Would the teams being talked about joining the Big East (BYU, SMU, UCF, etc) lessen the strength of the Big East?
Definitely - although I think all of those schools would be able to compete. Still, replacing West Virginia with SMU certainly wouldn't "strengthen" the league. Neither would flip-flopping Syracuse and Pittsburgh with SMU and BYU.
What's the news regarding Andrew White committing in the early signing period. Is KU a favorite?
White isn't sure whether he wants to sign early or wait until the spring. Kansas is definitely in the mix, but i'd stop short of calling the Jayhawks the favorite at this point. Louisville and West Virginia are in heavy pursuit, too. And Georgetown has entered the picture.
Is Cal worthy of the #24 spot? Will they challenge for the Pac 12 crown?
I've got no problem with Cal being ranked No. 24 in the preseason. You could even argue that the Golden Bears deserve to be a few spots higher. I think Cal is good enough to win the league title. I think it'll be a battle between Cal, UCLA and Washington.
With the predominant focus on offensive ability what defensive player would you pick if you needed a stop, or some intensity; killer instinct? Who's your attack dog?
North Carolina's John Henson certainly doesn't have an "attack dog" look about him. But his ability to block and alter shots makes him the top defender in the country, in my opinion.
Jason, I am a huge fan of yours and college basketball. I have never seen this many good matchups on paper on the schedule. What game are you looking forward to the most and what game is nobody talking about that really excites you?
Thanks Kelly. Most people will be paying attention to the Champions Classic in New York on Nov. 15 (KU vs. Kentucky, Michigan State vs. Duke). But that same night you've got Florida at Ohio State. That'll be a good one. As for your Crimson Tide (I'm assuming you're a fan) I'm looking forward to attending their game against Kansas State.
You boldly predicted NC State being a top 5 ACC team this year. Does this come after watching their red/white scrimmage or exhibition game? I for one think they got some serious under the radar recruits this year in transfer Alex Johnson and Thomas De Thay
Unfortunately I didn't get to see the exhibition games. I just made that prediction because: 1. Gottfried is a good coach 2. There is some legitimate talent on the roster 3. I'm guessing the players - and the fans - are hungry and 4. Past Duke and Carolina, the ACC isn't too strong.
Saw you gave a shout out to Tyler Zeller in your column. Why do you think he's the least talked about "Big 4" on UNC, even though he led them in scoring last season?
Good question. I think I know what you're getting at. Also, post players/centers never seem to get much love, in general. They're not as flashy and charismatic as the guards and wings. I love Zeller's game.
Northwestern: do you agree with Lunardi that this is their year? What big ten record do you think might be needed?
I still don't see Northwestern making the tournament this season. It'd help if they could beat Baylor at home in a key non-conference game and then finish about three games above .500 in the Big Ten. I'd trust Joe on all bracketology questions, though.
Jason, couldn't help but notice you ragged on the Old Spice classic because it has some crappy teams. You failed to mention that it has some good teams too. Fairfield, Minni, ISU, and Dayton all could be tournament bound. I think those four will make the Old Spice exciting, don't you?
You're right, Luke. The teams you mentioned certainly aren't bad. But they're not exactly Top 25-caliber, either. Hardcore basketball fans like us will still watch. I think the games will be close, but ugly.
Jason, Georgia alum living in DC, I'm not around campus anymore so I haven't heard much about hoops in Athens yet. What are some reasonable expectations for the Bulldogs this year? NCAA too lofty?
Yeah, I think this may be a transition year for your Bulldogs. Losing Thompkins and Leslie was a big hit. Mark Fox is going a good job in Athens but I wouldn't expect an NCAA Tournament berth this season.
Give us Tar Heels fans your thoughts on the season and what we can expect.
I think it'll be a major disappointment if North Carolina loses more than three regular season games and fails to make the Final Four.
What are your thoughts on Xavier and getting to the Final Four? Do you see the X-Men garnering a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament if they somehow run the table in their nonconference schedule (insanely tough)?
I've always admired Chris Mack and his predecessor (Sean Miller) for scheduling so tough. No wonder the Musketeers always fare so well in March. I can't see them earning a No. 1 seed, though, because I can't see how they're going to run the table in the non-conference.
I think the media is disrespecting my team as usual, come back at the end of the season and you'll see us in a familiar spot.
So glad to know that the great Matt Painter is reading this chat. I seem to remember Purdue spending most of last season ranked in the top five. Is that disrespect?
How do you see the UK vs UNC matchup @ Rupp going? And what do you think UK will beat Kansas by on Tuesday?
I think North Carolina will win a close game, mainly because of poise and experience. That'll be the first test for Kentucky's freshmen against a top 10-caliber squad. Could be a different story in March ... errr, April ... though. I'll be covering that game. Can't wait.
Do you think the Baylor Bears will crumble like last season? Also, what's your opinion on the outcome of KU/Kentucky next week?
The main reason Baylor crumbled last season was because they had no depth in the backcourt. AJ Walton was the team's only primary ball-handler, so it was turnover-city in Waco. It also didn't help that LaceDarius Dunn shot the ball every time he touched it instead of throwing it inside to the Baylor's talented bigs. Dunn is gone now, and Baylor has added guards Brady Heslip (a Boston College transfer) and Pierre Jackson (last year's National JUCO POY). And they'd still got Walton, who will flourish now that he has help. So I think Baylor will be much better.Kentucky by 13-15.
How much of an impact will I have next year?
I think you'll be decent. Maybe 8-10 minutes a game. HA!
Who wins the "Carrier Classic" tomorrow night?
North Carolina by 8-12
Was the Fresno Pacific player who got naked and went on a rampage after he got cut from the team justified?
It was a tough call, but the administration the right decision (sarcasm meter). Along with the nudity, the dude also punched a police dog, if I'm not mistaken. That's a no-no.
What gives with everyone loving florida? walking and boynton do nothing but shoot (not at a high percentage) and have nothing in the way of breaking down a defense. and their entire frountcourt is gone. rosario is a ball hog and beal is another guard. i dont get it
I think Rosario, Beal and Patric Young are the main reasons everyone is in love with Florida. I also think you're wrong on your assessment of Beal and Rosario. Check back in about a month.
Do you have a press pass for the UK v. UNC game on December 3rd? If so, how much do you want for it?
If you have seats next to Ashley Judd I'll make a straight-up trade.
At Minnesota, I think it's Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson and not much else. Rodney Williams needs to have a breakthrough year or else the Gophers will finish in the bottom half of the league
I'm fairly optimistic on my Hoyas this year and think they can surprise some people. Am i crazy?
I don't think Georgetown is going to be terrible, but they certainly won't be as good as they've been the last few years. Jason Clark is terribly underrated IMO. Their game against KU in the Maui Invitational will be interesting.
Between the four top dogs that keep getting mentioned this year (UNC, UK, UConn and OSU) who's the most likely to disappoint?
Tough question, because I can't see how any of them will disappoint. UConn plays in the toughest league and is counting heavily on three freshmen. And remember, the Huskies finished ninth in the Big East last year. So maybe you could say them. I also don't think Ohio State would be able to match the talent at UNC and Kentucky if those schools met in the Final Four.
As a Mizzou fan stuck in Orange country tough to get any Tiger love. What can we expect from the Tigers this year and when will the Stan Haith allegations be finalized so we can move on to the future with recruiting?
Frank Haith has definitely had a tough start with all of the NCAA stuff. Who knows when that will be finalized. And losing Laurence Bowers was a massive blow. I still think Mizzou will finish third or fourth in the league, though.
I know St. Johns played really bad last night, but could this be a game on Kentucky's schedule that a lot of the fans are sleeping on?
No. Kentucky will win easily. St. John's has too many freshmen who, along with being overmatched, will be overwhelmed. I'll be at that game. Looking forward to it.
You think Creighton is a Top 25 team this year? You should come up to Omaha and see them play sometime. You'd have a good time in Omaha -- very underrated city.
I definitely think Creighton is a fringe top 25 team. I've always thought Greg McDermott was a great coach and was surprised things didn't work out for him at Iowa State. I've been to Omaha many times and will try to make it back this year. There's a Tanner's there, which I love, and a Twin Peaks, from what I'm told. That's all i need.
Thomas Robinson looks poised to have a monster year. Could you see him being a 1st team All-American at the end of the season?
Absolutely. I almost put him on my first-team preseason ballot. Dude's a monster down low with a soft touch from the outside. Two things I worry about: Double teams and foul trouble.
You don't think Arizona will compete for the Pac-12 title?
It'll all depend on how quickly Turner develops/adapts at PG. But right now I have them a notch behind the three schools I mentioned earlier. They lost their two best players.
Hey Jason...have you seen pictures of the new facilities at Temple? Place looks sick!! How good are they gonna be this year? Top 15?
Haven't seen pics but I've heard great things. Maybe I need to come see for myself. That'll give me an excuse to stop by Reading Terminal Market, my favorite place ever next to Las Vegas. I've got Temple finishing behind Xavier in the A-10
Is Danny Manning the best post player coach in the country?
That's hard to say, but his track record of developing mid-tier players into NBA Draft picks (Morris twins, Cole Aldrich, Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson) is quite impressive.
In your opinion could a 2 year rule ever be put in place? If so how does goes that affect the college game?
I think it could happen, because I know coaches are unhappy with the current rule. It'd be better, in my opinion, to let some of these one-and-done studs go straight to the pros. It'd definitely clean up some of the dirty recruiting, but certainly not all of it.
I read in your article that you think 2 UK players will receive first-team All-American honors. In your mind, which two players have the best shot to be those guys?
Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis (although I'm hearing great things about Kidd-Gilchrist)
Jason, why is there so much hatred among the press concerning John Calipari? An article today in Chicago Sun actually put Cal in same boat as Tressel and Paterno
Didn't read it, but if what you're saying is true, then that's irresponsible journalism.
Do you even answer questions on UK? How many losses and how far?
I feel like i've answered a ton of UK questions. Anyway ... five losses and a Final Four berth.
Are the Zags the best mid-major team this year? If the new guards can play they seem to be posied to make a deep run in the tourney this year with all the size they have in the frontcourt?
Memphis is the best non-Big Six team in terms of talent, but that doesn't mean the Tigers will be as good as Gonzaga. They definitely have what it takes to make a deep run. It's all about match ups.
Do you think South Florida can make a run at the NCAA tourney this year?
Michael Gilchrist is the best player in the NCAA and at the end of the year all you experts will look like fools. You all always take jabs at UK for whatever is convenient for you at the time.
And a very good day to you, sir.
If you were Roy Williams, which player would make you cringe the most if he left tomorrow nights game with a season-ending injury?
Kendall Marshall, without question
Does Michigan State bounce back from last years major dissappointment?
i don't think Michigan State will be terrible, but the Spartans won't be great, either. The difference this year is that the expectations aren't as high.
Has recruiting become a duel between Calipari and Miller ?
Calipari is in a dual with everyone, not just Miller. Still, I've said it before and I'll say it again ... if I'm the AD at Kansas, UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, UCLA, etc, and my head basketball job comes open, Sean Miller is the first coach I'd call.
If Bill Self wins the Big 12 again and KU gets a 3 seed in the tournament like Lunardi has them currently, is he the coach of the year?
He'd definitely be a top candidate. It'd be similar - and even more impressive -than the 2008-09 season, when he won the award after losing everyone but Collins and Aldrich from the NCAA title team.
Belmont over Duke....is it possible?
Crazier things have happened.
you are a typing snail
my answers are too long, apparently. my bad
Who's the best team in the nation this year that nobody's gonna expect?
Gonzaga, Marquette, Pittsburgh ... not enough people are talking about those teams.
You said the Pac-12 is a battle between Cal, UCLA, and Washington. What about Arizona? I know the Cats are young, but I think Sean Miller will have them ready to challenge for the Pac-12 come January.
Lots of people upset about me leaving Zona out of the mix. Things could definitely change. Ask me again in a month.
I think UCONN is clearly the best team, but I don't think the Huskies will dominate the Big East like UNC will dominate the ACC. I'm big on Syracuse.
Over the last 5 years KU has won 15 more games than any other program in the country. How crazy is that considering how many times their roster has completely changed?
tells you everything you need to know about Bill Self. Amazed that he's struggling so bad in recruiting.
Your expectations from Michigan this year? Thanks Jason.
I think Michigan is a tad overrated but will still finish in the upper half of the Big Ten.
Can Belmont beat or put a major scare into Duke tomorrow night?
Wouldn't shock me at all, but I'm not ready to predict it will happen
Will the Gaels be a factor in the WCC this year?
Absolutely. Randy Bennett is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. I still think there's a noticeable separation between them and Gonzaga, though. At least this season.
Is it possible for Mizzou to get an even worse reception at Allen Fieldhouse than they do already? I love going to that game but I'm not sure the fans could treat them any worse.
Oh it'll be ugly. Count on it. And I'm sure it'll be just as bad in Columbia.
How can Mizzou brag about their great fan support? Mizzou arena might have been half-full when I went to watch them take on my alma matter University of Central Missouri earlier this week.
Agreed, although I've never heard them brag about their great fan support.
What are the realistic chances for UW to win the PAC-12? Is anyone else in the PAC-12 really good enough to compete for the national title like Arizona's run last year?
Washington has a chance, without question. I don't see much separation between the Huskies and the other top three or four teams in the league. There are no Final Four contenders in the Pac-10. But the league is definitely on an upswing. Lots of reason for hope.
Who do you have in a fight? the coach from Kansas State or Bruce Pearl?
I'll go with Frank Martin. Hands down
What do you think the top 5 teams in the B1G are this yr and in what order?
Baylor, Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Iowa State
Lets talk about Vandy! Is John Jenkins the best pure shooter in America?
Can't think of one any better
Will Kansas be a top 10 team by the end of the year?
can't see it happening
My Memphis Tigers have depth, talent and mote experience this year. How high is their ceiling?
It's very high if Will Barton, Joe Jackson and Tarik Black continue the strides they were making toward the end of last season and if Adonis Thomas is the real deal.
Better team in Michigan this year, the University of Michigan or MSU?
Hmm. I'll go with Michigan State, barely.
could i take you in a bar fight?
no. I'd probably win but then I'd buy you a cold one.
Is it true everyone at yahoo hates Uconn?
I don't think so. I've always enjoyed covering the Huskies. It's impressive what Calhoun has done there
When Syracuse joins the ACC do you think they automatically challenge UNC and DUKE for ACC dominance?
I think they'll be in the mix for the title most years.
Why is there no love for the Mizzou?--Denmon, English, Ricardo, Bowers-All talented seniors AND the Pressey boys. They should be in the top 10!
I disagree. New coach, Bowers is hurt, Presseys have much to prove.
Do you think Syracuse has the best chance of winning it all since 03?
The Orange are good. Unfortunately, UNC and UK are much better.
How good will Texas be this year? Top 25?
I think the Longhorns will struggle. They lost too much.
I am up to the Keith Langford chapter in the Beyond the Phog book I got from you in PV. I understand they go in order of attendance, but I can't imagine a chapter being better than that one!
Thanks. Keith's chapter takes the cake. Sherron's is pretty strong, too.
Between KU, Texas A&M, And Baylor. Who has the best chance to win the conference this year?
Time to sign off. Thanks for all the great questions. Im overwhelmed by how many of you wrote in. We'll do this again next week.