden, Bob Knight and Dean Smith. It is not easy to pick just four. I grew up watching a lot of great coaches too. It is a subjective feeling. There are a lot of greats. Who do you pick between Mantle and Mays?
The best big man in the SEC is back in action BABY!!!! How big of a boost is this for Vandy and will they start living up to their expectations with Ezeli back??
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Anytime you add a 7-0 shot blocker in the mkiddle, it makes guys like Jenkins and Taylor that much better. Obviously it is a big, big plus for Kevin Stallings' club.
jeff lexington [via mobile]
Other than their lack of experience, What do u see as the biggest weakness for Wildcats come tourney time?
Dick Vitale (11:11 AM)
Depth could be a factor, and they have to get consistency at the point guard slot. They have been getting better play from Marquis Teague, cutting down on turnovers.
Rick (North Carolina)
Will we ever get back to seeing the ACC as the best basketball conference in America, right now it's UNC, Duke and everyone else.
Dick Vitale (11:13 AM)
I think it goes in cycles. Absolutely when you add Syracuse and Pittsburgh down the line, I think you will see the ACC right up there. It was also a big, big loss for the Big East losing those two schools plus West Virginia.
xavier-cincinnati saturday afternoon at Cintas Center... who ya got?
Dick Vitale (11:14 AM)
Xavier has one of the best backcourts in America. I love Tu Holloway as he is Mr. Clutch. You have to give the edge to Xavier on that court, where they are very tough. It is always an exciting game and an underrated rivalry.
sorry we didn't hear you on the Mizzou game at the V classic...Thoughts on the game ... i'm on board the Faith in Haith train...
Dick Vitale (11:19 AM)
I have been very impressed with Missouri. Great quickness, I really like Marcus Denmon a lot. I had their games in Kansas City when they blew out Notre Dame and California and felt they were very talented. That was a good win over Villanova and I love their explosiveness. Haith is doing a great job so far.
Garrett (Tobacco Road)
Mr. Vitale, every analyst said in the preseason that North Carolina and Duke were clearly going to be the 1st and 2nd best teams in the ACC. Can that still be said with certainty now? Virginia looks very talented.
Dick Vitale (11:21 AM)
I have said it before and I will say it again, the race for third in the ACC is wide open. Virginia certainly could be right there and I think one key has been the return of a healthy Mike Scott, who was sidelined for most of last season with an ankle injury. I still feel North Carolina and Duke are the top teams in the conference.
Uconn/Harvard tonight Dickie V, who you got and why?
Dick Vitale (11:23 AM)
Tommy Amaker has done a super job as Harvard is the creme de la creme of the Ivy. The win over Florida State in the Bahamas should send a message that this team is for real. That said, it will be tough to beat Connecticut as Jim Calhoun's team will be ready. The Huskies will be tough in the paint and Jeremy Lamb will be tough to stop. This should be an exciting game to watch.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Who wins the matchup on Saturday between Sullinger and Thomas Robinson?
Dick Vitale (11:25 AM)
That should be another exciting game. It is so tough to win at Allen Field House where the fans will be screaming rock, chalk, Jayhawk. This is also the first game away from Columbus, out of the Thad Pad for the Buckeyes. It will be a test and you know Bill Self's team will be ready. Sullinger and Robinson may neutralize each other, so when I break it down, guys like Buford, Craft and Thomas may just be a little too much for the Jayhawks. Would it shock me if Kansas won at Lawrence ... not really. It should be a great gae, fantastic environment.
The Thundering Herd of Marshall gave 'Cuse quite a battle this week. Can you see them winning C-USA?
Dick Vitale (11:28 AM)
I still like Memphis to win the leeague but Marshall has had a few eye-opening results. It was a good comeback in the second half against Syracuse. The win over Cincinnati was a quality W for Tommy Herrion's squad. My friends, we saw that Central Florida beat Connecticut so you have to talk about them as well in the conference. It will not be as easy for Memphis, but Josh Pastner has a tough squad and I really like Will Barton. He is a PTP'er in that league.
hey dick. pitt had a little stumble earlier this year against lbsu. do you think pitt will improve enough as the year goes on enough to have a real shot at a finl four or national championship? thanks
Dick Vitale (11:31 AM)
Right now, Jamie Dixon is playing without guard Tray Woodall, a solid veteran who teamed up with Ashton Gibbs to form one of the premier backcourts in the nation. Woodall is expected to be out close to a month with groin and abdominal injuries and that is a blow. When he comes back, I still feel Pittsburgh will be up near the top of the conference. The Long Beach State loss was one bad night but give credit as Dan Monson's team played very well and scored upset city. Gibbs will keep Pittsburgh in many games and this team always plays tenacious defense. They work so hard and that usually pays off. We will have to see about how far they could go come tourney time.
tommy columbus oh [via mobile]
Do u think ohio state can win the ncaa tournament in march
Dick Vitale (11:34 AM)
Absolutely. The Buckeyes have all the parts to win. When you have Sullinger in the post, Buford on the wing and Craft at the point, you have the elements to cut down the nets. Then look at DeShaun Thomas on the baseline as this is a dangerous team. The win over Duke was the most impressive performance I have seen in person so far this season. Thad Matta has won at least 20 games in each season as a head coach and he already been in the national championship game. This is one of the best teams in the nation and I picked them to go to the Final Four before the season, so yes, they could certainly win it all down in New Orleans.
Coach, Pujols and CJ to the Angels, the road to the World Series just got tougher for your Rays and the rest of the AL. Thoughts on Pujols leaving St. Louis?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I am a big baseball fan and I heard the news. Pujols is a great addition to the Angels batting order, and then adding CJ Wilson to a rotation with Weaver, Haren and Santana, wow. I am sure the fans in St. Louis are pretty stunned and saddened right now.
What do you think about Coach K and Coach Summitt winning Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year?
Dick Vitale (11:36 AM)
I thought it was great to honor both of these great coaches. Summitt is so heroic in her handling of her battle.
Andrew (Atlanta) [via mobile]
How far can you see the gators going this year?
Dick Vitale (11:39 AM)
Florida has a lot of potential, especially when they get a game like they did last night from Patric Young...I think he had something like 25 points and 10 boards. Billy Donovan has great backcourt talent with Boynton, Walker, Rosario and the diaper dandy Brad Beal. The only two losses were to Ohio State and Syracuse, tight games against two of the top three teams in America. The Gators will be right up there in the SEC and fans of the Rowdy Reptiles will be smiling this season.
Dick Do you think Alabama showed there true colors last night vs Dayton or are they actually good?
Dick Vitale (11:40 AM)
It is not easy to win on the road in college basketball. My question is, how did Dayton lose at home to Buffalo by 30 or so and then beat the Crimson Tide? Talk about a different result. I still feel Anthony Grant has a very good team and will do well in the conference. I see Alabama back in the big dance when it is all said and done.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear DickWhen could you see Georgetown playing Maryland?
Dick Vitale (11:41 AM)
I wish you would have some of these rivalries like Georgetown-Maryland or Purdue-Notre Dame every year. It would be great for college basketball and regional rivalries create a lot of interest. Just look at Xavier-Cincinnati this weekend!
Tennessee has played some high ranked teams pretty close...do you see them improving as the season progresses?
Dick Vitale (11:43 AM)
Give Cuonzo Martin some time to build the program back up. I think he will be a good fit there when given the opportunity. His players will fight, scrap and claw this season, but it will be tough in the SEC.
Dick Vitale (11:46 AM)
I cannot wait for Saturday and calling the Indiana-Kentucky game will be special. Hoosier fans have been waiting, hoping and praying for a return to prominence. Hoosier nation will be fired up as coming to town is -- no not Santa Claus, but number 1 Kentucky and John Calipari. The first 10 minutes of this game will be so important as Indiana will find out if they can play with this young, talented Wildcats club. Kentucky-Indiana used to be such a special rivalry when Bob Knight was there, and it has been a wild with this game having this magnitude. It is a great rivalry and it hasn't been that way for a while. It has been a special week and it continues with a great one this weekend. I hope you will be watching.