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May 4, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Hey everyone. Tick, tick. Time winding down on those all important draft decisions. Let's talk!

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which College Basketball player do you think will be the very first Selection in the 2011 NBA Draft?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Chris: Gotta be Kyrie Irving.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Dana, If the heels stay healthy all year do you think they have a shot at going undefeated next season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Jeremy: I think we've learned that undefeated is really really hard to do. I'd be stunned.

Patrick (Austin Tx)

With Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph still deciding on returning to Texas or going pro, does Texas's upcoming season result in failure without them?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Patrick: Still plenty of good players returning and recruits coming in, so failure would be a pretty strong term. Certainly expectations have dropped significantly.

Nolan (San Antonio)

The Big East got a record number of bids to the Dance and many of the teams disappointed, but a Big East team ended up winning it all. How do you think the roller coaster ride of opinions on the conference from this past season will affect perceptions of it in the coming one?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Nolan: The Big East is always going to be considered a very good league. Certainly people will dog it for the number of teams that didn't fare as well as expected but the teams that got in earned their way in.

Big5Fan (Philadelphia)

Has the ncaa made any comments about the field of 68? Is it here to stay or will they look at expansion? My fear is that VCUs run will lead to expansion.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Think they're on record as saying they're very happy with the 68. If more expansion is coming, it won't be right away. THis model just started so I can't imaging them scrapping it and starting over immediately.

Dan (Connecticut)

Connecticut won the NCAA championship this year, and are losing Kemba Walker to the NBA. With Lamb, Oriakhi, Smith, and Napier returning next season, how far can they advance in March?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Dan: Wow, March questions in May. Love it. Think obviously this will be a very good team. All of those guys got a ton of experience this year and should be very well seasoned to live sans Kemba. Gotta think a lot will be expected of UConn this year.

Eric (Florida)

Ultimately, what do you think is the vision of the NCAA regarding grassroots basketball? Eliminate AAU entirely?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Eric: Don't see how it can. That goes into antitrust laws. I also think summer league gets something of a bad rap. Yes there are problems, big ones, and yes there are some characters who we need to eliminate. But not every coach is bad. Not every organizer is a crook.

Jonathan (Denver)

Hi Dana - what do you think of the Hewitt hire at Mason? Good fit?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Jonathan: Nice hire, for sure. Big name, solid recruiter. Think Mason needed someone with a name and a presence. Program is really good already,.

Derrick Williams, Tucson [via mobile]

Kyrie Irving? At least I actually played this season...

Dana O'Neil
  (2:08 PM)

Yes, you did, Derrick but I still would bet that Kyrie, as a point guard, goes ahead of you.

Rock Hill SC [via mobile]

What are some Pros & Cons with Caliparis' approach to recruitment of one & done players?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Pretty obvious, I think. Obviously if you want to recruit the top talent you have to be willing to accept that they will leave - and even encourage them to do so when it's right. The catch is that you lack veteran leadership - Josh Harrelson and DeAndre Liggins were critical this year for Kentucky - and you have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, every year. The good news, you're reinventing with really good players, so theoretically it shouldn't be a huge learning curve.

BC (Michigan)

With Darius Morris declaring today, what is your take on Michigan as a team next year? they won't be as good without Morris, but then again this year they definitely were the surprise team of the B10.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

BC: Really still scratching my head bout his decision. Very surprised. Definitely a big hole to fill for Michigan but think they really found their footing as a team and a program last year.

Rich (Raleigh, NC)

How do you think NC State will do next year with new coach Mark Gottfried?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Rich: Gonna take some time. If they land Trevor Lacey, that's obviously huge. The big knock on NC State has been its hard to recruit players there with Duke and Carolina there.

Ann (Seattle) [via mobile]

What do you think of the new Pac-12 tv contract?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:13 PM)

Ann: Hugely important. Talked to one Pac 12 coach who said, rightly so, that the TV exposure is so necessary. Teams need to be seen to be appreciated. Ditto players. The league went from the 18th century to the 21st in about 5 minutes.

Joshua Baker (Jacksonville)

Do you believe Recruiting websites are to blame for some of the AAU/Agent/Runner issues? Considering some Recruiting websites rank kids in 8th or 9th grade.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Joshua: I hate that kids are ranked before their voices change but I also think that people are going to find those players regardless of the websites.

MikeyB (Orlando,FL)

I think we need to get rid of AAU all together and open it back up to high schools, thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Mikey: Sounds lovely but not sure if that horse hasn't permanently left the barn. They stopped coaches from attending April events but the April events kept right on happening.

james (tallahassee )

Do you think young up and coming HBCU coaches like LeVelle Moton (NC Central) and Ed Joyner (Hampton) will get a shot on mid major level?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

James: Sure they could if/when they get things going and draw some attention. Both are terrific guys and terrific coaches. I'd expect big things.

dan (kentucky)

Do you think the urge to be the first journalist to 'break a story' creates a situation in which rumors are passed off as investigative journalism?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Dan: I could write chapter and verse on this. Certainly in this age of instant news, the urge to be first is huge. We're all guilty of it but there's a huge difference btw rumors and news. If I printed rumors, I could type all day. When things are printed by journalists - not people on fansites or message boards, but journalists - they have to be vetted, with sources supporting the claims or evidence. If we wanted to throw up stuff and see what stuck, it would be a disaster.

Robb (Colorado)

Dana: Help me appreciate Mike Brey more. Solid coach no doubt, but legacies are built on postseason wins. Does he have what it takes to get ND to a final four someday?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Robb: I understand your point, I do. But let me also say that ND is not an easy job for basketball. There's that big ole football shadow and there are some standards in place in admissions, etc. that make it more challenging. Think Mike has done an outstanding job building a program. The next step is postseason advancement, no question.

Tim Gray (Victoria, BC) [via mobile]

Is Demetri Goodson really that good at football? I can't imagine why anyone would leave a starting role at a top-notch program..

Dana O'Neil
  (2:19 PM)

Tim: Bizarre situation, I agree. I wish I could say I understand it and have some great insider info but I don't. Was really surprised.

JC (St. Louis)

What kind of season do you expect for Josh Pastner and the Memphis Tigers?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

JC: I know people are excited bout the Tigers. Young players got experience, so there's reason to expect a lot more this year.

jason,manheim,pa [via mobile]

I know Kanter is a given but what about the other Ky boys going pro?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Jason: Still waiting to hear....

Tom (NYC)

Hey Dana, I know Coach Lavin has a stud recruiting class coming in, but being so young how will the Johnnies fare in the Big East?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Tom: They had, I think, nine seniors this year? Something crazy, so it's inevitable they're going to be young. But they're also going to be talented. May take some growing pains early in the season but suspect they'll come around.

Marc (Charlotte)

How are anonymous sources vetted?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Marc; They're anonymous to you, not to us. We know if they're credible or not.

Noli (Berkeley)

Dana: How long do you think tom crean has left to build indiana back into an elite program? He's had 3 seasons...and hasnt even sniffed the tournament. does a blue blood program of indiana have a shorter leash, even with a guy like crean>

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

Noli: Get asked that all the time. I understand the impatience at Indiana but I also remember the scorched Earth he inherited. Things take time. Is the seat hotter this season? Absolutely. I think they need marked improvement this year.

CRAIG [via mobile]

Do you think the Mendenall Twitter situation will make colleges (and pro teams for that matter), rethink their social media policies with their players? One illadvised tweet could have so many consequences.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:24 PM)

Craig: Some teams - pro and especially college - have very stringent rules about social media. It's a really tricky thing. You're entitled to say and think what you want but obviously you're also representing your team, university, whatever. Think the best advice I ever heard was think really hard before you hit send. Would you want your mom to know you wrote that?

Jeff (LA)

Syracuse has to be the Big East favorites, right? 10 returning players, and 2 MDAA's coming in. Not only that, Pitt, Louisville, Marquette, UConn, Seton Hall, and Georgetown will all be traveling to the Dome next season. 7 of their 8 losses can be accounted for by those teams.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:25 PM)

Jeff: I'd say the Cuse would be near the top, certainly. Mostly for hte first reason - great returning players and a very strong batch of recruits.

Chris (wichita)

What in the world is going on with the Iowa State assistiant coaching staff all new faces?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Chris: Well Bobby Lutz going back to NC I understand. But a lot of wild things happening in Ames (there's a statement you don't hear often). Between the assistant coaching carousel and the transfers coming in. Be an interesting chemistry experiment this season.

Ryan, Chicago [via mobile]

Which player will have a breakout year in '11-'12 like Kemba Walker did this season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Ryan: Does Harrison Barnes count? I mean, remember, Kemba wasn't exactly AWFUL last year.

Kevin Ollie, Storrs [via mobile]

So when do I get to take over?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Kevin: Dunno. Feel free to tell me!

Matt (Worcester, Ma)

If the Big East were to split up between the nonBCS-football schools(St. John's, Villanova, Georgetown, Providence Seton Hall, DePaul) and the BCS football schools what schools could see joining the non-football schools in creating of a new league?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Matt: Not sure that scenario would occur and I honestly for the love of God hope that the Big East doesn't add anyone else. The tournament will have to start in January.

Herm Edwards (via mobile)

Anonymous sources??? Be a man! Put your name on it!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Herm: Me? Kinda tough for me to be a man.

(Nick) ((Wisconsin))

Where do u rank this Year's Kentucky's recruiting Class.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Nick: You'd be better served asking Dave Telep but to my less trained eye, I'd say at the top.

Matt (Fort Collins)

Are you even old enough to remember Stacey Augmon? One of the all-time greats back at UNLV. Excited about that.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Matt: God bless you for asking that question. Yes. Believe Stacey and I are about the same age.

Mike (Columbus, OH)

Do you have Ohio State in your top 5 next season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:30 PM)

Mike: Haven't necessarily thought of that yet. Though I believe I will more seriously after the NBA deadline. But thinking in my head, they'd be at or near top 5, yes.

John (FL)

Dana, which program has the most upside, GT, UVA or ILL?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

John: Do you mean in terms of long-term? If so, I'd say GT or Illinois. Both have more history to draw on than UVA and a better recruiting base.

Herm Edwards (via mobile)

It's a figure of speech, Dana.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:31 PM)

Yes, thank you, I know.

kevin (richmond)

preseason top 4 1.unc 2.kentucky 3. syracuse 4. ohio state. reasonble?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:32 PM)

Kevin: Not insane.

Eddie (Nashville) [via mobile]

Which of the first-year head coaches will have the most success this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Eddie: Don't have the entire list in front of me,but certainly Mike Anderson inherits a nice little group in Arkansas. Frank Haith could have a lot back at Missouri.

Mike (Columbus, OH)

Should players be required to stay 2 years?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Mike: I think they need to stay two or not be forced to come at all. THe one year thing is just a joke and I frankly don't know why they need to come to college if they don't want to. I always make the analogy to a tradesman. If you're a great carpenter, you don't go to college. You go to work. What's the difference?

Ryan (Baton Rouge)

Is Trent Johnson at LSU in a similar situation to Crean in terms of how hot the seat has gotten?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Ryan: I'd say so. I mean, when was the last time anyone really paid attention to or gave LSU much thought? Gotta get better.

Drew (west palm beach, fl) [via mobile]

A lot of times we hear about mid-majors needing to raise their "profile". Any chance of Butler moving conferences- say to the A-10?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Drew: Never heard that at all. I'd be stunned. I think Butler is very content being Butler in every way, shape and form.

Will (Philadelphia via Dublin) [via mobile]

I'm from Ireland and just moved to the States a few months ago. I was not aware of March Madness but loved every minute of the tournament. I really want to be a fan all season long but can't figure out which team to adopt. Any suggestions?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Will: The Irish? Sorry... don't know if you can adopt a team so much as just find one. Get a player you like or a coach you respect or a mascot and run with it!

Jeremy (Rome NY)

What have you heard about brandon Knight, Terrance Jones, and Deandre Liggins draft prospect after any workout? Any chance all 3 will return?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Jeremy: Haven't officially. I know Andy Katz wrote that some expect Liggins to return. I'd be surprised if the other two did, frankly. But you never know. Very unpredictable year.

Avery (NC)

Why change the rules for NCAA players entering the NBA droft now?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Avery: You mean one and done? Because they can since the collective bargaining agreement is up and most college people don't like what the one and done rule has done to the game. Now it's up to the NBA to care.

Theo (NYC)

Dana, how do you feel about the growing trend in college and pro hoops, where the elite players seem to prefer to play with one another, rather than against one another?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Theo: Kinda like picking teams at recess. You pick your friends. I suppose I understand, especially for college kids. They have to live together, so why not with someone you like and respect? And for the pros, if you want a title, you want the best on your team. Just seems like the lunatics are running the asylum a bit.

Low Expectations, Rose Hill [via mobile]

I've given up on the tournament or anything of that nature but does Fordham have a chance of ever being a consistent .500 team? Maybe even middle-of-the-pack A10?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:40 PM)

Well now give Tom Pecora a chance! He just got there. Think he has the ability to recruit some decent NYC guys and then things can change.

Jed (Winston-Salem, NC)

What do you think about the job that Brad Brownell did at Clemson last season, and can he get Clemson near the top of the ACC in the next few years?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Jed: Fabulous job. One of the better - and unheralded - hires. Definitely think he can continue to get that program climbing up.

Clay (GA)

Do you think the go directly to the NBA or play 2 years proposal will get any legs? Will it help?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:42 PM)

Clay: I think it has some potential, yes, and I do think it will help. Obviously having great players for 2 years would be a huge boost but also if they can just go, that's a good thing too.

Anthony (MD)

With Jordan Williams officially signing with an agent, how bad is Maryland going to be next year? With Williams, this team could have competed for a top 3 spot in the ACC next season. Without Williams, no experienced big men, and there goes a big hunk of their scoring. Could get ugly in College Park next year.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Anthony: Yeah losing Williams is a big, big blow for Gary Williams and Company. Program really needs an injection to get its verve back.

Reese (NC)

Will Mack be back at Butler next year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

Reese: Dunno.

Brent (Big Blue Nation)

Am I missing something here can someone please clarify something for me please. the ncaa tells enes kanter that he is ineligible permanently for receiving payments and being payed as a pro. (only bringing up enes as a principle, in no way am i a bitter UK fan, seriously just want someone to explain or clarify if they know). but this kid can sign a contract and play for a professional baseball organization, yet return to play college football in the fall. how is this possible?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Brent: The NCAA rulebook has more loopholes than logic. That's not an explanation or a defense, just a sad, confusing reality.

Chris (New York )

Temple in your Top 25 to start the season? Will they have a better season than Nova?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

Chris: Hmmm.. haven't given it a whole lot of thought but certainly Temple will deserve a top 25 look and considering Nova's end of season troubles and what they lose, right now the Owls appear to be in better position.

Jeremy (Herkimer, NY)

Some programs such as Kentucky, Uconn, St. Johns, marquette and ect.. have been recruiting Junior College players. Do you think Junior College basketball is being look at more when coaches are recruiting or when they need to rebuild their program fast?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

Jeremy: Think adding quality junior college players is always an option for everyone. Certainly for teams trying to rebuild, adding guys who have a year or two of experience is hugely beneficial.

Charles (San Jose)

Why are one-and-doners even going to college when they could be getting more development time and cash on top in the D League?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Charles: The DLeague hasn't gotten that reputation, really. It's not like say, baseball's minor leagues. I do think if the NBA can build it up as a legit place for players to go and move up, it will change things dramatically. Right now it's sort of like basketball purgatory.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Sorry for the delay here. Seems my chat has been hijacked. Waiting...

Kevin (NYC)

Dana what was ur favorite moment from the season? Could be in person or from what you saw?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:55 PM)

Kevin: Wow.. tough question because I know I'll forget a bunch of them. Obviously UConn's 5 wins in 5 nights, and seeing them all live, was unreal. The ODU-Butler finish was crazy as was Butler-Pitt. Wasn't there but the Demonte Harper shot to beat Louisville - and seeing Kenneth Faried, a player I had the pleasure to meet, react was unreal. Jimmer mania. Gosh, too many.

bill (syracuse)

whats your feelings on syracuse being ranked so high on pre season with the same player as last year .all solid players but no super stars .i thinck it hurts our players mental toughness when demands are not ment .your thoughts

Dana O'Neil
  (2:56 PM)

Bill: I suppose that's one way to look at it but I also think those guys will be fairly hungry to take care of some unfinished business.

Matt (Albany, NY)

How risky is Frann McCaffrey's signing of Anthony Hubbard for his career?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:58 PM)

Matt: Well obviously it's a risk but I gotta think Fran took it as a calculated one. Researched what the kid had done and where he is now. Many moons ago I saw that situation work out. Covered a player at Jacksonville University who went to prison out of HS. Got his act together, went to college, did well, got his degree and is now an educator.

Wayne (Galveston, TX)

Duke loses Kyrie after one. Not so bad since Austin will be on campus. Do you expect an one and done from Austin?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Wayne; If one and done is still in play, I suspect it will be the likely choice for Austin. but strange things happen. You never know.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:59 PM)

Alright folks, gotta run and get back to some other writing work. Thanks so much for the questions. Going to be an interesting few days to see who stays and who goes.