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January 12, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Greetings from the snowbelt.

Dustin (Las Vegas)

Hi Dana, As an Orange fan living in Vegas I don't get to see too many games, but from what I've seen so far this year, I get the feeling that we might be a little bit over rated. Do you think that our shooting will cause problems down the road? Or am I just paranoid?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Dustin: Maybe not paranoid, but you have a point. I think the Orange is legit, myself, but I also believe that the outside shooting could be problematic. Remember it ultimately did in Kentucky last year.

Kyle Styck (Las Vegas NV)

Huge game in the MWC today, Do you see a fired up Unlv team going into Viejas Arena and pull off the upset

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Kyle: Huge, huge game I agree and a big week for San Diego State with New Mexico on Saturday. I think UNLV will give San Diego State a tough game, but the Aztecs win at home.

Shawn (DC)

For the first time all season, the Spartans finally showed some heart and fight. I admit, down 9 with over 2 minutes left, I thought it was over (along with their season). Is this the kind of win that could turn around the season and finally wake them up?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Shawn: They absolutely needed the win and to win that way, I hope will help their confidence. I stubbornly refuse to give up on a Tom Izzo team and I finally saw some fight in the dog from Sparty last night. Good sign.

Collin (NC)

Hey Dana what do you think of the CAA and UNCW there a very young team and are starting to mesh together do you think they can surprise some teams and possibly win the CAA tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Collin: Interesting league and I'll get to see some up close tomorrow night with ODU at Drexel. Don't know if this is the year for UNCW to make some real noise. Some really good teams in that league this year in VCU, ODU, Hofstra and Drexel.

Milton (illinois)

Dana...Illinois always seems to play "up" and unfortunatly "down" to their competition, is this a coaching issue or just a lack of killer instinct on the players behalf? thanks

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Milton: That win, plus getting Mississippi already puts Florida in the temporary driver's seat. Lot of people - myself included - probably gave up on the Gators too prematurely. Have more experience than UK, so could make it an interesting race. Think those two and maybe Georgia (I'll commit after the Vandy game) could be best.

Jon (AZ)

Did you Watch Jimmer last night? Your thoughts.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Jon: I did not and I hate myself for it. Long travel day had me tucked in early. Jimmer is absolutely terrific and when you talk player of the year ought to be in the conversation.

Ted (Charlottesville, VA)

How do you think the Purdue Boilers will come out from this week on the road at Minnesota tomorrow and at West Virginia on sunday? Also doesn't Coach Matt Painter deserve a little more credit for how well this team is doing? They base everything on their defense which is why they are winning their games so well.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Ted: Talked about that yesterday on The Experts. Painter deserves coach of the year look. Yes, he has talent with Johnson and Moore but to bring that team back together mentally AGAIN is huge. Minny is such a mess right now, I think Purdue gets that one. At WVU could be tougher. Mountaineers aren't really solid yet but talented enough.

Brad Smith (Spokane)

What are your thoughts on Gonzaga's postseason future and what seed do you think we will get in the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Brad: They look poised to right things here in the conference season, so they're in. As for seed, God, I'm awful at that. Maybe a 7?

Drew (New York)

St. Bonaventure plays on the road at #23 Temple tonight. With Fernandez out, Allen seemingly in a rut, and a sparse crowd in the snowstorm, do Andrew Nicholson (23ppg, 8rpg) and the Bonnies have a chance to pull the road upset? If not, do the Bonnies finally have the pieces in place to make a move in the A-10 this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Drew: Certainly not having Juan helps the Bonnies, though Ramone Moore is still awfully good. I really am impressed with the job Mark Schmidt has done. Terrific putting that team back together. And I think the A10 is sort of a mumbo jumbo, so why not the Bonnies making a late move?

Isaiah (NC)

Hey Dana I really like your peices. Sometimes I think its easy to idolize these kids because they are on tv. But they really are just kids. So for my question where would Nolan Smith sit on your POY list?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Isaiah: So easy to forget they are kids until you talk to them. And they are and deserve to be cut some slack for it. As for Nolan, definitely on the short list for POY. Best player on nation's best team who has been absolutely on fire since Kyrie got hurt. Think he's shooting 55 percent. Seriously

John Coleman (Lansing, Michigan)

Hi, Dana. With Alabama's recent blowout win, how optimistic and realistic should I be about this season? Is the Crimson Tide still a year away from making the NCAA tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

John: Yeah I'd say still a year away but be optimistic. Anthony Grant is doing a terrific job rebuilding things in Tuscaloosa.

Spencer F (Columbia, MO)

Will the loss to Colorado hurt Mizzou or just refocus the Tigers for the conference slate? I know that Coach Anderson is a taskmaster and I'm sure the players are ticked off at their performance... M.I.Z...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Spencer: For starters, Colorado is better and Burks is very good so it's not the worst possible loss for Mizzou. Gotta think it recharges them. Good team. Veterans. They should be ticked.

Matt (Lawrence)

Dana - love reading your stuff. Has this season proved that no media person should ever pick any team besides Kansas to win the Big 12? Until someone beats them and proves to be better people will continue to look silly picking anyone else, right?

Justin (2009 PSU ALUM)

How about PSU!! 2 quality wins in the last 2 games.... The NCAA tourney looking like a possibility this year!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Matt: Yeah that's probably sound advice.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Oops. Messed up.Justin of Penn State: Ed DeChellis has done a great job getting the most out of his players and making them much better. NCAA Tourney? Simmer down. Their non-league sched was pretty pathetic. The Maine loss still exists. Gotta win mroe than 2 at home to get a bid. But things look better.

Dan (West Chester, PA)

Dana, Villanova hasn't looked great so far in Big East play. They beat 2 bottom feeders (USF, Rutgers) and almost coughed up a big league against a very overrated Cincinnati team. I think tonight against Louisville is a big game for them. How do you project tonight's match-up. Two guard-oriented teams, with Nova's experience carrying them to a win?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Dan: I don't think they've looked awful. Cincy is pretty good, I think, though yes, Nova fell asleep at the wheel there for a while. Louisville is up tempo, which will be just fine for the Wildcats. They can go with the best of em. Think Villanova is better defensively and just ahs more talent.

Chris (Lexington, KY)

Do you have any upsets in tonight's games? If so, who?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Chris: Think Colorado might take KState. The Wildcats are ripe for the picking right now. Think Iowa State may make it closer than people expect against Kansas, but KU wins. Bonnies maybe against a Juan-less Temple team. Rest chalk.

Clayton (College Station)

How good do you think Texas A&M is? Is it realistic to believe they can finish in the top three of the big 12?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Clayton: Very good. Never gonna be sexy exciting because they win withe defense, but always sound. Top 3? Hmm... why not? they've been as consistent as anyone in the league. Think KU wins the conference. Maybe Texas next and then why not, A&M?

Colton (Salt Lake City)

Hi Dana, What do you think the chances BYU makes a sweet 16 run?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Colton: Pretty darned good, I'd say. Jimmer Fredette could be the new Steph Curry.

Eamon (NYC)

Dana - Are you suprised the Hoyas are favored tonight agaist Pitt? Who do you think wins this one?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Eamon: Yeah, I'm really surprised considering how Georgetown has played lately. The Hoyas need it. Kinda reeling right now but with Pitt's defense and tougher/better interior, think the Panthers win.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

The Vols start 7-0 with two top 10 wins. Since then it's 3-6. What is going on?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Josh: Well, a ton clearly with Coach Pearl out. But beyond that... think they've got too many people in the rotation right now, especially for Tony Jones to handle. Don't really know roles well enough yet.

jason (indianapolis)

what is the ceiling for the tarheels? they have looked really good recently, do they have enough to make an elite8/final 4 run?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Jason: Wow. I don't see that, no. Think they have improve quietly while no one is paying attention. Could end up 2nd best team in ACC but not sure they're good enough to go that deep.

Greg (MN)

Hi Dana!Is there an end to the Minnesota sports controversy? First Devoe Joseph transfers to Oregon, and now Trevor Mbakwe violates a restraining order and goes to jail. A team that looked to be a contender for the Big 10 championship now looks like a fringe NCAA tournament team and looks destined for the NIT. Is there any hope for the Gophers?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Greg: And don't forget Royce White too. It's been one big drama after another for Tubby and it's hard to keep a team that is good but not great together in that situation. If Mbakwe plays, it helps. He's good. Not sure he should play, personally, but I don't know all the details.

Jason (Albany)

Dana, I know the Mountain West is more legit than it has been in the past but do you think Jimmer will get a good enough look for National POY being in a conference outside of the big 6? Thanks

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Jason: He's almost impossible to ignore. His numbers are outrageous. His team is really good and his league is pretty decent, better than maybe two in the big six. Hey, if Jameer Nelson can win player of the year out of Saint Joe's, why not?

Big5fan (Philadelphia)

Is there a Kyrie Irving update?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Not really. Coach K doesn't talk about it much. Weird injury and hard to predict, sounds like.

dusty (st. louis)

if ku gets to a point this season where they play a complete game every game and fire on all cylinders, how many other teams could realistically keep up with them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Dusty: Not many but some could. If they put it together - which they haven't consistently - can be awfully awfully good. Not much missing.

Matt (The West)

Hi Dana, Love your work. Can you give an honest assessment of Gonzaga? No sugar coating just hit me between the eyes.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Matt: Hmmm... Good team, NCAA Tourney team but don't know if this one is poised for a deep run. Which means they'll make the Elite Eight.

Tom (PA)

Is Phil Martelli on the "hot seat" at SJU? Is one "perfect" season eniugh to keep a job?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Tom: I get this question every week and I just don't see it happening. I mean, they haven't been awful for five years. This is bad. Last year was not great. Before that? They were in the mix. This team is so so young.

J.B. (PA)

Ms. Dana: Who would be your top five potential 'one and dones' for this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

JB: Sullinger, Terrance Jones, Josh Selby, Tobias Harris

Billy (Knoxville)

I'm a Tennessee fan and I seriously just feel like locking myself in a room and crying. What's wrong? Is there any hope for this season, Dana?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Billy: Is there hope? Sure. They've got talent. I saw it live and in person against Pittsburgh. But they need to rediscover themselves a little bit. Entering dangerous territory as the losses mount.

Reed Turry (Atlanta)

What do you believe are Georgia's chances of making the NCAA Tournament this year? Do you think the upset of Kentucky was a fluke or are our Dawgs for real this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Reed: Oh I think the Dawgs are for real. Now I'll feel better saying that AFTER the Vandy game. But love Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. Mark Fox has done an absolutely amazing job.

Brian (Minneapolis)

Transplant Big East fan living in Big 10 Country here. Looking forward to watching the Hoyas try to get back on track tonight again Pitt -- what do you see as the key for JTIII's team tonight against the Panthers? Offensively they have struggled recently after being so productive with the Princeton offense during non-conference play -- do you think that has to do with Big East teams being familiar with the style?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Brian: Think it has more to do with a lack of a legit post presence. Sure, Big East teams are used to the cuts and the Princeton style but they were familiar with it last year with Greg Monroe, too. Think that's the big disadvantage against Pitt. Gary McGhee isn't overpowering, but he's solid.

Tim (Kansas City)

Dana - is it Duke, Ohio State, Kansas and then everyone else?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Tim: Not sure how I feel about that. Think those three and maybe Syracuse to an extent have separated themselves but I also think all three could be vulnerable. MIght be another wild tourney.

Andrew (Houston)

Who's the home team in MSG tonight? I keep hearing that nothing in the state of NY/NJ is a road game for Syracuse.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Andrew: Interesting question. St. John's fans are coming back into fashion, so I think this will be less one sided than past years - especially with the weather. But Cuse fans travel and travel in droves.

Zach (san diego)

Adam morrison got them close but choked up against UCLA. Maybe a replay of butler. Will we ever see GONZAGA still playing in april???

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Zach: If I answer, will you stop asking 30 times? Never say never. Butler taught us that.

Robert (VA)

I attended the UVA v UNC game on saturday. I sat through 30 minutes of watching Roy sub 5 in and 5 out constantly. At the beginning of the second half he replaced his two guard a minute into the second half for no apparent reason. Finally at the 10 minute mark he stuck with a lineup for more than 4 minutes, they came back from 10 down and won. Am i the only one noticing that the subbing hurts them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Robert: No, I thought the same when I saw them earlier. Looked like line shifts in a hockey game. I"m not sure how you get any continuity or sense of roles if guys are yanked in and out all of the time. That said, Roy knows a heckuva lot more than me.

Matt (Lawrence)

Dana - with the lockout happening in July (possibly) wouldn't it be fair to move back the NBA declare date? Kids have to declare in May w/o knowing if there will be a lockout or now. If kids stay - the 2011 season will have some loaded teams and the 2012 draft, especially if the 1 and done rule goeas away, will be loaded, right?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:39 PM)

Matt: I think if you're good enough, you go regardless. An agent worth his while will take care of his guys.

Dave (MA)

Dana - what do you make of the BC Eagles? 3-0 in the ACC, some good nonconference wins but disappointing losses to Yale and Harvard. Reggie Jackson is getting it done!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Kudos to Steve Donahue. had good players to work with but has completely changed the way they play and has done it with great success. Not sure how long the record will last but I'm impressed so far.

Brian (Provo)

SDSU is a great team, but BYU swept them last year. Both teams return basically the same starters. Why is SDSU thought of so much more highly than the Cougars? Prediction for Jan. 26 in Provo?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Brian: Think SDSU just has all the ingredients - inside, outside play. Decent defense. Not saying BYU isn't good. They are but think Aztecs are a little more complete.

kevin (vandy)

Who is your mid-season coach of the year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Kevin: Off the top of my head.. Matt Painter

Ryan (Louisville, KY)

Seems like so many people compare UK's team this year to last year's team. Why? We know they're not as good and will need a good bracket matchup to go far.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Ryan: Kind of unfair, agree. This is a very good Kentucky team but last year's team was awfully special. This year's team is going to take a few more lumps in the regular season and I don't think will go quite as far in March, either. Still very good.

John (Boston)

UCONN should have another easy game this week (DePaul) and then has two tough home games next week against Nova and Tenn... how do you see those two games going?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

John: Obviously Villanova is tougher than Tennessee right now. Oriakhi could be a big difference against Nova. Yarou is good but he's not as good yet as Oriakhi. Will be fun to watch Kemba against the Nova guards.

Derek (St. Louis area)

Dana if you were building a team, which set of brothers would you rather have, The Morris Twins or the Plumlee brothers? Rock Chalk

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Derek: Morris twins.

Walt (KC, MO)

Duke's first loss will be against........

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Walt: Could be never but the road swing of at New York for St. John's and at Maryland three days later is intriguing to me.

K-ron (Tulsa)

Dana whats wrong with K-State b-ball right now

Dana O'Neil
  (2:46 PM)

K-ron: Really seeing how critical Denis Clemente was to that team and more, to Pullen. Think they really lack leadership on the court, too. Need Curtis Kelly back.

whitney (richmond, indiana)

Any thoughts on Tom Crean and the job he is doing rebuilding the Hoosiers?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

Whitney: He needs to push on the gas a little bit. Natives are getting restless and I understand why. This team should be better than it is right now. He's still got some forgiven time but not much.

Scott (Provo)

Dana's vote for POY right now is?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Scott: Hmm... Jared Sullinger or Jimmer Fredette or Nolan Smith. Those are my top 3. Might lean Fredette after last night.

joshua (sc)

so yesterday eammon told us he watches jersey shore. maybe its just me but isn't that kinda weird?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Joshua: Mildly disturbing, yes. But hey, I watch Deadliest Catch with my 6 year old son.

Matt (Lawrence)

What did you think of Jason King's Billy Donovan article today? I know its a different site but it is amazing to see a different side of coaches than just rooting for them to win or lose.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Matt: Thought it was absolutely fabulous writing, reporting and storytelling. Heartbreaking and wonderful all at once.

Eileen (Chicago)

After Mondays blow out of ND by Marquette, how do you see MU shaping up against the rest of the Big East the rest of the season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Eileen: That was pretty wildly impressive shooting. Don't think you can count on that every night but think Buzz has another team that could turn heads.

Gerald Ung (Temple)

Dana: Gun to your head, who do you think has the best shooters in the Big 5. I am biased, but I think it is temple.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Villanova has Corey Stokes. Villanova wins.

gldendog (Philly)

Dana, can you settle an argument for me and my friend. I think it is more important to win your division 3 out of 7 years, but have no success in the postseason. My friend says that he would rather be just as good, (wins-wise, but not division title) but have a lot more postseason success. Help please...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:51 PM)

Well in college hoops people don't remember if you won your league. they remember if you went to the Final Four. I go postseason.

J.B. (PA)

Snooki is scarier looking than anything you'll see on 'Deadliest Catch,' Dana.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

JB Excellent point. And I'm from New Jersey and spend my time at the real Jersey Shore (not the one with imported New Yorkers destroying it), so I have a special distaste for Jersey Shore.

Patrick (Chicago)

Missouri State has road wins against Wichita State, Creighton and Northern Iowa....can they make it as an at large?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Patrick: Absolutely a red hot team worth watching. Could be this year's Northern Iowa. A sleeper team that could beat some people in the NCAA Tourney.

justin (texas)

do you think the loss to uconn will help texas in getting ready for the big 12 or do the same thing it did last year and lead to a complete colapse?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Justin: Slightly afraid to go all in with the Longhorns still but think this team is built a little better and a little tougher. Don't see the implosion coming this time around.

Dave (Oregon)

HI Dana, Who makes a larger contribution to BYU's success: Jimmer or Dave Rose?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

Well Rose found Jimmer and you do need a coach to figure things out. Jimmer is not a one-man band.

Donnie (Cincinnati, OH)

Why do people say Calipari can't win with one and dones and act like that's all he's ever had? He's had one team of primarily those type of players (last year at UK). His 2008 Memphis team only had 1, Derrick Rose and they went to final game.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Donnie: I think the question is, don't you need some sort of veteran presence to balance things out? Patrick Patterson was the perfect example of that last year. When they went to the final with Derrick Rose, he had Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joey Dorsey, etc.

RL (Cuse)

Does Rick Jackson get big east player of the year consideration?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

RL: On my ballot he most certainly would.

Ryan (West Lafayette)

Can Michigan put up as much of a fight against the Buckeyes as they did against the Jayhawks last weekend?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Ryan: Well Ohio State has looked a little shaky last two games, but think winning is a tall order for the Wolverines.

Fred (Columbia)

Any news on Tony Mitchell for Missouri and what is taking so long?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Fred: Nope. Sorry

Big5fan (Philadelphia)

Do you think Penn can end its 14 game Big5 losing streak tonight at LaSalle?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Depends on which version of Aaric Murray shows up. Think they could, yeah.

Chris (Lexington, KY)

Hi Dana. Do you think it's funny when Twitter puts **** Vitale when you tweet his name? LOL

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Chris: We all got a pretty good chuckle out of that, yes. From here on out, he's Richard.

Mike (Halifax, NS, CA)

How bout our Canadian boys doin it big it Texas?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Mike: Yep. Tristan Thompson is terrific. Really like the energy he brings and the way he plays. Ditto Cory Joseph. Big difference makers for the Longhorns.

Scott (The Dirty T)

Any thoughts on Arizona and what Sean Miller has done for them so far? 14-3 with a team of basically sophomores and freshman.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:00 PM)

Scott: Getting better. Derrick Williams is fantastic. Think Washington is still best team but without Abdul Gaddy, Zona has a shot.

Jake (Oakland Zoo)

What is more important for the Panthers for the NCAA tourney this year: Gary McGhee's offensive development, or Gilbert Brown's consistency?

Dana O'Neil
  (3:01 PM)

Gilbert Brown. McGhee is a perfect role player and fills it nicely.

Dana O'Neil
  (3:01 PM)

Alright folks. Got some stir crazy kids in the house that need to be run like golden retrievers (and a golden retriever that needs to run, too). Enjoy some fun games tonight. Thanks for the questions, as always.