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September 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Dana O'Neil

Dana O'Neil
  (2:00 PM)

Hello everyone. Only a few weeks now until practice begins.

Dave (PA)

Dana, I read a couple of days ago that Uconn is on board as one of the teams for the carrier classic next year, and that the people organizing it want Arizona as the opponent. Sounds like that would be an awesome matchup to me what are your thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:01 PM)

Dave: I believe that is the next game and think it would be terrific. Obviously so much changes w/ rosters, depending on who comes out and who doesn't (if the NBA doesn't change that). But those are two teams you can count on to be very good in a year regardless.

Mark (Nashville)

Vandy is looking really good going into the start of the season, if they can play up to the hype can you see them possibly going to a final four and even maybe a shot at the National title?? With the best shooter in the SEC and probably the country, the best big man in the SEC and also the best athlete everyone on West end is getting pumped! thanks!!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:02 PM)

Mark: Reason to be excited and I know that's a rarity for you guys, so revel in it. Think Vandy definitely has a legit shot at the Final Four and for better or worse, will be well tested in the SEC.

Andrew (cincinnati)

What do you think the chances are that xavier can make a deep run into the tournament and possibly get to their first final four? Also do you think there is any reason to believe that the musketeers won't win the A-10?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:03 PM)

Andrew: Working on my USBWA ballots right now and I've got Tu Holloway on my All American list. Toying with putting him in the slot for NPOY in a sort of Jameer Nelson throwback style. So that should tell you what I think of Xavier.

Donald (Kentucky)

Biggest sleeper team that could make a serious run come March. I like Wichita State's talent and experience.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Donald: Wichita State is a nice pick. Think George Mason also is a good one. I'm big on Belmont.

Grant (Tennessee)

Would you say that the University of Memphis' staff is one of the most unique staffs in the history of the sport? A 34 year old head coach, a current pro, a recent pro, their college friend and former pro assistant, and probably the best strength coach in the sport.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:04 PM)

Grant: Ha! When you break it down like that, it sure is unique. but they are getting things done for sure.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will the Move for Pittsburgh & Syracuse to the ACC will take place for Basketball too?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:05 PM)

Chris: Ayep. All sports.

Jayhawk in South America (Medellin, Colombia)

Hey Dana, love your work. I wanted to get your take on all this conference chaos as it relates to my beloved 'Hawks. When it's all over, do you think KU will be left out in the cold, or will they find a home in one of the big six (or big two or three, or whatever it is by then)? Thanks.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:06 PM)

Jayhawk: Right now seems like the Big 12 is going to regroup and stay together, which is very good news for Kansas. If the league should break up, I'm certain they'd be attractive somewhere.

jeff (rockford, il)

Enjoy your insight Dana thanks. My question is in your opinion which team is better in the end this years Kentucky team or the team of 2 years ago that featured Wall and Cousins ? thanks for taking my question

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Jeff: Tricky one. I like the fact that this team has some key returning cogs like Terrence Jones. Think a little experience goes a long way. So maybe this year, but that's a really tough one.

Nate (Bristol, CT)

Dana, as a Cuse fan, I relish the experience of going up against Duke and UNC every year, but I'll miss the biggest rivalry in the Big East. Any chance Cuse and Gtown make a regular non-conference thing now that the ACC is home?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:07 PM)

Nate: Good question. I"d hope they work to keep some of those old rivalries alive but not sure that's been decided just yet.

Philly Brian (Philly, PA)

Dana, you are from Philly so I assume you will understand this question. How is it possible that Temple is doing so well athletically yet never gets coverage? It seems as if anytime Villanova sneezes, they get coverage. Temple beat Maryland; Maryland beat Miami; Miami beat OSU. Hence Temple has a better football team than the Buckeyes! Bring on Toledo!! And in bball - I can't wait to see how we fill up the Liacouras Center, but I will say Nova will beat us there! What say you?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:09 PM)

Brian: Hmmm. Not sure the transitive theory applies in sports but point taken. I would think that if Temple keeps things going, they will get some serious coverage football wise, at least locally. The catch nationally is they are still in the MAC. Once the league play begins, they are a non factor. Not sure that Nova has you guys this year. Rebuilding year, I'd argue, for the Wildcats.

Nick Rolando (Orlando)

How good (or bad?) do you see my Gators this year? I feel like we need one more big man to truly compete for a final 4 spot. Feel like were to guard heavy.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:10 PM)

Nick: I think Florida is very good but how good Patric Young can be will really determine things for the Gators, in my opinion.

Spencer (KS)

Do you think the ncaa will put a limit on how many teams from each conference can make the tournament?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:11 PM)

Spencer: Doubt it. The idea is you have your automatic bids and then the best of the rest.

Jon (NYC)

Dana, realistically from what you are hearing on the inside, when do you think the Syracuse/Pitt move to the ACC will take place?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Jon: My guess is sooner than later. Sort of like the end of the marriage. You really want to share your house with someone desperate to leave?

Dusty (St. Louis)

Dana, was Andy Katz drinking when he wrote his part for the roundtable. He said KU is a sleeper to win the Big 12... unless someone else wins the conference title the road goes through Lawrence right?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:12 PM)

Dusty: I will vouch for Andy's sobriety but I get your point. Every year is the year Kansas won't win the Big 12. And then Kansas wins the Big 12.

Spencer (KS)

Who do you think will win the MVC this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Spencer: Very good. Toyed with talking about them today in our roundtable. Creighton and Wichita State could both get bids to the tourney.

Charles (San Jose)

Isn't it time for the Big 12 and the Big Ten to choose non-numerical names?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:14 PM)

Charles: Yes please. Or swap or something. Or go with Big and Bigger.

Billy (South Carolina)

Dana, who is the strongest POY candidate this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:15 PM)

Billy: Strongest? Probably most people will lean Harrison Barnes right now but I think there are a few candidates out there - Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones potentially, Tu Holloway, Austin Rivers.

Percy Foster (Cardiff, Wales)

Dana, what's your opinion on Wisconsin this year? Bo Ryan always gets the Badgers playing tough and many opposing teams end up getting killed in the den that is the Kohl Center. I'm a little worried our big men are undersized and look like dwarfs compared to the rest of the Big Ten.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:16 PM)

Percy: Some question marks, for sure, but how can you not love Jordan Taylor? Think Wisconsin is chronically underrated. I'd say they are second to Ohio State.

Daniel (Charlottesville)

While no team looks capable to actually run with them, who do you think falls just behind them in the ACC pecking order? We here in Charlottesville are very confident about Coach Bennett's third season here. With Maryland, FSU, VT, Clemson, and NCST each losing their best 2 players, do you think Virginia can make a run at third?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:17 PM)

Daniel: Good reason to be optimistic in Charlottesville. Tony has things on the right track. Think there's definitely a chance at the NCAA this year and with the future recruiting class, even more in the future.

Tom (Malvern, PA)

Dana...if 'Nova is on the outside looking in when all of the conference shuffling ends, does Jay leave for another job?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:18 PM)

Tom: I don't think so. He's always been very solid in his stance that he doesn't want another college gig. And I also think Villanova would land somewhere. Right now the Big East is shaky but it's not an all out collapse.

Z-Metero (Cinci)

Who are your top non-big six conference teams for this year and what order would you rank them. Come on!! I know you got X at 1!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Not sure I can do an order. Xavier, George Mason, Wichita State, Gonzaga, come to mind.

Doran (Milwaukee)

Dana, what early season tournament do you think will be the most competitive?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:20 PM)

Doran: Maui looks pretty entertaining.

HallDan (Seton Hall)

I think an All Catholic League would be great for Seton Hall. We get to keep dominating Villanova and St. John's for local talent that we want plus don't have to compete with Pitt and Syracuse.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:21 PM)

Hall:Um, OK you go with that theory but first I'd check the rosters, especially at Villanova. See an awful lot of St. Benedicts, St. Anthonys and St. Patricks....

Tommy Trojan (Trousdale Parkway (USC))

I want to build a basketball tradition here at USC but these guys are all about football. Will I always live in the shadow of UCLA and Joe Bruin? How do I make USC love basketball as much as football?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Winning is usually the simple recipe.

Nate (Loadersville)

What odds do you give Jordan Taylor of winning the Big 10 POY title over Sullinger?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:22 PM)

Nate: That was my pick in today's roundtable for most intriguing matchup. I'd put them both at 50-50 going in, honestly. Sully has a little more name cache headed in but if Wisconsin is going to be very good it will be because of Taylor.

arak3 (Philly)

Dana, what do you think about the New Year's match up between the Rangers and Flyers?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:23 PM)

That's the one my 7 year old is looking forward to!

Chris (haysville kansas)

Who do you think will win the puerto rico tip off?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Chris: I picked Alabama earlier this year. Sticking with it.

Mike DiDesidero (King of Prussia)

Dana, I think the Phillies are going to sweep through the playoffs, agree or disagree?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:26 PM)

Mike: I'm a Yankee fan.

Pat (Nashville TN)

Dana, love your work. What do you think are the effects on other recruits of Nolan Berry, a top 60 recruit, verballing with Butler? Can't wait to see my Dawgs playing here next year against Vandy!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Pat: I think Butler is here to stay. Brad Stevens is going to get the sort of players he wants and the name brand will do the rest.

Tom (Greenville, NC)

Dana, Villanova alum living down here in the North Carolina hogswamps. What are the chances of East Carolina joining the Big East. I'd love to see my Wildcats come down here to play the Pirates and maybe go out to eat with the team later at Cracker Barrel.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:27 PM)

Tom: Don't go buying tickets. No doubt East Carolina wants in the Big East. But that doesn't move the needle at all for football and that's all that matters.

Nick (owensboro)

Do you think the louisville cardinals will stay or leave the big east?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:28 PM)

Nick: Good question. I know Rick Pitino wants to stay. I'm not sure if his boss agrees. Louisville has to look out for itself football wise, I'd think, so that will make this interesting.

Judas70 (THE Ohio St.)

does OSU have enough gurth on the inside this year to compete with the rest of the big bois of the Big Ten? Lot of brawn in the Big 10. Should be some classic Big 10 grind it out games (just hopefully no more single digit scoring halves)

Dana O'Neil
  (2:29 PM)

Please promise me there will be no more single-digit scoring halves?! Please!!! Jared Sullinger slimmed down but he's not exactly Heidi Klum, so they should be fine on the inside.

Murf Durf (Philadelphia Dreamin n Indy)

Dana, send me a cheesesteak and some rita's! LOL Last year Kentucky makes a great run to the Final 4 and falls short to a strong willed Uconn team..This year they return many intricate parts from last years team and the # 1 recruiting class. Which returning player besides terrence jones needs to have a breakout year and what freshman do you expect to have the biggest impact on the season?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:33 PM)

Cheesesteaks en route. No one should go without. From a leadership standpoint, think Darius Miller will be incredibly important for Kentucky. Can't say enough about what Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins did for that team a year ago. As for freshmen.. pick one! But they need Teague to be very good.

Robert Moye (North Carolina)

My neighbor tells me that the Big East will add 4 of ECU, Memphis, Navy, Army, Air Force, Temple OR Villanova. Thoughts?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Robert: My thoughts? Blech. From a football standpoint - which this is all about - do any of them really add much? Temple is the best of them and most deserving (ironically) but if you're sitting in the SEC do any of those schools worry you?

D.Altman (Eugene, OR)

Love your name by the way. What do you make of my Ducks? We have improved our depth and athleticism with transfers Olu Ashaolu, Tony Woods and freshman Jabari Brown. Not to mention by coaching abilities. Do you think we have a chance to make it to the Big Dance?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:34 PM)

Dana: Your parents were brilliant, clearly. So very impressed with what you've got going on in Oregon already. Definitely think you have a chance at the dance.

Cooper (Mexico City)

Hi Dana, Do you think anyone will be able to challenge Kansas in the big 12 this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:35 PM)

Cooper: Sure. Baylor for one. Missouri for another.

Doug (LA)

Do you see Memphis going deep in the tournament? Walton is saying they have final four potential. Do you agree?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:36 PM)

Doug: Very good team, I agree. Need to get a little more mature on the court this year but think the Tigers are very dangerous. Not finished w/ my power rankings but have them in top 10.

Charles (San Jose)

Do you have any data on the condition of Kevin Parrom's knee?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Charles: Sorry, I do not. Just what Sean Miller said immediately following the shooting.

Evan (Istanbul)

I disagree with your comments on Kentucky. I think Doron Lamb needs to have a breakout year and I think Anthony Davis will have the biggest impact out of the freshman.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:37 PM)

Evan: Hey, there are lots of combos with that team.

Chris (Chapel thrill)

Dana, what did you think about last week's piece from The Atlantic on the history of the NCAA and "amaturism". What does happen to a NCAA D1 football player who gets hit and becomes a paraplaegic for life? Does the school take care of him for life or do they drop them ?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:38 PM)

Chris: Very very interesting read and for anyone who hasn't done so, read it. Just give yourself time. It's long. Points out a lot of problems with the NCAA and much of the hypocrisy.

Joe (Albuquerque)

HI Dana, UNM Alum here (MAN, I can't wait til basketball season starts!), besides Lobo Drew Gordon, what other MWC players do you think have a legit shot at MWC POY?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:41 PM)

Joe: Since he's only out one game (oy!) Chace Stanback, I'd think might have a shot.

SMG (NYC, NY)

Could you ever foresee a time when DUKE and UNC are not in the same conference? Or is that the one case where football just does not outweigh basketball?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

That would be a crime.

Dusty (St. Louis)

Is this the year Renardo Sidney finally learns he was done with kindergarten a long time ago?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:43 PM)

Dusty: It better be. He's running out of time to start over or grow up.

Cagey Tee (NYC)

getting back to conf. realignment --- is there any chance that the Big East and Big 12 could merge in a way that's a win win for both - that is, have the BE football schools join the Big 12, and have the Big 12 basketball schools join a basketball only BE conf?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:44 PM)

That was discussed when everything seemed to be going under but now it seems the Big 12 is intent on saving itself, so less likely. Until next week, of course, when the Big 12 is intent on imploding.

Andre (Storrs)

Can I lead my huskies back to the championship this year?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:45 PM)

Andre: You have certainly put them in the running again.

William (texas)

who would you say is the top five mid majors?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:47 PM)

William: Xavier, George Mason, Wichita State, Belmont and ... I have about five more to throw in the fifth spot.

John (Missouri)

Is this the year i win my bracket office pool?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:48 PM)

John: Yes but I would suggest asking someone under the age or 3, a dog or your great aunt who doesn't know diddly about basketball to make your picks. Logic and knowledge will kill you.

CJ (Waukesha)

Dana, do you think the non football schools in the Big East will form a new league? It could be a good move, right? Ugh, stupid football!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:49 PM)

CJ: It could happen if the football crumbles or boots them and I agree, it could be a good move and a viable one. THink we're a ways away from that though.

Darrin (SB)

Talk about Mike Brey as a coach? I feel he is very undervalued. Has competed well in the Big East for a long time even though recruiting stellar talent to ND has been difficult. Is the combination of Beidscheid and Auguste (2012 recruits) the best one-two combo ND has seen in recent years?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Darrish: Agree. Mike does fly under the radar and has done very good things at Notre DAme. Finish last year was disappointing after such a great run but doesn't diminish what they did. time will tell how this combo does down the road.

Dan (DC)

Dana: does JT3 have my Hoyas back on track?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:50 PM)

Dan: Think he has for sometime, to be honest.

Aaron Vaughn (Muncie, IN)

As you know, college hoops season is filled with parody and loads of excitement. Mid-major's or Cinderella are obviously a huge part of this drama come March. Over time Cinderella has been more of a memory rather than a yearly expectation but the trend has changed in the last few years with multiple mid-major's making deep runs. Is this a trend that's here to stay? Thank you!

Dana O'Neil
  (2:52 PM)

Aaron: I think so. And I definitely hope so. Seems to me the gap is closed to an extent. There are a myriad of reasons, but guys leaving early plays a part. Makes room for mid majors with talented seniors to really make a push. Also think some of the name-branding is changing. These mid majors that have been around have established themselves as permanent players.

Frank (Maine)

What do you see for the Buzzman's Marquette Golden Eagles this year? Can Crowder and DJO carry them to the tourney?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Frank: Definitely think they get in the tourney. Really love how hard Buzz's teams play. Always seem to be better than anyone anticipates.

Matt (CT)

Dana do you think other coaches are bringing up Steve Lavin's health when recruiting against St.John's?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:53 PM)

Matt: If they do they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Charles (San Jose)

Parody in college basketball? Is it like an SNL skit?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:54 PM)

yes, written by Tina Fey. Parity is the correct parody here.

Doug (Phila)

Dana, I used to love you but today you didn't give any love to Temple in your non major conference picks and I find out you're a Yankee fan. I have to call off our dinner date. Anyway, how far do you think the Owls can go with a deep strong back court but question marks on the frontline?

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Doug: Dang. I was really looking forward to that, too. Temple should be on the top 10 list, no doubt. But I do have questions about how they replace Lavoy. Still a dangerous team.

Dana O'Neil
  (2:57 PM)

Alright folks. I have to go. Thanks for the questions.