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July 13, 12:58 PM ET
Chat with Andy Katz

Andy Katz
  (4:05 PM)

Here for a summer chat.

Mike (NJ)

Is Kevin Love going to be the best Freshman this year? OJ Mayo maybe?

Andy Katz
  (4:08 PM)

Well, if you read Frank Martin's comments then the choice will be Michael Beasley of Kansas State. Martin is claiming he could be better than Kevin Durant by some of the comments I've read. Beasley is having a terrific run with the U-19 USA team in Serbia. But so is DeAndre Jordan of Texas A&M. This will be as exciting a freshman class as last year with still an unknown as to how many stars will emerge. And there is a chance that a few of them could end up being top five picks again in 2008. Love and Mayo should be in that group of top five to 10 freshmen.

Chris (Indy)

From top to bottom which conference do you think has the best coaches?? I think the additions to the Big 10 make them the class of the nation.

Andy Katz
  (4:09 PM)

This is one of those no-win arguments becuase it's hard to go against the Big East with Hall of Fame coaches Calhoun, Boeheim and likely inductee Pitino. And, it's hard to ignore the record of one Bob Huggins. Look, the Big Ten has its share of gems and may, overall, have more depth, but there is no right answer here.

Ike, Reno Nevada

With only one returning starter, will nevada have enough to win the WAC yet again?

Andy Katz
  (4:10 PM)

Mark Fox looks at it like he has two returning starters since DeMarshay Johnson was a starter two years ago before being academically ineligible last year. So, with Johnson and Kemp, the Wolf Pack have two anchors to help them compete with New Mexico State and Utah State as top contenders for the title.

Heat (TX)

My buddy always gets you confused with Andy Katzenmoyer. Did you play any college football?

Andy Katz
  (4:11 PM)

Nope.

Jay (Boulder, CO)

I know Miss St is a trendy pick but doesn't a healthy Steele make Bama the pick in the SEC west?

Andy Katz
  (4:12 PM)

The more I look at Bama I may be inclined to go with the Tide. Mark Gottfried was telling me how he's amazed at the lack of buzz Ronald Steele is creating. He said people have somehow forgotten about him. Add Steele, Richard Hendrix and Alonzo Gee and the Tide have three players who could be three of the best at their respective positions in the SEC West.

Chris, Seattle

Pac-10 coaches are pretty solid. Romar, Lute, Ben Holland, Tony Bennet, Tim Floyd, Herb Sendek, Ernie Kent...

Andy Katz
  (4:12 PM)

That's why it's a moot argument. There are too many choices.

Brian (Washington, DC)

Is the move to an 18-game schedule going to hurt Big East teams' chances of making the tourney?

Andy Katz
  (4:13 PM)

I don't think so. I think this gives the Big East more quality games. That's two more marquee games for most teams instead of scheduling a few more guarantee games.

Jeremy (Watchung, NJ)

I read the article a few days ago about the fifteen year old kid who has already "committed" to USC. Do you think there is a line in terms of recruiting, and do you think this is an example of crossing the line?

Andy Katz
  (4:16 PM)

There are many other lines that are worse to cross in recruiting. But I don't understand, unless it's Greg Oden or LeBron James, why a school would want a commitment from a 15-year old who isn't fully developed yet. Academically it's also a reach to assume that an eighth-grader is going to make it in college. You have no idea how that player will handle more of a course load in high school, too. I would be shocked if these commitments hold up over four years.

Eric New York, NY

Can Indiana win the whole thing?

Andy Katz
  (4:17 PM)

Can the Hoosiers? Yes. Will they? I wouldn't pick them. But having D.J. White and Eric Gordon as your two best players is not bad to give a team a quality inside-out combination.

Wes (Seattle)

Preseason All-Americans: Hansbrough, Hibbert, Neitzel, Beasley, Steele. Yours?

Andy Katz
  (4:21 PM)

Hansbrough, Hibbert, Neitzel, Lofton, Augustin.... I'm reluctant to put Beasley or Love or Jordan or Mayo on there yet.

Taylor (Austin, TX)

How do you see the Aggies doing this year? What kind of impact do you see DeAndre Jordan having?

Andy Katz
  (4:23 PM)

I keep hearing rave reviews for Jordan. The consensus from everyone involved in USA Basketball is that he's a one-and-done candidate. Jordan was considered the second most talented player on the team next to Darrell Arthur and even a nudge ahead of Michael Beasley by the coaches I spoke with on the subject. Mark Turgeon has a gem for at least a year.

3 point line

Isn't it such a good thing that I'm getting moved back.

Andy Katz
  (4:27 PM)

I'm fairly optimistic that the one foot will help the game, make more selective shooters and improve the overall field-goal percentages. I like to see graduation from one thing to another so going from high school to college to the NBA for a distance is fine with me. I used to think that there needed to be uniformity with the international line but now I'm not as convinced that's a necessity. Having a different line for an international tournament adds to the uniqueness of an event.

rina (atlanta)

What coach looks like he is doing the best recruiting job for 2009 and beyond?

Andy Katz
  (4:28 PM)

I will say this: three traditional powers (UCLA, Indiana and Louisville) appear to be recruiting at a clip where they will keep those names in the win column at a high rate over the next few years.

Neil (Gainesville, FL)

Any word on the Gators non-conference schedule?

Andy Katz
  (4:29 PM)

Billy Donovan told me it will be light. The Gators do play at Ohio State and the annual game against Florida State. That much I know for certain.

Joe(New York City)

Andy Katz i was wondering if u think kevin love will come back for sophmore year with the 1 2008 recruiting class at UCLA?

Andy Katz
  (4:31 PM)

Let's let Love get to UCLA first before projecting when he's leaving. Will he be talented enough to leave after one year? Probably. But he needs to produce for it to make sense.

Brandon(Worcester,MA)

Is this a year BC takes a step backwards,Andy?

Andy Katz
  (4:32 PM)

I wouldn't say backward but rather rebuilding with the anchors being Tyrese Rice and Tyrelle Blair to go along with Rakim Sanders, who seems to be generating quite a buzz on the Heights. I've learned never to underestimate Al Skinner.

Bill (Spokane, WA)

Why no love to the Zags? Pargo handed it to Lawson and Augustin last year and reports have him greatly improved. Heytvelt could be a sleeper too for All American honors.

Andy Katz
  (4:34 PM)

You're talking about the first team. I agree that Pargo will be one of the top point guards in the country. And I'd like to see Heytvelt in action before annointing him All-American status.

Fairfax, Virginia

There are rumors out there that Eric Maynor is part of the final 12 (Pan Am team). What are your thoughts?

Andy Katz
  (4:38 PM)

I don't know how that could be true since there are practices through Thursday before a final cut is made down to 12. But I will say that I wouldn't be surprised if he's in the final dozen based on him being the quickest player left and probably the true playmaker who thinks pass first.

Jordan (Nebraska)

You picked Augustin over Collison for all american honors?!?!?

Andy Katz
  (4:38 PM)

Yes I did.

Mark (Boston)

Many analysts seem reluctant to predict how UCONN's upcoming season will look. Is this because the uncertainty of the progress of all of their young players. It seems like they could be very good, or pretty much the same as last year... your thoughts?

Andy Katz
  (4:40 PM)

The problem is that it's the same team returning. AJ Price has to live up to his billing and Hasheem Thabeet must be an offensive force. The Huskies were a bit of mismatched parts last season. We'll see if they can figure out how to fit the puzzle together.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How do you see the Big East shaking out this year?

Andy Katz
  (4:42 PM)

Here are my tiers: 1. Louisville, Georgetown, Marquette and Pitt. 2. Providence, West Virginia, Syracuse, Connecticut, Villanova, Notre Dame 3. DePaul, St. John's, South Florida, Rutgers, Cincinnati and Seton Hall. The tiers aren't in order within each number. But that's how I see it shaking out...a top group, a middle group and a bottom group.

Dan (Columbus)

Andy, who is your pick to win the Big Ten this year? IU, MSU or OSU?

Andy Katz
  (4:42 PM)

I'll go with MSU to win the conference and go a step further in the tournament.

Corey (Morgantown, WV)

How do you think West Virginia will do this year with new man Bob Huggins in charge?

Andy Katz
  (4:44 PM)

Huggs said the players have no idea what they're getting into in the fall. Missing Frank Young will hurt. And Huggs said if the team is struggling then he would want them to revert back to that stuff they ran before....

John Boy (Cincinnati)

Just wanted to let you know the state of Kentucky still hates you. Even more so now that you've proven to be a coward in not explaining your bias.

Andy Katz
  (4:47 PM)

Wow. A whole state! Somehow if I were to walk down in Frankfurt I don't think they would care too much about me or ESPN. John Boy I have explained myself on a local radio show when asked. There is no bias toward Kentucky or any other school. It's that simple. This is a comment that has taken on a life of it's own. I cover all of college basketball. Somehow reporting on Billy Donovan choosing to stay at Florida turned into anti-Kentucky. All I was doing was reporting what Donovan's people were telling me and that was he wasn't going to go to Kentucky. It's that simple. This is really not that complicated a subject. By the way, I know for a fact that Billy Gillispie doesn't hate me. Oh and Pat Forde lives in Louiville and he doesn't hate me. Neither does Rick Bozich. He lives in Louisville, too. Scott Stricklin, the Kentucky SID, doesn't hate me, either. So, now I'm up to four people. So, you see, it's not the whole state.

Jordan (Nebraska)

Augustin won't even win All-Big 12 Honors with the KU guards leading the way.

Andy Katz
  (4:49 PM)

That's possible. But Rick Barnes assures me that Augustin will be the best point guard in the country and after he was dead on with Kevin Durant it's hard to ignore his promotional campaigns.

Andy Katz
  (4:50 PM)

Oh, I've got another Kentucky resident that doesn't hate me -- Kenny Klein the Louisville SID. Glynn Cyprien, the Kentucky assistant coach, doesn't hate me, either. If I think harder I'm sure I can get to double figures.

Chris(Lexington KY)

Katz, why don't you stop taking everything offensive and obtain some of the wit, as well as humor, of your colleague Bill Simmons.

Andy Katz
  (4:51 PM)

I was kidding. Clearly, I'm not upset by this rhetoric.

Jon (Malvern)

I'll take Scottie Reynolds over Augustin.

Andy Katz
  (4:51 PM)

Another strong choice.

Warren (FL)

Demarcus Nelson? How is he? Duke a final four team? Thanks!

Andy Katz
  (4:52 PM)

Duke is supposed to issue a report on his condition Tuesday. I don't think this Duke team is a Final Four contender. I'm still questioning the point and center. The 2-4 spots will be very, very strong.

Ashley Judd (Lexington)

I guess you're all right....

John (DC)

I asked the Flynn/Greene question earlier, but I was also curious what you think of the U-19 team's chances this summer?

Andy Katz
  (4:54 PM)

Not sure what the Flynn/Green comment was but I can tell you that the consensus about USA Basketball was that Flynn is one of the top on the ball defenders. Don't be surprised to see some man to man out of SU this season with Flynn and Paul Harris hawking the ball.

Joe (IN)

Tywon Lawson over Augustine!

Andy Katz
  (4:54 PM)

As you can see it's a strong position next season.

David (seattle)

all of Washington loves you... Go Cougs...

Jerry (Omaha, NE)

We talk some basketball in Nebraska believe or not. How about Aleks Maric in the Big 12 this year?!?!? Hey Jordan, I don't care about Kansas, Augustin, etc. The Huskers will be the surprise team in the Big 12 this season.

Andy Katz
  (4:55 PM)

That's what Tony Benford, an assistant at Nebraska, keeps telling me. He keeps harping on me not to forget about Maric in any kind of all-American discussions.

Lee (Stanford, KY)

Andy, I don't hate you...but how do you rate the job Gillispie is doing recruiting to say UCLA, Louisville, and Indiana?

Andy Katz
  (4:56 PM)

It's hard to find coaches working harder than Gillispie. His recruiting in the spring was marvelous to land Patterson and Legion. I'm not a huge fan of getting early, early commitments from early teens but he'll be just fine.

Andy Katz
  (4:57 PM)

My editor Kim Baxter just razzed me for saying SU will play some man. But that's what I'm hearing that there could be just a little bit of man at some point this season. I'm not saying Boeheim will change his stripes but he might be open to a few more possessions.

Alex (Metuchen)

I guess you have to be happy that most people agree with 4 out of 5 of your All Americans.

Andy Katz
  (4:58 PM)

I'm a glass half full guy. So, I'd say with two beautiful children and a wonderful wife I have no issues to get me riled up.

RJ Karl, Beverly Hills

Any comments on what Skip Prosser is doing with recruiting at Wake Forest? 2008 is looking like the best class in the nation.

Andy Katz
  (5:00 PM)

It is. But I will say this: This class isn't as strong as the past two so getting the top players in 2008 may not generate the same results as it had for Ohio State and North Carolina recently. Thanks for the past hour. Enjoy the heat!