Welcome to the Tuesday chat, let's talk hoops!
Hey Pat. Michigan tonight. Is it basically a must-win game for the Wolverines? Is all but running the table on ranked teams the only chance Michigan has left at an at-large bid, or is that completely out of the question already? Also, does Harris's suspension for the practice violation have any cause/effect on a possible bolt to the NBA in the off-season?
Matt: Michigan is certainly up against it in terms of making the tournament. A win tonight over Spartie would be a great place to start the turnaround, but the Wolverines will have to follow it up with several other quality wins. Playing a tough schedule helps, but Michigan now must win games.
I do not believe that Kentucky can run through conference play undefeated. Do you think they can enter the tournament without a blemish on their record?
Chad: I expect a loss or two down the stretch here. Fact is, Kentucky has not played the best teams in its league -- combined SEC record of its opponents to date is 6-12. The Cats are at Mississippi State, at Tennessee and at Vandy in February, then at Georgia in March. That will be a tricky stretch.
John Wall is amazing, we all know this. But is there anyone else that is even close to competing with him for POY honors?
Steven: Yes, I think Evan Turner and Wes Johnson are at least in the discussion at this point.
How good are the BYU Cougars really? Does Fredette have any shot at All-American honors?
Todd: I think the Cougars are quite good, although that's based largely on statistics and box scores because I haven't seen much out of them on TV. Great offensive team, very tough at home. As for Fredette: he has a shot at being an A-A, but it'll be an uphill climb most likely. But he's very good.
Pat, SIU is my school but the Illini are my team. Any thoughts on their chance of making the tourney? They're a team that looks good one half of a game and horrible the next or first depending on the game. ( Could say the same about both.)
Nate: I'd say Illinois is up against it as well. Had some good early wins against Clemson and Vandy, but also lost to Utah, Georgia and Bradley. Current 3-game losing streak has Weber questioning his team's leadership -- and has fans questioning Weber. I think it will go down to the wire for the 'Ni.
Who are your early #1 seeds for the NCAA tourney?
Leigh Anne: Well, it is early. But I'd say Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova and Syracuse right now. But keep an eye on Michigan State, and possibly Texas if it rebounds.
Any truth to the rumors that you were voted captain of the Illinois men's basketball team?
Brett: Yes, but I had to decline because this chat conflicts with practice.
Do you think the Colonial can get multiple bids?
Davy: Seems to me that the best chance for that is if Old Dominion does not win the automatic bid. I think ODU could be an at-large team. It's a good league race at the top with ODU, George Mason, Northeastern and others.
Is there any more dominant big man than Cole Aldrich?
Brad: He's dominant, all right -- but his team tends to forget he exists on the offensive end. And he let's them. Heading into last night he was averaging 6 FGA per game, which is unforgivable.
Rhody @ Dayton tonight, who do you got? Is it a must win for both teams to keep their NCAA hopes alive?
Ryan: I don't think it's must-win, but it's an important game. I'll take Dayton since the Flyers are at home. That league will be really fun to watch over the next 6 weeks.
So, you note in the Minutes that Duke is all but counted out due to the exposing of certain limitations -- however, I believe we have seen the weaknesses of several other top teams exposed as well (WVU, Purdue, Georgetown). What factors are keeping these three teams in higher regard when compared to Duke? Is it just recent history (Duke's) or perhaps the strength of the conference (Big East) as a whole?
Josh: Good points. For starters, I'll say this: Georgetown was written into that story Monday morning -- by 9 p.m. Monday night, I was far less convinced about the Hoyas. But WVU has more quality size in my opinion than Duke, and Purdue has a real chance if Lewis Jackson comes back. And, yeah, I'm tired of buying into Duke and seeing them fall flat in the NCAAs.
Pat, do you think you could lay some ground rules for storming the court? For instance... if you are a ranked team you are not allowed to rush the court; or if you are favored to win you can not rush the court.
Marc: I wrote court-storming rules in the Forde Minutes a couple years ago -- wish I could remember them. But I do know this: Indiana should never storm the court for beating Minnesota. Ever. Students have the right to celebrate big wins, but they have the responsibility of knowing their school's history. Know when to say when, folks.
does anyone realize northwestern is without kevin coble
Dan: Yes. And Bill Carmody has done a great job without his best player.
Speaking of Coble: Did anyone see the video of him throwing a ball 75 feet over his head backward for a swish? That was pretty cool.
KU/KSU on Saturday...who ya got?
Jon: I will be there! My first trip to the Little Apple since 1986, when I was in college and watched Bill Buckner boot that famous ground ball on a TV in a bar in Aggieville. But I digress: I like the Jayhawks right now, but we'll see how this shapes up later in the week.
After watching a top-tier Georgetown struggle against Cuse's suffocating zone, do you think that Villanova's guards will be able to break the zone down and go on to win the Big East?
Don: Good questions. That zone has been very good this year, and Cuse's offensive execution has been amazing. But I love Nova's guards. I'l give them a shot at it.
Do you think UNC reappears in the top 25 before the end of the season (not that rankings mean anything in college basketball)?
JB: My guess is yes. Can't see that team staying this bad for the rest of the way -- too much talent. Listened to some of Roy's radio show last night on Sirius and he said he didn't want comparisons to past post-championship seasons -- then made several comparisons to previous years when his team was struggling and turned it around. But yes, I expect a turnaround at some point.
Following up on storming the court.. do UCONN students not know that their basketball team is ranked and good, year-in-and-year-out? Storming the court vs. Texas was unnecessary
Rafiq: I agree. UConn national titles: 2. Texas: zip. Stay in the stands.
If your school has at least one of me, you should never storm the court. Ever.
Trophy: What if, say, you're Oregon in the 1970s and you beat UCLA? Oregon's trophy was won in 1939. I'd say go for it then. That's too rigid a standard.
Do you think there will ever be a day when the Value City Arena is considered one of the loudest most feared Arena's? West Virginias fans put us too shame last weekend!
Dan: Very good point. Been to a game there and was surprised at the lack of crowd intensity. People were in the seats, but I got the feeling they'd rather be listening to a call-in show about football recruiting. Ohio State needs to upgrade its hoops fanaticism.
How good will the Tournament be this year??? This is shaping up to be one of the all time great fields of 64(65)! I can't wait!
DC: The tournament is NEVER bad. But some years are better than others. I'm hoping this is a great year -- but it's too early to tell for sure.
Storming of the court is allowed when you follow a team that may never do anything significant again.
J.B.: Cannot argue with that one.
What do you think of the Big Heads that Syracuse fans have made of Coach Boeheim and Wes Johnson? Passing fad or will they go viral in the NCAA Tourney?
John: There are big heads out there aplenty -- if memory serves Wake Forest might hold up the most stuff (heads included) of any student section. I'd expect to see more of them in the regular season than in the tourney, because you get fewer students at the tourney in general. But I'd like to see a Big Head of Gandhi pop up in a student section, just for random amusement. Might throw a foul shooter off.
Who are some talented freshman that are being over shadowed by John Wall and Wes Johnson
Drew: Elias Harris of Gonzaga and Matthew Dellavedova of St. Mary's spring immediately to mind. (Yes, I had to look up the spelling on Matthew's surname.) Avery Bradley has been mostly very good for Texas. Heck, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe have both been golden for Kentucky alongside Wall. Especially Cousins.
Im only 16 but love and study sports of all kinds (escpecially College basketball). Any chance for an internship?
Hunter: I wish I were in charge of internships, but I'm not. Call us back in a couple years, when you're 18, and see what we have available.
Do you feel Xavier Henry made a mistake with his decision? Or has he just been overshadowed by Collins and other great freshman?
Brian: Henry is having a very good season. Not a mistake made at all that I can see.
Is Jimmer Freddette one of the craziest awesome names you have heard of in college basketball?
Brent: He is the only Jimmer I have ever heard of. But he's got a ways to go to catch up with James Chiefkickingstallionsims from last year.
How have all the teams in Pac-10 bottomed out at the same time? Are all the good West Coast players coming to East Coast schools?
Matt: It's surprising and perplexing. Probably just a perfect storm of bad timing: Lute Olson fades out when Ben Howland loses too many guys early when USC gets in NCAA trouble when Oregon goes belly up. But there's no doubt that the league should be better.
If Scottie Reynolds keeps up his production, can he pull off POY? Maalik Wayns Big East POY?
Dman: Scottie is a first-team A-A in my book right now, and is in national POY consideration. He's been terrific.
Texas A&M has a big game at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Wednesday night. Do you think they can take down OSU on the road? Also, would 8-8 in the Big 12 be enough to get the Aggies in the tourney?
C. One: A&M hasn't shown much on the road since, oh, Thanksgiving weekend, so I like OSU in that one. But 8-8 in the Big 12 would at least be good enough to give the Aggies a chance at an at-large bid.
Pat, just so we can put this puppy to rest, will you simply state:"I'm Pat Forde and I dislike Duke, unequivocally, and have no plans to change my mind."That's all we need to hear from you, Pat, that way, we won't have to read any more of your ridiculously biased musings...You hate Duke, its OK, we're fine with it.
Tim: Sorry, I don't hate Duke. You don't have to hate Duke to be wary of what the Blue Devils will do in March. Look at the track record.
Could it be that Butler is finally living up to the preseason hype?
Kyle: Maybe, but beating up on the Horizon League does not restore my faith in the Bulldogs as a Final Four contender. (Yes, I was silly enough to think that at season's start.) I'm sure dealing with the expectations was difficult, but I was hoping to see more from Butler than it showed in non-conference play.
Pat everyone is saying BYU wed night at the Pit...really? what do you think?
Kristi: Tough, tough place to win. But, yeah, I'm taking BYU in a squeaker.
Basketball!? I want journalism school rankings! If you have NW 2nd who's Number 1? Mizzou, Ohio U?
Woodward: Mizzou, of course. Check my diploma.
"Look at the track record"? You mean three national championships in the last 20 years or the most final fours and NCAA tournament wins in the last 20 years?
Matt: I mean the four losses in the Sweet Sixteen or earlier as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the past five years. And the loss to a No. 11 seed in the other year. Find me the last time Duke lived up to its seeding.
What are Coach Dave Rose's chances for coach of the year?
Jacob: Very good -- if they gave out the award in January. But he's on the list, definitely, along with Jim Boeheim and John Calipari and Mark Few and Bo Ryan and Frank Martin...
Best game you've watched in person this year?
Brian: I've only covered two of them, so that's pretty easy. Xavier over Cincinnati in double OT. Just getting into hoops coverage now that football is over.
Hey Pat - I'm thinking UK's toughest task will be in Nashville against the Commodores in Memorial. Thoughts?
KB: Could well be. A verrrry tough place to play, and site of some painful Kentucky losses in the past. But the game in Starkville won't be any cakewalk either.
Why don't any of my questions/comments ever show up? Is ESPN bias???? lol!!!!
Randy: Yes. We hate you.
How do you think Texas will rebound from some horrible play the past couple of games?
Sean: Texas needs to re-establish its player hierarchy, which means the freshmen might need to give up the rock a bit more. I think they're taking too many shots.
Who is better Gonzaga or BYU? Probably the best in the West since down this year.
Jake: That is definitely the best-in-the-west debate, those two teams. I don't know who is better, but BYU has had a (slightly) more impressive run so far.
Oh so when it comes to Duke Pat only the last 5 years matter, so does that apply to all programs becasue it seems you only apply it to Duke?
Matt: Dude, it certainly applies to what this time might do this year. Just as the past five years is more illustrative of, say, what Indiana might do than winning the 1987 national championship.
Love the Forde Minutes, what do we have to look forward to next week?
Greg: Don't rush me! I just got this week's done last night at 1 a.m.! I'll try to figure that out later this week and early next.
So how can you believe in UK when they haven't shown anything in the last 5 years?
Tom: Have you seen the players on this UK team?
Can Clemson stilll turn it around and finish in the top three of the ACC?
Jay: Yes, because that league looks pretty wide open for a chance. Think Duke is the best team in the ACC, but after that it's a tossup.
I have seen the players and I agree, but you just dismissed Duke based on history. How about a little consistency?
Tom: Duke is still playing with pretty much the same hand as it did the past two years, when it flopped in the tourney.
best team in the country, Syracuse?
Kevin: 1. Kentucky, 2. Kansas, 3. Villanova, 4. Syracuse, 5. Texas/Michigan State. That's today. Could change at a moment's notice.
Are we a legitimate national title contender, or was last year's home town run a fluke?
Tom: Last year not a fluke. Looks like your team is doing what it normally does at this time of year: piecing it together and rising above the rest of the Big Ten. Legit contender.
Hey Pat, I wish I could watch the UAB / Tulsa matchup tonight. I think the winner gets an at-large, do you agree? By the way, who wins?
Mid: I like the matchup, like both teams. UAB has been living dangerously, winning a lot of close games. But at home, I'll go with the Blazers. And yes, I think this could end up a two-bid league.
Hey Pat, we need more girl comments on here! What is the best mid major conference so far this year? A-10, MWC, MVC, CUSA?
Ashton: Girl power, right on. A-10 wins that fight; could have 4-5 teams in the NCAAs. That league is back.
Does Louisville make the NCAA tournament this year?
John: Squarely on the bubble right now Inserting Terrence Jennings in the starting lineup might be the start of a turnaround, we'll see. I think Louisville gets above .500 in the Big East and gets in, but it could be close.
Pat, big fan of your work! Quick question, does Calhoun get credit for the UCONN wins during his absence?
Jon: I am told that he does. Tough luck for George Blaney; he could use the wins given his record at Seton Hall.
Pat,Do you think the Maryland Terps are poised enough to hold on to the #1 spot and the ACC and make an impact in the Big Tourny?
Jordan: I think we'll know more by the end of next week, after those consecutive road games against Clemson and FSU. But the Terps have bounced back well from that bad loss to Bill & Mary.
Does the "one-and-done" trend hurt college basketball?
Adam: Yes. More importantly, it hurts college. It makes a mockery of the higher-education system. Don't force elite young players to pretend to be A) students and B) amateurs if they are neither.
Will Renardo Sidney ever be deemed eligble for Miss. State? And if so will it make a difference?
Derrick: Wish I knew. Talked to some folks at Miss State recently and they seemed resigned to not having him, and thus if he is declared eligible it's a bonus. Even if he is cleared, I don't know how much he can help because I don't know what his conditioning level is or his familiarity with Stansbury's system.
What do you think about a 3 game national championship?
Bob: No way.
O-state to win the Big 10 over Michigan St?
Bow Wow: I don't think so -- but the Buckeyes are legit with Evan Turner back.
Is the game between Kansas and Texas in February in Austin really a "huge" game since they will probably face each other in the Big 12 Tournment?
Steve: Yes it's still huge. First off, upsets happen often in league tournaments, and the Big 12 is a very good league, so it's not a given they meet then and there. Secondly, both teams have time to prepare for that game in Feb as opposed to a 24-hour turnaround in a tourney format. Still a big one.
What place would the UConn woman's basketball team finish in the PAC-10 this year?
The Hogs have lost 7 of 10 at home, attendance is slipping again, and we can't get our team to perform at a consistently high level. Is Pelphrey out???
Daren: I don't believe he is out, and I asked a few folks from Arkansas about that Saturday. That was a humiliating performance and they're pretty bad right now, but I think John gets another season in Fayetteville. This is only his third year there, and it's not like they were going to Final Fours right before he got there.
OK folks, another great turnout. More than 1,000 questions, thanks for showing. Sorry I couldn't answer all of them -- well, all the serious ones. See you next week!