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December 29, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Hello all and Happy Almost New Year.

Jim (Seattle)

Hi Dana, while people back east can go outside and build a snowman, we here in Seattle get to build a rainman! Ha! Anyway, got a KU question for you. What do you think will be their achilles heel this year? Free throw shooting? Interior defense? The twins being foul prone? Thanks!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Jim: Snowmen aren't terrible creatures. For now, anyway. Certainly the twins' composure is an issue right now, but gotta feeling that won't last. I think they need to get tougher defensively across the board. Great offensive team, but need to shore up the D.

Gerry (Boston, MA)

I'm a huge supporter of BC basketball. I miss playing UConn, Nova, and the rest of the Big East. Is there any hope that BC would move back to the Big East since the foootball product is getting better with the addition of TCU? I would love to get a Big East tattoo on my leg!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Gerry: I'd be stunned. For starters, I think there are a lot of bad feelings still about BC's departure and I don't think anyone is terribly interested in welcoming them back.

Steve W (Philadelphia, PA)

What are your thoughts on Villanova so far this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Steve: Will have a better answer for you tomorrow night after watching them live for first time. Headed to Temple game. Think they've got great offensive players. Would like them to get tougher on defense and absolutely need Corey Fisher to remain consistent.

Steve (Abilene)

Got to believe UK's request to make Kanter eligible got a second lift by the ruling of the Ohio State football players?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Steve: Actually interesting you mention that. NCAA issued a release sort of defending itself after latest fiasco. As part of it wrote basically that if they have proof Cam Newton's dad had accepted money - even if Cam didn't know - he'd be ineligible. That doesn't bode well for Enes.

Chris (Washington DC)

How about Georgetown for exciting games this season? Missouri, Memphis, and now Notre Dame tonight!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Chris: Georgetown flying a little under the radar. Have been rock solid and playing very well. Interested to see them against ND and see how the Irish survive a brutal start - have Georgetown, Syracuse and Connecticut before Jan. 5.

Christian (Springfield, VA)

Dana,Indiana just lost a home game to Penn State (Penn State!). Is Tom Crean the coach at IU next season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Christian: Yeah, that was absolutely brutal. Especially on the heels of the mess in Vegas. Definitely think Crean comes back. I know natives are restless but the recruiting class next year is finally legit. Now, can he have this sort of year next season and survive? Uh uh.

Jeff (KC)

Right now, who would you take in a head-to-head neutral court game if all players were fully healthy........KU or Duke? With Irving healthy for the Devils and Selby fully in the mix for the Hawks.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Jeff: Great game! Give the edge to Duke. More solid defensively. But it would be an incredible game. Here's hoping Irving gets healthy and it at least has a chance of happening.

Tom Corbett (Greensboro, NC)

Which guard do you need to double team the most in the Big East?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Tom: Kemba Walker is a good start.

Chris (philly)

whats wrong with the a10 this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Chris: Well Xavier is incredibly depleted by injuries, so they get a mulligan. Richmond, I think, can still be good though they're dreadfully inconsistent. Like Temple. Confused by Dayton.

Blaine (MS)

Happy new year Dana: Miss. State question: We've learned that Bailey started the fight and it's looking like Stansbury is going to end up kicking Bailey off the team and keeping Sidney. What kind of message is this sending, shouldn't both of them get the boot? The season's all but ruined already anyway even with Bost coming back. And what kind of hot seat does this poor poor offensive production and bad team behavior put Stansbury in? I think Strickland should give Stans the boot. What's your take on all the garabage?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Blaine: Big ole mess there in Starkville. Agree that you're sending a bad message if you boot Bailey and keep Sidney, the better player. Let's face it. THis was a stupid thing to fight about and it's twice now that Sidney has been a hothead over something so silly. Think Stansbury really needs to take a hard stand, even if it costs him some Ws. You need to establish some sort of rules to be respected.

JL (Hoboken, NJ)

Have you heard about the suspension for Lance Goulborne from Vandy? He bough a parking permit (at no discount) with his own money from a student manager 16 MONTHS ago and now he's suspended indefinitely. I appreciate that my school self-reported this violation and does its best to follow the nebulous NCAA guidelines, but what on earth is the NCAA's logic here?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

JL: Just saw that and I'd love to explain that to you but I've got nothin. Imbecilic is a good word

gldendog (Philadelphia PA)

What did you think of the Eagles loss last night? I am so dissapointed in them, I think I am going to cry myself to sleep.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Giants fan by birth and any fan interest I had in the Eagles was beaten out of me after covering team for 4 years. Sorry for your loss.

kyle (NJ)

do you think michigan has any chance in making the tourney this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Kyle: Well they need to play a little better than they did against Purdue! The Big 10 offers chances for them to get some quality wins, but they need a few of them. ANd no hiccups.

43 Tigers (Mount Olive College)

What are Clemsons chances to go dancing?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Tigers: Not good.

David (SC)

thoughts on the cuse? seem to be getting better shooting the ball but just not winning games by a large margin against teams that shouldn't be able to hang with them

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

David: Have liked Syracuse since October and they've done nothing to change my opinion. Need to get consistent at shooting the ball well but otherwise, like that team a bunch.

ctnova99 (New York)

My boyfriend and I have been arguing over who is a better coach - Jay Wright or Fran Dunphy? Can you settle a debate for us?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

I do not negotiate in love and war. Both are terrific. Agree to disagree and make him buy dinner.

Troy (Cincinnati)

After the lose of top 3pt shooter (ACL), top freshman (NCAA), and now top perimeter reserve for a month along with the de-commits from two top 50 players within a month and now down to 7 players that play big minutes; has any team had worst Karma than Xavier early this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Troy: It's been unreal for Chris Mack. I suppose after such a terrific run for so long they were due a little Karmic payback, but youch. NOt all at once.

HallDan (Newark, NJ)

Are you hearing that Seton Hall maybe get booted from the Big East? I read an article from a reputable source on this issue.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Dan: That's been a rumor for a bit, but I've heard nothing whatsoever to substantiate it. I can't see the Big East booting anyone

TickleMeJake (Joshua Tree)

DPO - I've been working from home a lot recently and got a chance to catch up on some articles about Big 5 History. In your opinion, which team was the Big 5 Team of the Decade? Was in the 30-2 Perfect Season for St. Joe's (PA) or Nova's Final Four team?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Depends on what you're judging: Just Big 5 games or overall? Overall has to be Saint Joe's. I know they lost in Elite Eight but it was an incredible, storybook run. Undefeated through regular-season. Villanova's Final Four team was part of the assault on the Big 5, so they win in the city. And it, too, was epic, don't get me wrong.

Will (Denver)

Odds Tony Mitchell gets cleared by the NCCA for Mizzou next semester? One would think the Tigers could go to the final 4 if that happens...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Will: Gotta be a decision soon, I'd think. Right??? He may get dinged a few games but should play eventually. Then it's a matter of fitting him in a la Josh Selby and Kansas.

Matt (The West)

Was Gonzaga's win over Baylor now A Ho Hum win? How do you think the Zags will finish?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Matt: Nah, it still matters despite Baylor's slips. Zags desperately needed it. Not 100 percent sold yet on Gonzaga, for obvious reasons. But don't think they're as bad as we've been led to believe early.

rodney Barker (danville, va)

chances unc wins 10 games in acc and makes the ncaa?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Rodney: The ACC is so dreadful you can't exactly say that's an impossibility. I'd imagine they'll get in. Not sure they'll last but they get in.

Buckeye70 (ClownVomit.com)

Hey Mis Oneil, was wondering if yez know if the Ye Old Buckeyes would be winning the Big One. Love my Buckeyes, much better than those Nova Wildcats.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

I'd say they are decidedly in the mix. Jared Sullinger is ridiculously good. And presuming he didn't trade anything for a tattoo, ought to be running roughshod over some folks in March.

Jake (Pittsburgh)

Looking at the BE schedule, is PITT the clear favorite? They get Cuse at home (no current Syracuse player has ever beaten PITT, let alone won in the Peterson Event Center) ND, Nova and WVU there as well (albeit they do play Nova and WVU away as well). With how things have gone, is PITT now the clear favorite?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Jake: Favorable schedule, no doubt, especially at the Zoo. Still think clear favorite is a tough one. I mean, Syracuse is mighty good and Villanova is right there, too.

Steve S (Philly)

Dana, is there any conference that can even come close to challenging the Big East as the deepest, most difficult conference in college hoops right now?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Steve: I'd say the Big Ten is still in the running. The thing is, wiht the Big East, you start with 16 so you win the depth thing running away without trying. Gotta look pound for pound and it's pretty close.

Buck (San Fran CA)

Dana - Buttler were a great cinderella story last year. What team do you think slides in the back door to the Final Four this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Buck: Maybe Steve Fisher and San Diego State?

Brian (Philly)

The ACC is definitely down this year, but dreadful is a bit harsh? We're not talking about a bottom 10 RPI league.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Brian: Dreadful by ACC standards. We're not talking about the SWAC here, either.

Robbie (va)

What are your thoughts on Roy's odd sub patterns? It seems that as soon as one of his PGs starts rolling the other comes in, and it seems that when he has size advantage in henson/zeller he puts in knox, im confused.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Robbie: He's almost like a kid with too many really cool toys to play with. I think settling on a solid rotation would help these guys a bunch. Particularly at point guard, where the adventure begins and ends.

Jason (Philadelphia )

Who do you like tomorrow? Nova or Temple?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Jason: Villanova this time around. Game is at the Pavilion and think they've got too much quickness. Juan isn't going crazy this time.

vucat05 (Philadelphia, PA)

I think some of these punishments year have been crazy. I mean guys are getting only two games for punching their girlfriends! These teams need an enforcer!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Kind of agree. You can get booted for 5 games for selling a T shirt but if you beat up your girlfriend, you miss an exhibition game. Seems a bit off kilter.

Robbie (va)

Who do you like more? Marshall or Drew? I feel Marshall is on another level then drew on offense mostly but Drew is a better athlete who defends much better and gets to the rim easier.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Robbie: Agree with that assessment. What the Heels need more than anything is someone with some consistent ball handling.

Jack Mannion (Hoboken, NJ)

Dana, got any NYE plans? I'm single and love your work.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Jack: Sorry, full deck here w/ husband, kids and a puppy.

Barry (Denver)

Dana, Happy Holidays! What are your thoughts on the Old Dominion vs. Missouri game tomorrow? Can the Monarchs pull off the upset?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Barry: Interesting game. People stopped talking bout Old Dominion but I definitely think they can pull it off. Missouri is playing well but has shown to be very susceptible. Could put ODU back on the map.

St. Joes(PA) Fan (Drexil Hill. PA)

Do you think Phil Martelli is on the hot seat?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

I do not. NOt a bit.

Matt (Toronto, ON)

Does the title run through Duke or Kansas? Who else do you like as contenders?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Matt: Still think Duke has the edge, but like Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse and refuse to give up on Michigan State just yet.

Brandon (Allentown)

Which coach has a hotter hot seat? Sidney Lowe, Paul Hewitt, or Seth Greenberg?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Brandon: Eesh. Well Hewitt has that ironclad $$$ contract and Greenberg has had some injuries. I think Lowe really needs to make the tourney this year, especially in a down ACC season, to be OK

Blondie (Monmouth, NJ)

What position is more important for a team's success - the G or the F?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Blondie: Guard. Ball is in their hands and the game has become a guards' game.

rfcq (my mom's basement)

i think Villanova should go four guards again, i said it before Luke from SI did, what are your thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Get out of your mother's basement. It's not an awful thought at al, so long as these guards rebound like those guards did.

Arak (Philadelphia, PA)

Best Christmas gift you ever got? Mine was my Birthday, I am like a mini Baby Jesus!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Can't top birth but got a Snoopy when I was six that I have yet to part with.

Phil (Chicago )

DePaul has a strong recruiting class next season with 6 commits. Can Purnell really turn that program around?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Phil: It's an awful lot of turning to do. Should be able to get something done, if you ask me. It's Chicago, not Podunk. There are players there.

Ralph (Philadelphia )

Is Jay right a good coach, or just a great recruiter?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Ralph: The guy has been to the NCAA Tournament how many years? Went to the Final Four, revamped a program that was flat. I think he can coach a little bit.

dusty (st. louis)

dana, it seems like everyone forgets that kansas lost 3 starters off last years team to the NBA. why is nobody talking about the amazing rebuilding job bill self has done (2 times now since 2008 championship)?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Dusty: It's the absolute truth and the unfortunate reason is, it's Kansas. You're expected to reload every year. He has done a terrific job of maintaining excellence. Maybe too terrific. People don't appreciate it.

Chris (NJ)

Who do you think will end up top 3 in the SEC? Will TENN pull it back together? Is Vandy a real contender?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Chris: Very confused about Tennessee. Still think they have the talent to pull it together. Equally confused by Florida. Not sure who they are just yet. Believe in Kentucky. Think Vandy is legit.

Jay (Utah)

Do you think Jimmer shoots from 10 feet behind the 3-point line just to show the NBA scouts he can do pretty much anything he wants on the offensive end?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Jay: If it goes in, why not?

Matt (The West)

Best team in the west. UW, WSU, or SDSU? Maybe BYU?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Matt: Right now I gotta go with San Diego State. They've done nothing to discredit the early hype. Like BYU. Need more evidence from the Pac 10 teams to believe in them entirely.

Ralph (Philadelphia )

Is Jay Wrights success though a result of recruiting talent?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Ralph: Well yeah, but so is every single coach's success built that way. You don't win with scrubs generally

BearcatFan (Cinci, OH)

I like this year's team better because it's more mature. Last year's team was like a blind date with someone from the internet, you had no idea what you were going to get. What are your thoughts on the Bearcats?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Bearcat: Take your word on the blind date part. Think we'll know more about Cincy real soon, after they get a few Big East games under their belt. could very well be a team that is enjoying addition by subtraction.

matt (cincinnati)

Dana, with all this bad luck happening to Xavier, do you think their tournament hopes are becoming smaller. Or do you believe that they can overcome it and make the tournament again this year

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Matt; It would be a helluva run if Chris Mack can pull that off. They'll get dispensation for injuries but don't really have a lot yet to hang an at-large hat on.

Ken (Philadelphia )

Do you think Jayvaughn Pinkston will return to Nova next year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Ken: I imagine so. From all indications, that's his plan.

RayhadJackson (Philadelphia)

Who do you think is the hottest freshman in the country?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Jared Sullinger in a run away.

Knish (NYC)

Nobody does less with talent than Wright...top 5 classes every year and one Final 4. Thompson III gets more out of less.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

I didn't know JT3 got such lousy talent.

Tony Dictos (The Valley)

First off love your writing and it doesn't hurt that you are so easy on the eyes too.Anyway, what are your thoughts on a team like UConn this year? I think they may have climaxed too early ion the season with a hard OOC schedule. The Big East is a long, slow, pounding type of league where a team like this could just end up completely spent by March.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Tony: I don't think we should write off UConn just yet, but we also need to remember no one thought they'd be even remotely close to this good, so perspective helps. Oriakhi was awful against Pitt and that can't happen. The Huskies aren't going to win with just Kemba. But I still say they're pretty legit.And thank you for the compliments. Check is in the mail

kevin (vandy)

why is vanderbilt so far under the radar? lunardi has them as an 8 seed. please slap some sense into him

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Kevin: Fairly soft non-conference sched. Lost to two toughest teams on early schedule.

OctoberProject (Cherry Hill, NJ)

I'm a crazed Temple fan, but even I know Jay Wright can coach. Will Dunphy get Temple past round 1 of the NCAA's this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

I would think so. Been snakebit by some horrible matchups - Cornell was cruel last year.

Johnny (Columbia)

I think Missouri is the best team in the Big 12 and should sweep KU this year and win the conference. Agree?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Johnny: Um, not entirely. Think Mizzou is decent and can contend but still some work to do.

Jones (St. Louis)

Mike Anderson will be the coach for Missouri in the 2015-16 season, true or false?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Jones: Think he's shown a desire to stay put, so not sure why that would change. But five years is an eternity in college athletics, sadly.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Alright folks. Said puppy has had enough waiting. Happy New Year to everyone. Check in with you all in 2011.