What's up everybody? Thanks for joining me. Let's go ...
How many more years do you think K stays at Duke?
I think we'd know by now if this were his last year. So more than 1. I'll say 3. But that's just a guess. He's accomplished so much for so long, why quit? But at some point, he'll have to step away. I could see that happening 3 years from now. Now the successor debate ... that's a completely different discussion.
Do you think IU will be ranked preseason #1?
Yes. Although, Kentucky is certainly picking up some steam. If you told me Louisville would end up at No. 1 in the preseason polls, I'd be OK with that. A lot of folks on UCLA's bandwagon, too. But the combination of Indiana's success last year, the fact that everyone is back and the incoming recruiting class ... Hoosiers should earn that slot.
Top 2 teams in the Pac-12?
I'd say UCLA and Arizona but Colorado is in the convo, too. And I don't know if it's in that order. I think Arizona will surprise a lot of people. Sean Miller's recruits haven't received the same praise as UCLA's but he's signed a talented crew. Can't wait to see the battle for the Pac-12 title. Andre Roberson leads a tough group at Colorado. Could be a three-way race.
Is Gorgui Dieng top 5 front court players in the country?
I won't know the answer to that question until I see if he's developed any wrinkles in his offensive game. He's arguably the best interior defender in the country. But "top 5 frontcourt" will demand more offense from the big man.
im all in for 24 second shot clock but i cant help but think it would ruin some coaches and only elevate the top programs with superior athletes ,im guessing they want to make basketball more entertaining
That's why I argued against it. http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/63352/take-two-time-for-a-24-second-shot-clockI think a few teams would adjust and find success. But I don't think most teams would become more exciting and efficient. They'd probably get sloppier. Most squads need 35 seconds.
Your expectations for Pitt in their last season in the Big East?
It'll be tough at the top of the league with Syracuse and Louisville battling for the crown, too. I think Steven Adams is a one-and-done talent that can certainly lead Pitt to the top tier of the league. I'll say Top 4 in the BE and an NCAA tourney appearance. Need to squad play before I go beyond that.
Is freshmen PG Yogi Ferrell the absent piece from last year's team that will get IU back to the FF?
I think he's the most critical piece. If the Hoosiers reach Atlanta, it will be because they're so versatile. Christian Watford is a matchup nightmare, especially if he hits 40 percent of his 3s again. I think Cody Zeller is the best player in America. But they need Yogi to play with poise and run the show. Tough task for a young player.
Why is college basketball considered "down" next season in your opinion?
Not sure who's saying that. The Pac-12 is back with three teams that can make noise. Big 12 will be tough again. The Big Ten has five teams with legit national title hopes. I like the top of the Big East. Plus, we've seen a lot of movement. The new A10 will be interesting. I'm excited for the year. Then again, I'm a junkie so I might be the wrong person to ask.
Will Shabazz Muhammad suit up for the Bruins this season?
I'll say yes. Maybe not right away, but I think he'll play the bulk of the season. .. But when you're talking about possible "improper benefits," no guarantees.
Which freshmen PG has more pressure on him to produce right away this season, Marcus Paige or Yogi Ferrell?
Marcus Paige. A) He has to earn that spot. B) He's playing with other guys who are moving into leadership positions for the first time. Brand new team. Yogi joins a group that's already found success. Easier for Yogi.
Also your expectations for Syracuse's last season in the big east
I saw DaJuan Coleman play at Peach Jam a few years ago. Not sure how they stuffed him into that uniform. But he'll definitely help. Triche, C.J. Fair and other young talents return. I think L'Ville is the best team in the league. But I expect the Orange to push the Cardinals for the title.
Do you see UVA making A SECOND straight appearance in the NCAAT under Tony Bennett? And what do you see out ceiling being under Bennett, ie. Top 5 ACC, consistent participant in the NCAAT with and occasional run in the tourney?
I talked to Tony a few months ago at an AAU event. He's excited for next season and the group that he's assembled for 2012-13. Strong recruiting class with Justin Anderson and Co. But the big question mark is that program's adjustment to life without Mike Scott. But I think Bennett is building a program that will be in the top tier of the ACC in the coming years. Great facilities. Fans are back. Future looks bright.
Why not split the difference (well, almost split) and go with a 30 second clock?
I could see that. It's a fun debate.
What can I realistically expect from Duke this year? Title contenders?
I'm torn, man. Perhaps Austin Rivers' absence boosts the chemistry. But he was a playmaker. And I don't know who plays that role this season. R. Sulaimon is a talented wing. He'll certainly help. But I can't see NCAA title. They could finish third in the ACC. Maybe Seth Curry goes Steph Curry. We'll see.
Does Butler rebound this season after a disappointing 2011 campaign?
The A10 is tough. But I like Butler's chances of contending. Rotnei Clarke is eligible this season. Kellen Dunham is a Top 100 wing. But it won't be easy, especially with VCU in the mix, too. I think Clarke, however, means things will pick up quickly.
Does Rickie P reclaim the Bluegrass State this season and bring a national title back to Louisville, not Lexington?
I think Louisville will reach Atlanta. Right now, I'm going with Indiana. But the Cardinals should contend and definitely have the talent to win it all.
Do you think there is a double standard for schools when it comes to articles about recruiting, scandal, etc?
There's not enough solid PG play in college to go to a 24 second shot clock. Agree?
I don't think it's just the point guards. I think it's just the personnel in general. 31 kids earn guaranteed contracts each year in the NBA draft. There are 340-plus teams with 13 scholarships apiece. Thousands of players. Only a handful (relatively speaking) are elite. I just don't think most teams could adjust with 24 seconds. The game would be faster. But I think it would also be sloppier.
Any chance the Terps take a step forward with the new Freshman and maybe more of a "team" atmosphere now that Stoglin is gone?
I think it's hard for teams to function with a player that demands so many touches. Maryland should be able to spread the ball more. I think the biggest component for next season is development of Alex Len. He only played half the year. With a full offseason and a full nonconference slate, he should be better. Maryland will be a different team and a better team.
Thoughts on the Zags this year? Bilas thinks they can do a lot of damage.
I'm with Bilas. That's a sick backcourt. I talked to Pangos earlier this summer. He's working hard, man. Seems like a motivated group. But there's also a lot of pressure on Sam Dower to play at a high level consistently. I covered him in high school. Can he evolve into one of the country's top frontcourt players? Maybe. Let's see if he's willing to work hard enough to get there. ... But I like the Zags' potential.
Do you take much stock in "reloading?" How well can you predict teams like Kentucky or Wichita State for a mid-major example, both of which lost their entire starting 5? Is it fair to say UK will be a title contender or the Wichita State make make the tournament again?
Joe Ragland and Garrett Stutz and just about every other meaningful player on Wichita State's roster. Gone. I don't care how you "reload" in that situation. When you lose that number of veteran guys, you're starting fresh with a bunch of unproven freshmen. .. Kentucky is a different story. They lost NBA-level freshmen and replaced them with NBA-level freshman. And they have another defensive stopper in Nerlens Noel who should be one of the nation's top rim protectors. Yes, I expect Kentucky to compete for the crown. But Wichita is in a different situation.
Where do you rank Kentucky if Nerlens Noel is rulled ineligible? And will Kyle Wiltjer have a breakout season for the Wildcats?
Top 10, not Top 5.
True or False, Grant Jarret will be the best big man on the Arizona roster this year?
Will CBB fans see the real Wayne Blackshear now that he should be 100% healthy? Does he emerge as a star this season in the Big East?
Yep. He came on strong late and he was out of shape because of that injury. I saw him in high school. Very fluid player. He's going to turn heads.
UNLV a top 10 team by the end of the year?
Not sure yet. I need to know more about the frontcourt rotation.
Who wins the Pac-12? How far do you see Arizona going in the NCAA Tournament?
Arizona. I think the Wildcats win two games.
You don't think there's a double standard? If the academic situation that's going on at UNC happened at UK it would be all over the news.
Baloney. Did you read our series on academics in college basketball? Robbi Pickeral/Dana O'Neil talked about UNC. A lot.
Is this the year Kansas takes a step back? I'm sold on Self, but not Withey in the middle?
I won't doubt a team that's won 8 Big 12 titles in a row. Withey in middle means Kansas has the top returning interior defender in America. I know Withey has really been working on his offensive game. He just didn't need it as much last season with T. Taylor and Thomas Robinson carrying the load. I expect Kansas to compete for the Big 12 crown. Again.
do you have a preseason top 10? Top 5?
Top 5 .. maybe .. 1. Indiana2. Louisville3. Kentucky4. Michigan5. N.C. State
NC St ...... wins the ACC or still behind the Big 2 in the ACC?
N.C. State wins the ACC
It's been real, America. I'm assuming the entire country is viewing this chat. Thanks for your time. Always great to talk hoops. We're thisclose to the 2012-13 season. Can't wait. If I missed you, hit me up on Twitter (@MedcalfByESPN) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.