Great to be back with you and it is so exciting to know that the season is here, baby! I am honored today to head out tio the Air Force as a guest, seeing kids who are class in every way. They understand what it is to be a student-athlete. It will be a great weekend as Air Force plays Army for the Commander-In-Chief trophy. It is a start of basketball ad I spoke to Roy Williams the other day. There is quality competition and it is unbelievable compared to 2005 and 2009 when the Tar Heels won it all. He feels this will be a great season but he knows there are challenges.
What should we make of teams like Arizona and Butler losing their exhibition games? Anything?
I tthink too much is made of those scores. It is a feeling-out process. I remember when Syracuse lost to LeMoyne and people wondered how they would do and they had a great season. Both Butler and Arizona lost nailbiters, Butler losing to Northern State on a three-pointer on the buzzer. Ronald Nored had a rough shooting night. When the regular season comes, these teams will be fine.
If you were non-football teams in the Big East such as Marquette, Georgetown and Villanova would it be in your best interest to create a basketball only conference or would a hybrid superconference with football schools be a better choice. Why isn't the Big East not seeking to find basketball replacements for Syracuse, Pitt, and WVU. What would you do if you were a basketball power like Villanova, Georgetown, or Marquette?
I think you will see they could be broken up. They may head in that direction. The loss of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia hurts. It would help if they added Memphis and Temple.
Hey Dicky V, what is your favorite college basketball rivalry other than UNC-Duke?
I like Louisville-Kentucky, and it is even more appealing with Rick Pitino agaisnt John Calipari.
First off big fan for a long time. Do you see barring any injuries can this be Osu best season ever in Columbus?
They have potential with Jared Sullinger and company. I don't know about saying the best ever, they were pretty good in the 60s with Jerry Lucas and company. Don't ask Bobby Knight if this would be the best ever.
Can you name a couple sleeper teams that might be overlooked right now?
Creighton will be a good team. I think Marquette and Cincinnati ca be dynamite out of the Big East. Keep an eye on Mississippi State in the SEC. Detroit will be improved. There will be a lot of good teams out there.
Hey Dickie-V!!!! I know it may be a long shot by far, but do you think the Maryland Terps have any chance at making the tourney this year???
We have not seen what Mark Turgeon will do but the loss to P'Shon Howard in the backcourt will hurt. We will see how good the seven-footer is. Right now Maryland is picked for the lower ecehelon in the ACC but spots three on down will be wide open.
How will the Blackshear injury hurt Louisville?
Blackshear would have given them an athlete. They think he may be back in 6-8 weeks after all. Blackshear is a terrific athlete.
When are you going to come check out the Harvard Crimson rockin' Lavietes Pavillion? Show us a little love Dickie V! Also, who do you give the edge to in the matchup of Harvard vs Utah on November 24th in the Bahamas?
Harvard will be the team to beat in the Ivy this season. Tommy Amaker is doing a good jon there. I think Harvard will be favored over Utah in the Bahamas but understand that Connecticut and Florida State are also in that field. OK, here is some love for your team, baby!
Thoughts on Michigan basketball? Are you a fan of john Beilein?
I think that John does a nice job. I remember what he did at West Virginia and look what happened last year in the big dance when the Wolverines gave Duke a scare in the second round. Having Tim Hardaway Jr. helps and I think Michigan will be heard from in the Big Ten this season.
The 2006 Uconn Team was Loaded, but seemed more concerned about there order in the NBA Draft than playing hard, an its was evident watching. This team Seems loaded too, but already seems to Have a focus of playing hard which may translate into Repeat N.C.. Whats your opinion on this team compared to other talented Uconn teams of the past?
This team has a lot of talent. The addition of Andre Drummond up front gives an added dimension in the middle. Teaming with Alex Oriakhi makes Connecticut tough on the glass. Jeremy Lamb made first-team preseason All-America and is a super talent. Jim Calhoun has a team capable of challenging to repeat as national champion. Let's not forget Shabazz Napier at the point, and he had 15 assists in their exhibition last night. Roscoe Smith is an unsung player too. This should be a good season in Storrs.
Dickie V! Is UNLV a Top 25 team?
I know there is a lot of excitement with Coach Rice at UNLV. The return of Stacey Augmon as an assistant is a positive too. This UNLV team will be right up there in the Mountain West and may be on the edge of breaking into the top 25. Right now, I have them short of that but let's see what happens during the season. It is one thing when you look at preseason ratings as it is really a crapshoot, to be honest.
Love you Vitale! How do you think Pitt stacks up against the rest of the Big East this year?
Jamie Dixon will always have the Panthers in contention, whether it is the Big East for now or the ACC in the future. Ashton Gibbs is one of the premierplayers in America. Pittsburgh plays such tenacious defense and always competes. I have Pittsburgh as a top 10 team and right in the thick of the league with Connecticut and Syracuse. The conference will be loaded once again and watch out for the likes of Marquette and Cincinnati too. Lousiville will be up there as well.
What is your assessment on Vanderbilt. Can Vandy be a #1 seed come March.
Kevin Stallings' team suffered a blow when center Festus Ezeli first received a suspension and then suffered an injury which will likely keep him out for over a month. When he is back, watch out. With Jeff Taylor and John Jenkins leading the way, Vandy will be in the hunt in the SEC. There is great chemistry and experience and the Commodores are a top 10 team that will be in the race for the Final Four. I really like what Stallings has done and look forward to calling a couple of his games later in the season.
Give us your pre-season final 4. Note: Your allowed to change your mind at seasons end.
Right now I have North Carolina cutting down the nets in New Orleans. I like Kentucky, Connecticut and Ohio State as my other teams at the Final Four but that is chalk city. Teams like Vanderbilt, Duke, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Florida...wow, there are so many quality teams out there which is why I am so excited about the upcming season. So many quality players out there.
Dickie V, who will be the sensational diaper dandies this year? you are awesome baby!!!!!
There is a great class coming in. Guys like Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist at Kentucky. Drummond at Connecticut will be special. Austin Rivers will be an instant factor at Duke. Wow, I am so thrilled to see all of these new faces in college hoops. I did a piece ranking my dazzling dozen on-line recently, so go and check it out.
Do you think Illinois Meyers Leonard needs to stay all 4 yrs to be special? Do you see the Illini winning more than 22 games this year?
This is an important year for Bruce Weber and the Illini can make some noise in the Big Ten. As for Leonard, his development will be one key factor. My friends, you cannot teach size and Leonard is a big one and I think the seven-footer can flat-out play. As for staying all four years, we will have to see what happens.
Can BC surprise some people this season?
I like Steve Donahue as a coach and eventually he will build a successful program with the Eagles. I don't think the expectations are that high in the ACC this season, but you know his kids will scrap and claw all the way and give it 100 percent. There are a lot of new faces for BC and it will probably take some time for them to mesh as a unit.
No doubt Kansas has suffered some signficant setbacks so far even before the season really begins. How far do you see KU going with the resources they have this year?
Bill Self always gets the most out of his talent. Kansas did lose the Morris Twins but with Thomas Robinson back and Tyshawn Taylor there in the regular season (Taylor was suspended for the two exhibition games), I would not ever count the Jayhawks out. It will be rock, chalk, Jayhawk in Lawrence and it is to tough to win at Allen Field House. I am looking forward to seeing Kansas against Big Blue Nation, Kentucky, at Madison Square Garden on the 15th. Talk about great traditions in college hoops.
With all the youth in Austin, how do you see the season going for the Longhorns?
Rick Barnes lost a lot with three first rounders in the NBA draft, led by Tristan Thompson. The Longhorns will be young, you are absolutely right. Myck Kabongo is a talent and I think Texas will still post a pretty solid record.
I cannot wait to get out on the carrier ship Carl Vinson to call the Michigan State-North Carolina game. It will be a great scene out there and I will get to talk to the troops, the real heroes of the world. This is going to be a thrilling season of college basketball with so many great teams out there. I am all juiced up about it. Talking to several coaches, there is such anticipation and everyone believes this will be a phenomenal year. There will be a lot of storylines out there. One will be can North Carolina live up to its hype? I want to thank all of the Twitter fans out there who have been talking college basketball. I recently asked the question, who is the best coach in all of college sports and the Dukies will be happy to know Coach K won easily. There were a lot of votes for Roy Williams and Nick Saban, some for Joe Paterno. I am heading off to the Air Force where it will be an honor to be out there to see the game against Army. See you again next week for our chat.