College basketball season is finally here! So excited for the games tonight. Let's kick things off with a chat.
will myck kabongo be ruled eligible and if so does texas have a shot at a big 12 title
Technical difficulties. Hang tight ..
I spoke with folks at Texas last week, and they honestly don't have a feel for what's going to happen. They certainly seem as if they're ready to move on without him - at least for the immediate future. They really seem to like Jevan Felix at PG. Kabongo didn't have a great freshman season and, personally, I think he was a bit over-hyped. I don't see Texas contending for the Big 12 title with or without him.
Obviously Michigan State brings a whole new meaning to " We will play anyone, anywhere, anytime". How cool would it be if next year they opened the season at the Roman Colosseum vs the USC Trojans?
Michigan State vs. USC in the Roman Coliseum? That's a game I'd love to attend. It'd be an interesting matchup, too. Kevin O'Neill and Tom Izzo are two of the game's top defensive coaches.
You heard it here first: 3 Big Ten teams in the Final Four this season. Book it.
Not sure I'm buying that one, Greg. But hey, it wouldn't be a bad thing. The Big Ten has won just one NCAA title in the last 23 years (Michigan State in 2000)
hi jason if UCLA stays healthy and shabazz is cleared to play by ncaa can they go to final four and win it all?
The NCAA is baffling. It's impossible to predict anything when it involves the folks in Indy - especially when it comes to timetables. Personally, I think Muhammad will eventually get on the court, but he'll probably be docked some games. We may not see him until January. But, yes, I think the Bruins are an NCAA title contender with him in the lineup.
Do you know if they are streaming the games that are on nbcsports network online?
Sorry, no idea.
Crabbe and Cobbs should be solid, but does Cal have enough depth to challenge for the Pac-12 title?
I don't think so, unfortunately. I spoke with Mike Montgomery last week. He said the cohesion and chemistry just isn't there .... yet. Then again, he also pointed out that he's an eternal pessimist. I think Cal finishes between 4th and 6th.
Do you believe that Sean Miller will be a Wildcat for the rest of his coaching career? or do you believe he will relocate to another university? i really hope not. ITS MILLER TIME.
Love these Pac-12 questions. The Pac-12 is BACK, baby! (well, kind of). Anyway ... about Miller ... no, I don't him as an Arizona lifer. I think he's one of the top young coaches in the game. And if ever strings together a few Final Four runs or an NCAA title, he'll be the hottest name in the profession. I also think there are only a handful of schools he'd leave for - and I'm talking about the top, top jobs. If any of those positions ever come open, I'm guessing he'd at least listen.
How far do you see Sparty going this year?
All depends on match ups once you get to March, so it's tough to tell. But I can't see them finishing anything lower than third in the Big Ten.
Ok 2 rapid fire questions. #1 Besides Cody Zeller who would you label as the X Factor on IU team?(I think its Watford/Yogi) What player on IU basketball team is going to surprise us this season.
The PG is the most important player on any team, so I'd say Yogi. This a lot of pressure to heap on a freshman. How he handles it could determine Indiana's season. As for surprises, I'm hoping that Mo Creek stays healthy a plays a big role. Feel bad for that kid and his injury situation the past two years.
Hey Jason: I usually have a good idea (in general terms) how UNC's seasons are going to go. This year I have absolutely no clue, especially after losing all those studs. Do you expect something along the lines of the 2005-6 team that won well over 20 games, or more like the 2009-10 team that sucked pond water?
I think they'll be fine. There is still a TON of talent on that team with guys like Hairston, Bullock, McAdoo, etc. All of those guys have been significant contributors. Same with Strickland. I think they'll challenge for - and possibly win - the ACC title. Things snow-balled on them in 2009-10. I can't see it happening again.
Regarding Mizzou - how can their "challenges" be both integrating all the transfers AND moving to the SEC? Integrating the transfers is obviously critical, but I don't see how moving from the Big XII to an overall weaker basketball conference is supposed to be a problem. Any yet, numerous times I've seen someone mention that Mizzou can't challenge Florida and Kentucky because it's their first year in the league. If they could play in Allen Field House, they can play anywhere.
That whole "moving to the SEC" challenge is hogwash. So overblown. Their biggest challenge, as you said, is integrating the newcomers. And luckily, most of those guys (Ross, Bell, Brown) worked out with the team last year. And Oriakhi is such a seasoned player that he'll fit in nicely.
What up King? Do you believe this CATS team can win it all? This team is getting the same exact pub as last years team. Davis had question marks about his toughness, MKG needed to score more, TJones had attitude problems etc.
I just can't see it happening this year, Brandon. The talent is there, without question. But having absolutely ZERO veterans hurts. They had Patterson in 2010, Liggins and Miller in 2011 and Jones, Lamb and Miller last season. That type of stuff is important. I'll also be interested to see how Ryan Harrow holds up at PG.
Better Basketball area: Kentuckiana or North Carolina?
This year I've gotta go with Kentucky. U of L and UK in the top 5? easy choice. And let's not forget about Murray State.
I've done a little research on UConn today, and it looks like they're extremely inexperienced up-front. Is there any way that Nix/Payne don't have a field day against this front line?
You'd certainly think that would be the case. Connecticut has some good guards in Boatright, Calhoun, Napier, etc. So maybe it'll even out. That game really intrigues me, because it's tough to tell what we're gonna see from Connecticut.
Who will fill the scoring void left by Robinson and Taylor for the Jayhawks?
Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis, hopefully. If those two don't see up and have been freshman seasons, KU's string of eight straight league titles may come to an end.
Do you think N.C.State can handle the preseason hype and take the ACC away from Duke and Carolina?
Yes, i think they can. And I say that because Mark Gottfried is a good coach and he'll make sure everyone's heads are in the right place. Remember, though, this was a mediocre team that lived on the NCAA tournament bubble for most of last season. They got hot when it counted, which created a ton of excitement for this season. Was what happened at the end of last year a fluke? A lot of people will say 'yes,' but I disagree. Tons of talent there.
How will Kentucky hold up in their first two games vs Maryland in Brooklyn and Duke in Catlanta?
Wouldn't shock me if they dropped both games, but it really won't matter. Cal will have them playing well when it matters most. I certainly wouldn't pick them to lose against either of those teams in another month or two.
Jason, what are your thoughts on the Missouri Tigers transfers / freshmen? How will they compliment Phil Pressey, Laurence Bowers, and Michael Dixon?
Usually transfers are guys who left a school because they were upset with playing time and needed a "fresh start." But man, all of these guys were studs at their previous schools. They've proven they can excel at a high level. Go check out Ross' stats from his days at Aubrun, same with Bell at Pepperdine and, of course, Oriakhi at UConn. I think they'll fit right in. The only problem Frank Haith may have is keeping everyone healthy. Are there enough minutes to go around?
Who are those under the radar teams that are going to sneak up on everyone this year?
USC, Colorado, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, Rutgers, Ole Miss, Arkansas
Also, Stanford, Illinois State and maybe, just maybe, Oklahoma.
Davidson @ New Mexico, 11/12 11:59PM. Who ya got?
Tough to win in The Pit. I'll go with New Mexico.
How do you see SLU responding this season without coach Rick Majerus on the bench?
I think they'll be fine because Crews has been a DI head coach before and he knows those kids. Tons of talent and chemistry with this team. I think they'll contend for the league title - and it wouldn't shock me if they beat KU in a few weeks in Kansas City.
What is your take on Cincinnati? I am hoping they will build on their Sweet 16 appearance from last year and keep ascending in the Big East.
I should've included the Bearcats in my list of under the radar teams (even though people are starting to realize how good they are). Sean Kilpatrick is an absolute stud and they have a nice mix of veterans and young guys around him. I can see them finishing as high as third in the Big East. And to think ... Mick Cronin was on the hot seat just a few years ago.
Who is more likely to be upset in this 1st weekend: Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida or Michigan State? Any other upset thoughts?
I'll go with Kentucky, although Florida could be vulnerable with Prather and Wilbekin out. As far as other games, I'll be interested to see how Baylor fares against a tough Lehigh squad. And Creighton is hosting a really good North Texas with Tony Mitchell. I won't be shocked if that's a tough game (although I still like Creighton to win).
Do you think McLemore will be gone after this year?
Yes I do, if he plays up to his potential and is projected as a lottery pick. No reason to come back to school if you're projected that high.
UCLA vs Arizona, who has the better front court?
Ohhhhh, that's a tough one. Arizona's big guys (other than Solomon Hill, who is more of a 3/4) are all freshmen. But they're very highly-regarded freshmen with NBA futures. You counter that with the Wear twins and Josh Smith, all of whom are battle-tested and experienced. Give me UCLA front court for November and December, but Arizona's from January til the end of the season.
Wouldn't it be great if Mizzou fans would just shut up.... like forever?
Now Tommy ... play nice. lol
Which is the better event this season, Battle for Atlantis or the Big10 ACC challenge?
The Battle 4 Atlantis touts the best field I've seen in a long time. Louisville, Duke, Memphis, Northern Iowa, VCU, Stanford, Minnesota, Missouri .... wow. Should be a fun Thanksgiving in the Bahamas.
So Billy Gillispie... that escalated quickly huh?
Um, yeah ... I've always been quick to defend him. But there's not much I can say now.
Who's better? Calipari on the court or off of it?
haha. I think it's a wash. Pretty impressive in both places.
is this the first year the badgers finish outside the top 4 in the Big 10 under Bo? I think it could be tough.
Unfortunately that's looking more and more like how it'll play out. The injury bug has hit Wisconsin hard - and the Big Ten is as good as it's been in years. That's not a good combination.
After Withey's transfer year did you ever expect him to have a breakout season like he did last year? Also, what are your expectations for him this season?
I didn't know he'd be THAT good, but I've learned not to underestimate Bill Self and Danny Manning and their ability to develop players - especially big men. Every player that started for Kansas during Manning's time there ended up getting drafted.
You would beat Mellinger in a wing eating contest right?
Oh, that's happened. Many times. Not sure I'm proud to admit it, though. #peanutrules
Which freshemen in the state of Michigan will have the biggest impact in the Big Ten this year, Gary Harris or Mitch McGary?
Man, that's a tough question. I'll go with McGary. The Wolverines definitely need his size, toughness.
Terps fan here. I don't want to sound overly optimistic, but I think we have a good shot tonight against UK. Do I have my biased goggles on? Or is there a possibility? Vegas has us as +10.5 dogs.
haha. that line actually started out at +16.5 and dropped quickly. so there are obviously quite a few people that would agree with you. I definitely think you have a chance to win the game.
Finally the Gophers look poised to make a run and then you look around and the Big Ten is loaded. Just our luck up here in Minny.... any chance Mbakwe, Dre Hollins, Rodney Williams and company have any chance of cracking the top 5 in the Big Ten this year?
Absolutely. In fact, i'll be disappointed if Minnesota doesn't finish fourth or fifth. The Gophers just need to stay healthy and limit the off-court distractions that have hovered over the program the last three seasons.
Are the Blue Devils actually underrated to start this season?
I have a tough time calling a team ranked in the top 10 "underrated." I think they're ranked about where they should be.
Do Kentucky recruits get over-rated because they pick KY? The guys at AZ and UCLA were higher rated, but no one is putting them in the top 5.
You make a good point, but Calipari has proven to be a genius at working with one-and-done stars and getting the most out of them. Howland hasn't. Yet.
Is UNLV underrated? They have as much quality and depth with their bigs as anybody in the country with Moser, Anthony Bennett, Khem Birch (5.0 rpg, 1.9 bpg, in only 15 mpg at Pitt); and Quintrell Thomas and Carlos Lopez would start for many D1 teams. Their bigs will rebound which is key for their uptempo offense. Anthony Marshall (4.5 apg) should pick up where Bellfield left off; USC transfer Bryce Jones and talented freshman Katin Reinhardt round out the backcourt. I really think they're a top 10 team.
I thought so, too, until they needed overtime to win their exhibition game the other night. What happened there?
Thoughts on Maryland's chances now with Wells in the fold?
Man ... TONS of Maryland questions in m inbox. Sorry I can't get to them all. Good to see the passion and excitement among Terps fans, though. With Wells in the mix I see Maryland finishing between third and fifth in the ACC and possibly earning an NCAA berth.
Who is your Big XII Newcomer of the Year, Austin, Smart, or McClemore?
Smart. People are fawning over that kid. Can't wait to see him play
Has Baylor ovetaken Texas as the dominant basketball program in the state of Texas, recruiting and otherwise?
Yes, they have, at least for past three years. They've been the better program off the court (recruiting) and on it.
Jason, Mizzou as a Final Four pick??? I suppose there is a first time for everything...
Exactly. It has to happen eventually, right?
Hey Jason as much as I love the idea of a game in Germany is it too much to assume for Michigan State they will be ready to go Tuesday in Atlanta against the Jayhawks? Also will there be an asterix on the game if KU does win down the road because Sparty was jetlagged?
Oh that would definitely be an excuse, and a pretty good one, I might add. Im sure the NCAA tournament selection committee would take that into consideration, and they should.
Well there was only one ESPN writer who thinks we won't win the Big 12 again this year. What was Dana thinking?
Thanks for stopping by, coach. Even though I didn't agree with it, I actually like Dana's pick of West Virginia to win the Big 12. Huggins absolutely loves this team, and Morgantown may be the best home-court advantage behind Allen Fieldhouse.