Thanks for all of the questions. Let's get going. Fire away! Jay
Jay ! I'm a big carolina fan . Wayne ellington has to be my favorite player ... Do u see him turning things around things around this season, or will he continue to struggle all year ? I just don't see nc winning a championship if his poor play continues!
Ellington has not shot the ball as well as he is capable of shooting it, but he is not having a bad year. No player, even one as good as Ellington, can value his contributions based only upon his shot. Players that fill their tanks on the offensive end only are not mentally tough. He offers far more than just a shooter. He will make shots. He is too good not to.
Could the Dayton flyers be a threat this year?
Yes. Dayton is 14-1 and a very good defensive team. The Flyers play 11 or 12 guys. It is not a skilled team, but a very athletic and energetic team that is one of the top field goal percentage teams in the country and one of the top rebounding teams. Chris Wright is the top scorer and rebounder and was out most of last year. Now healthy, he is a difference maker. And, Marcus Johnson is an athletic slasher that is good in the open court and did a great job on Miami's Michael Bramos. Dayton plays UMass coming up, and could be a threat to Xavier. I think the Musketeers are better, but Dayton should be in the NCAA Tournament if they don't suffer any injuries.
Michigan getting down big early to indiana last night but coming back and winning, is that a good sign they came back or a bad sign that they had to come back against a bad indiana team?
It is a good sign. Clearly, getting down was not good, but I am not overly concerned with a poor performance against Indiana or Savannah State. The Wolverines have proven they can beat good teams. That is my best measure. Harris and Sims are outstanding players, and Lucas Perry and Novak can spread you. Michigan is a good team. It would take a monumental collapse to keep that team out of the NCAA's. I have been very impressed with that team.
What is tennessee's biggest problem?
Defense. The Vols gamble and give up a lot of easy scores. Tennessee can put up points, but allow too many open shots and easy scores. Good teams are shooting 50% or so on them, and that will not beat the best teams. Bruce Pearl will figure it out. He is a really good coach.
With all the attention surrounding Stephen Curry, what can you predict for Davidson as a team in the tournament this year. Could their added big-time regular season games translate into more success in March?
They have to get there first. So far, Davidson has beaten West Virginia with the starting guards injured, and NC State, an NIT team. If Davidson wins the SoCon, they WIldcats can win a game in the NCAA's because of Curry and his greatness, but this team is not as good as it was last year.
How long until the Michigan program gets back to it's "Fab Five" status? They've been suprising some people this year for sure!
Do you really want "Fab Five" status? That got Michigan on probation and into a big hole. Michigan is a great school and a great program, and as accomplished as the Fab Five was, I'm not sure the years of pain and sanctions were worth it. John Beilein will have the program up to the highest standards, in my judgment. He is really good.
Who are your Cinderalla's this year?!
Saint Mary's, Utah State and Butler. Really good guards and they know how to play. Saint Mary's has a player named Diamon Simpson that is a great defender that really knows how to play. And, Patrick Mills is a pro.
If Wake wins handidly on Sunday against Carolina as BC did a few days ago, would you still consider Carolina the best team in the Country? If so, why?
If Wake wins handily? Let's see if that happens. If any team plays poorly, we can all adjust our judgments. These things are not set in stone, but I would not bail on a team just because of a bad stretch. It is a long season.
Jay, I attend many Marquette games and have seen over the last year that the refs(especially the younger guys) are anticipating their calls to the point of making some questionable calls,I understand that everything happens at such a quick pace, but are you seeing the same trend & don't you feel it's better to wait let the play develop & then make the call ??
Generally, the officials do a great job. And, it is a tough job. The thing you speak of is common and as old as officiating itself. People complain about late calls, but I could care less about a late call. I want the right call, and I don't want an anticipator whistle. I agree with you.
What's the most surprising team have you seen this season, for better or worse?
Arkansas has surprised me, Courtney Fortson is better than I thought, and Mike Washington is really improved. Stanford and Cal are better than I anticipated, and so is Illinois.
Do you think Wisconsin has a chance this year to win the Big Ten Title and more?
Yes, but I still think that Michigan State is the best team in the Big Ten, and believed that through the rough patch a couple of weeks ago. Wisconsin is a sound team that does not make mistakes, and has really good leadership and character. That is a team of substance and fiber.
Jay, where were you and what were you doing when C-Webb called his infamous timeout. As a lifelong Michigan fan, I was yelling at the TV (like it was the TV's fault we lost...)
I was watching the game, just like you. I thought that Webber had travelled when trying to outlet the ball. It was a tough play, but I think the better team won. Webber was a great player, though. What a man-child.
Just curious, have you kept your law license?
Yes. I am with the firm of Moore and Van Allen in Charlotte, NC. I am Of Counsel with the firm, and in my 17th year there.
Who can play spoiler to Kansas and Texas in the Big 12?
Oklahoma, Baylor (although Baylor needs to guard people), and possibly Missouri, although I doubt that the Mizzou press will allow that team to win the league.
Jay...what do you about Memphis? do they have potential to make some noise in the tournament? I know that they are not good as last year, but their hasnt missed a beat.
I like Cal's team. They play hard and can beat a lot of people. They just need to grow up, and Tyreke Evans needs to learn how to play with other people. He is really good, and will only get better.
Jay, I believe the 35-second shot clock in college is too long, and, among other things, is detrimental to defenses. Have there ever been discussions to reduce it to 30 seconds?
35 is fine with me. I don't think it is a big deal at 35 seconds. It still gives a lesser team a chance to work the clock without it being a slowdown game.
Will A.J Abrams be drafted, and if so what kind of career will he have in the NBA?
Yes. He will get drafted. A lot of teams are really intrigued with him. He is a really good shooter and a great kid.
Jay, I've been curious as to why mainstream college basketball analysis still depends so much on per-game averages? When do you think we'll start seeing more useful metrics like points-per-possession, rebound rate, etc. that account for the wide range of styles that college teams play?
We use those metrics in our analysis. But, points per game is what more people can relate to, and that is what we use. Tempo free stats are useful for analysts, fans, GM's, everyone. But, they are not the "be all and end all". It is just one factor in an overall picture. I promise you, I have been aware of Points per Possession and free throw rate since I read Dean Smith's book Multiple Offense and Defense in the 1980's. This is not a new concept. I love KenPom.com and Basketball Prospectus. That is great stuff that I use almost daily. But, I also look at a lot of film and use my eyes to make judgments, too.
Jay, when you watch me play, who's game do I remind you of on the NBA level past or present???
A smaller Elton Brand. Blair averages just under 6 offensive rebounds per game and has great feet. I love that kid's game.
Jay, rewatch the Webber TO tape, I believe it was Michael Talley on Michigan's bench clearly signaling Webber to call a timeout. He was bitter about losing his spot to the Fab Five and he later never showed to the end of the year Wolverines banquet.
Who cares? The guy with the ball is the one responsible for the call. If he knew how many timeouts the team had, he would not have called it. Plus, there is no indication that Michigan would have won anyway. What was Webber going to do trapped on the sideline after having picked up his dribble? Throwing Talley under the bus....I like it.
Do you think Kentucky has any potential to be a contender in the future
Of course. UK is one of the best jobs and programs in the college game. I think that team has done a great job with the personnel it has. Meeks and Patterson are stars, but there is a drop-off in talent after that. Kentucky does a lot of really good things, they just throw the ball away too much. UK will be in the NCAA Tournament, though. I feel confident in that.
Michigan in the Touney this year?
Yes. The Wolverines would have to collapse to miss the field. Few teams have better wins than UCLA, Duke and Illinois thus far.
Jay - which was the bigger anomaly: BC winning at UNC or BC losing vs. Harvard?
BC losing to Harvard. That was a stunner, but a great win for the Crimson. Jeremy Lin was magnificent with 27. He is Amaker's top scorer.
Syracuse?!??! Your thoughts
Very cold in the winter, but I like Dinosaur Barbecue.
Do you see a future in the NBA for UM Jack McClinton?
Yes. He is a strong shooting guard that can score. He needs to become a better defender, but I think he is a really good prospect.
How about Providence with new coach Keno Davis...11-4 and 3-0 in the Big East...Can they pull off 1 win with either Georgetown or Marquette?
Sure. Providence had really good talent coming back, and it was finally healthy. Since PC was going to fire Tim Welsh, they were smart to do it when he had a good team coming back. It gave Keno Davis a chance to get a running start.
Jay, what are the thoughts on our alma mater?
Excellent political science department. My dorm room was not in an ideal location, though. Very disappointing.
what do you think about Boston College firing Jeff Jagozinski?
Odd situation. I do not think it is a template for other programs to take a stand on loyalty. Remember, AD's and Presidents leave all of the time for better jobs. It is the way it is. I don't know all of the details of the BC thing, but I'm confident is was more than just a guy looking at another job. There had to be some perceived dishonesty involved.
Georgetown: two losses = not as good as we thought or big east = good?
Maybe a little bit of both. Look, the Big East is so tough that you can be crowned king and written off in the same week. There is a long way to go, and I thought that too many people went overboard after the G'Town-UCONN game. First, too many crowned the Hoyas, and too many wrote off UCONN. The Huskies lost, but are still the better team, in my judgment. But, that is just talk. The players will decide it. Our talk is not worth a single point or rebound. Thanks for the questions. See you at a game, and please stop by to say hello if you see me. Best, Jay