Chat with Eamonn Brennan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college basketball blogger Eamonn Brennan will be here to chat some college basketball.
Brennan started with ESPN.com in December 2009. He writes for the College Basketball Nation blog.
Send your questions now and join Brennan Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Eamonn Brennan (2:01 PM)
Hi everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!) Let's chat about some college hoopage, eh?
Josh (San Diego, CA)
If Wiggins doesn't go to UK, is UofL preseason #1 with Russ Smith's announcement? Are they regardless?
Eamonn Brennan (2:03 PM)
That's an excellent question. It's awfully hard to not put the returning national champ No. 1 with so much coming back, and I tend to think voters will probably coalesce around that as we get closer to the fall. And if Wiggins doesn't go then obviously UK's No. 1 bonafides aren't as strong. But that's still going to be a really really really good team.
Jonathan (Lexington, KY)
If this UK team does on the court what it looks like on paper it can do, are you taking the over or under on a 80% chance Coach Cal says the phrase "Kneel before Zod" in an interview at some point in the season?
Eamonn Brennan (2:05 PM)
Case in point.
John (Chapel Hill, NC)
If you could have court-side seats for any 1 regular season game this year, is there any one you'd take before Kentucky @ UNC?
Eamonn Brennan (2:05 PM)
Kentucky-Louisville. (That was easy.)
John (Iowa City)
True or False? Iowa could win the Big Ten outright next season?
Eamonn Brennan (2:08 PM)
Ehhhhhhhhh ... false. I hate having the question phrased that way because I'm totally on the Iowa bandwagon (and was throughout Bubble Watch this spring), but I don't see them as improving so much they're an outright conference title contender. That's a bit crazy.
How is that burrito?
Eamonn Brennan (2:08 PM)
Delicious! I finished just in time for the chat, leaving both hands free for typing purposes. So that helps.
hard to understand support for shorter shot clock (30 and 24 second). the parts of the game in need of changes are move the 3-point line back to nba length, find a solution to all the fouling at games end that turns the last 2 minutes into a 15-20 minute free throw shooting contest. and the suggestion to start practices3 weeks earlier is crazy - we should reduce practice and not start games until Thanksgiving - we are not allowing athletes to be students and enjoy themselves - what are your thoughts
Eamonn Brennan (2:10 PM)
I think the shorter shot clock is a good place to start provided the rules committee doesn't think it's a cure-all mechanism. The fundamental issue with the game currently is the way it's officiated, which allows way too much physicality. It's stagnant.
Eamonn Brennan (2:12 PM)
As for the practice stuff ... I don't know, man. I like the thought, but most of these guys are practicing and working out like crazy in their free time (or probably should be). And it's not like we're intruding deeply into the offseason or something (when players, again, are already working hard). More than anything else, this would just make those early workouts and optional conditioning get-togethers official.
Eamonn Brennan (2:12 PM)
Oh, and while the student stuff is a separate argument, let's just say I think most college basketball players find the time to have fun.
Chances Payne comes back for his senior year?
Eamonn Brennan (2:14 PM)
I don't have inside info, like most others, but I think it's probably 50-50. The weaker draft this year is enticing, but he's right on that first-round fringe, which also means it's pretty risky. And with that jump shot working he could really blossom into a star this season.
With a new head of helm at UCLA and all but 2 players returning and a Top 20 incoming recruiting class, what are your predictions for the Bruins upcoming 2013-14 season?
Eamonn Brennan (2:15 PM)
I admit, I hadn't taken a super-close look at UCLA's roster yet this offseason, mostly because I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that a guy who was run out of Iowa City six years ago is now sitting in John Wooden's seat. It's pretty remarkable.
Eamonn Brennan (2:17 PM)
But that shouldn't obscure the fact that they could be awfully good. Jordan Adams in particular. He was already a scoring stud as a freshman, and now he'll (presumably) have more touches, plus a summer to work. Could be a big sophomore season on the way.
Matt (Big Ten Country)
Why are people so high on Michigan State for next year? Sure, it's good to have returning players but their two biggest problems last year were Appling and Dawsen, and I have a hard time believing their flaws can be overcome at this point. I think the Spartans will be good enough to compete for the Big Ten title but putting them in the preseason top 5 is a stretch.
Eamonn Brennan (2:19 PM)
How do you figure? I'm not saying Appling didn't have issues -- I had a running gag about him being invisible that went on way too long during the regular season -- but come on now. If they bring Payne back with Harris? And a senior point guard? That's a really good team.
Eamonn Brennan (2:20 PM)
(And I am always ready to shoot down the dumb "same returning players = better team" theorem but in this team's case it goes a bit deeper than that.)
Billy Gillespie would disagree with the shorter practice argument.
Eamonn Brennan (2:22 PM)
Think about this: Billy Gillispie got the boot because his players eventually had enough and revolted. Mike Rice got the boot because the video leaked; few players even openly criticized him, and some supported him.
Eamonn Brennan (2:23 PM)
My question is this: WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENS IN BILLY GILLISPIE PRACTICES??
Andrew (New York)
Truth to the idea that a lot of coaches are resistant to cracking down on physicality because it's the way they've built their teams (looking at Izzo and Bo Ryan)?
Eamonn Brennan (2:26 PM)
I'm not sure those two are always the best examples (think about how difficult Wisconsin's offense could be to guard if it became difficult to bump cutters; they'd get that swing inversion-post-look thing every time down the floor). I mean ... I'm sure there are plenty of coaches out there who see physicality as their best equalizer. It probably is, to a certain degree, because at the end of the day there are only so many elite recruits. But college coaches are smart guys. They'll figure something else out.
Eamonn Brennan (2:27 PM)
And oh by the way: Tough luck. Let's do what's best for the game and then let the guys with the fancy suits sort it out after the fact.
Josh (Jersey City)
Where would you rank Michigan right now for a preseason poll? Are their returning pieces enough to get them into your top ten?
Eamonn Brennan (2:28 PM)
I think so, yeah. Not only do they have McGary and Robinson III back, who could both be in for monster sophomore years, but Stauskus is there, Albrecht is there, as well as a good class particularly at the guard spot coming in. I think that sounds about right.
what is new with andre wiggins ive tweeted him but he wont respond!?
Eamonn Brennan (2:29 PM)
Maybe you should spend more time making songs that aren't about how cute girls look without makeup.
Nic (East Lansing)
Am I crazy to think the B1G will be better this year than it was last year?
Eamonn Brennan (2:33 PM)
Yes, you are. But it also depends what you mean by "better." There won't be as many national title threats at the top but the league should be even deeper than last year, and all the usual suspects (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Indiana) will make it a very competitive watch throughout.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
More likely to become a star next year in CBB, LaQuinton Ross or Wayne Blackshear?
Eamonn Brennan (2:35 PM)
Q, simply because I think he'll have more touches. With Smith back and the new guys coming in, that U of L backcourt is crowded. With Deshaun Thomas gone, Ross looks like he's going to be OSU's presumed lead scorer, and he should have the looks and opportunities to do so. Anyone who saw him during the NCAA tournament could see the versatility and potential there. He was great.
bobby steels (Da Ville)
Wiggins' host family is same as Gorgui Dieng's at Huntington Prep. Last week,Huntington Prep's head coach said if he were asked by Pitino, he would accept the assistant head coaching job vacancy at Louisville last week. Job was vacated by the now coach of UMKC. Coach and Wiggins to Louisville? Ha, ha
Eamonn Brennan (2:37 PM)
Keep dreaming my friend.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
Is Julius Randle the MKG of Kentucky's 2013 recruiting class?
Eamonn Brennan (2:38 PM)
I've heard that comparison made a lot. I'm still in the process of watching footage of all of these dudes, to be honest, but Randle does play with a similar energetic style. He's bigger, though. He's a power forward.
Eamonn, just finished your write up on the UNC professor. Is that already in everyone's rear-view or is she gonna keep stirring things up till something comes of it?
Eamonn Brennan (2:41 PM)
Brad's referring to a blog post from earlier today, and yeah ... I think it's mostly in the rearview. Whether or not you buy in totally to last fall's probe, there doesn't appear to be either any means or any desire for the NCAA to investigate on the athletic side. But like I wrote in the piece, probably the biggest lesson in all of this is don't mess with professors. Those people take their jobs seriously. If you make them feel like stooges they will get loud.
Eamonn Brennan (2:42 PM)
In the meantime, I suppose this is as good a time as ever to point you to my column from today, all about the various remaining draft decisions: http://es.pn/XX2crT
There is a burrito place down the street but the last few times I've ate there, the food has been lackluster to say the least. Tim Frazier is awesome.
Eamonn Brennan (2:43 PM)
This is starting to look a lot like my Twitter feed in here all of a sudden
Which player who jumped early to the NBA in last year's draft would've made the biggest impact on their team last year?
Eamonn Brennan (2:46 PM)
The Kentucky guys are obviously near the top of that list, but also Thomas Robinson -- the only weak position in KU's lineup this season was at power forward. He would have given them a lot more scoring punch, needless to say.
Twitter is a weird place
Eamonn Brennan (2:46 PM)
And don't even get me started on Weird Twitter.
Roy Williams (Chapel Hill, NC )
With PJ Hairston and James Michael McAdoo returning to the Hill for there Junior seasons, do you see UNC as a potential sleeper to make a run to the Final Four next year?
Eamonn Brennan (2:47 PM)
Do people in Chapel Hill call it The Hill? For a second I thought you were implying McAdoo and Hairston were taking summer internships in D.C.
Eamonn Brennan (2:48 PM)
Anyway, anyone can be a Final Four sleeper these days, so that doesn't really say much. I'll just say we need to see a TON more from McAdoo (who has brand recognition but really did not have a very good season this year) before I start believing.
Elijah Johnson (Lawrence, KS)
"The only weak position in KU's lineup this season was at power forward."That's what I keep trying to tell everyone!! (As they chase me down K10 with pitchforks.)
Eamonn Brennan (2:49 PM)
Why no love for Gtown next season from anyone? I think they will pretty good even without ottomatic around.
Eamonn Brennan (2:50 PM)
I admit I couldn't give you detailed Georgtown lineup analysis right now, but I have come to expect John Thompson III's teams to be stifling defensively as a rule, and thus annually solid as a baseline expectation.
who will have more points next season Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins
Eamonn Brennan (2:51 PM)
That's almost impossible to answer, but ... Parker. I think next year's Kentucky team will look a lot like the title team in its balance, and in that instance Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist finished fourth and fifth in usage rate. Parker will probably have more touches. Maybe? This is a guess.
We will give love to Gtown next time they don't lose to a double digit seed in the tourney.
Eamonn Brennan (2:52 PM)
In the words of Paul F. Tompkins: Asked and answered.
Charles (San Jose)
What did Steve Alford accomplish at UNM to get the UCLA job anyway?
Eamonn Brennan (2:54 PM)
He won there. He recruited well, too. But I would tend to agree that while solid-to-good his tenure wasn't of the "look out world Steve Alford is back" sort of thing. I thought he was going to be there for a long time.
Matty A (Connecticut)
With everyone returning for the Johnnies next season along w/ additions of Sanchez and Jordan. What are realistic expectations for Lavin's squad?
Eamonn Brennan (2:56 PM)
They improved this year but I've yet to see St. John's look even remotely committed on the defensive end for an extended stretch with this group. That has to get better if we're going to talk heightened expectations.
Who do you think is the leader in the Recruiting Battle for Andrew Wiggins
Hah, Did i just see you essentially give UK the nod on Andrew Wiggins above?
Eamonn Brennan (2:58 PM)
I wrote about this in my offseason storylines column, but I'll go again: I don't know. I honestly try my best to avoid recruiting as much as possible, up to the point where it might be a detriment to my work. I have no sources, I don't know the kid, etc etc etc. I would prefer we all just chilled out and let him tell us when he's good and ready. Until young guys are on campus, I would honestly prefer we pretend they didn't exist.
Eamonn Brennan (3:00 PM)
So I have no real knowledge of what's going to happen. All I know is I spent a decent portion of Final Four weekend in Atlanta arguing with colleagues and other in the know folks who said UK had too many guys, his parents wanted him to go to FSU, etc. Most people I talked to said it was down to those two. And without any prior knowledge at all, my argument -- which I don't think anyone did a convincing job of rebutting -- was that since when do we expect a kid Cal and Kentucky wants NOT decide to go to Kentucky? When does that ever happen?
Eamonn Brennan (3:01 PM)
It doesn't. So my attitude is, if Calipari is pursuing the best player in the country this late in his recruitment, assume he is going to Kentucky until notified to the contrary. It's the Unified Law of Cal, let's call it.
Andrew Wiggins (Huntington, WV)
Just so you know, I've decided to play for the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs #Don'tSlipOnThePeel
Eamonn Brennan (3:02 PM)
Charles (San Jose)
Is Andew Wiggins' nickname eventually going to be Ender after that movie comes out?
Eamonn Brennan (3:03 PM)
You know what though? That's an AWESOME nickname.
Andrew Wiggins (Huntington, WV)
@Charles from San Jose. I much prefer Professor Dr. Charles Winston McBatman. But we'll see.
Eamonn Brennan (3:05 PM)
Despite what the barber shop worker in "Coming to America" might say ("his momma name him Clay, I'ma call him Clay"), I firmly believe a man has the right to be called what he wants to be called. Everyone, please respect Professor Dr. Charles Winston McBatman's wishes. Thank you.
Eamonn Brennan (3:06 PM)
Going to wrap this up to go get my computer keyboard fixed. The "E" key keeps getting stuck. Incredibly frustrating during a chat!
Eamonn Brennan (3:07 PM)
Thanks for coming by, be sure to check out the blog and the rest of stuff over at the men's hoops page, hit me on Twitter @eamonnbrennan, and enjoy the rest of your week, you cretins. Peace.