Welcome to the chat everyone. Let's get started
Who should be the favorite to win the Big 10?
I've gotta go with Michigan State. The Spartans return everyone except Derrick Nix. I think Gary Harris is really going to take off as as a sophomore. Loved the way Payne was playing at the end of last season.
Who do you think will have a bigger impact as a freshman, Parker or Wiggins?
Great question. It's probably a wash. Parker's numbers may be better if Wiggins ends up at Kentucky, simply because he'll be surrounded by better players. But who knows? They're both incredibly good. Numbers don't mean much to me. It's all about who does the most - in a variety of areas - to help their team win.
Do you think having a lot of highly touted freshmen in your starting lineup (Kentucky, Kansas, etc.) come March will positively or negatively affect you against more experienced teams that are lower seeds?
Well, most times the affect would be negative. But when you're talking about players the caliber of Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker ... I'm not sure it matters. Talent outweighs experiences in those situations. Just like it did for Kentucky in 2012
Do you think Oklahoma State, with Smart, Brown and Nash returning, have a chance at a Final Four run this year?
Absolutely. Oklahoma State is a top 10-caliber team with those guys coming back. Glad you mentioned Brown. People sleep on him. One concern for OSU is its lack of size. But Travis Ford's team has some tough, physical players who fight hard in the paint.
LETS SAY WIGGINS GOES TO UNC. CAN I START LOOKING FOR A HOTEL IN DALLAS OR NO??
Nothing is guaranteed - but could you could at least start checking rates.
Where do suspect Andrew Wiggins will go?
No idea, although everyone seems to be guessing Kentucky. If he knew, he'd have probably announced already.
If Kansas or North Carolina land Andrew Wiggins, will he turn them into a true National Title contender?
Yes, I think so.
How much noise will Gtown make this year without Otto Porter.
To a lesser extent, Georgetown has become a mini-Kansas. Every year they lose good players, prompting everyone to predict gloom and doom. Yet JTIII always fields a good team. He was my national coach of the year last season. I'm sure they'll be competitive once again.
Wisconsin has made the tournament every year since 1999. Do you seem their streak being at risk next year after losing Bruesewitz, Evans, and Berggren? Also, do you see Florida getting past their elite eight bump in the road?
I think Wisconsin will be fine. The Badgers always are. I'll be shocked if they finish below fifth in the Big Ten. Florida will be a Final Four-caliber team. Now ... will the Gators advance that far? Won't be able to make a good guess until I see the bracket.
How come there is no love for the Purdue Boilermakers? We lose DJ Byrd but get a talented and underrated freshman class led by sharpshooter Kendall Stephens and everyone else is returning. If AJ Hammons puts in the work he will be a force and could be the B1G Player of the Year. So how come there is no love being shown, c'mon ESPN!
Yes, but you're returning a bunch of players from a mediocre team. And it's risky to depend too heavily on freshmen not named Parker, Wiggins, etc.
With everyone but Jackson and Walton returning for the Baylor Bears next year, do they have a chance at a Final Four and possible national Championship run?
I think a deep NCAA tournament run and perhaps a Big 12 title are possibilities - but only if things go well for them at the point guard position. Juco signee Kenny Chery needs to be as good - if not better - than advertised. It's still not too late for Baylor to add another player at that position. They have every other piece.
Rven though you Cover Men's College Basketball, What is your Favorite NBA Team?
Dallas Mavericks, just because that's my hometown.
When will Gonzaga finally reach a Final Four? In recent years, George Mason, Butler, VCU, Butler again, and Wichita St have all made runs to the Final Four.
Not sure but I don't see it happening this year. Losing Olynyk and Harris is a tough blow, although adding Mike Moser and/or Josh Davis would enhance their chances.
Where do you see DUKE in the preseason poll, are they the team to beat in the new look ACC?
I've got them ranked fifth behind Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Arizona. I think Rodney Hood is the x-factor. Adding Tarik Black would help down low.
Gonzaga is in the mix for UNLV transfer Mike Moser and Tulane transfer Josh Davis. Which player would be the best fit for the Zags next season?
Both are elite rebounders, although Moser never seemed to come back 100 percent after his injury in December. I may lean toward Davis. Heck, why not sign both.
Any thoughts on the Alford regime at UCLA? He has the talent, what can he do with it?
I hear a lot of people ripping on the Alford hire. I"m not one of them. I don't judge a coach solely on his performance in the NCAA tournament. If a coach wins 25-plus games year after year, the tide will eventually turn in his favor during the postseason. I think the man is an excellent coach. He's hired a good staff with California ties. I'd be excited if I was a UCLA fan. He inherited a good team, too.
Hey King, Duke seems to have one of the healthiest back courts in America right now with the return of Andre Dawkins and Rodney Hood, add in Parker and Quinn Cook. No doubt this team is ready for November. But my question is, In your professional oppinion, Is Duke ready for March?
Glad you mentioned Dawkins. People forget about him. Of course Duke isn't ready for March. They got to spend a ton of time putting their pieces together to form a cohesive unit. I think they'll do that by mid-January and be VERY good when it matters most.
Final Four sleeper teams next year?
Wichita State, VCU, Memphis, Baylor
Jason, I can't believe you are inside chatting on a beautiful day like today.
Haha. Funny. Can't wait for the five inches of snow we're supposed to get in KC later today. 24 hours ago I was outside in my shorts washing my car. Unbelievable.
How good is T.J. McConnell? Does he has the ability to warrant an all Pac 12 selection?
He's very good but it'll be hard to beat out Jahii Carson at the PG spot.
Will Wichta State be able to make a run like they did this year?
I can't see why not. They return everyone but Hall (big loss) and Armstead (I think VanVleet is better) and add some big bulky guys down low. They'll be a better team next year, but that won't necessarily translate into a Final Four run. I still say WSU's 2011-12 squad (which earned a No. 5 seed) was better than the team that just went to the Final Four.
Wichita State vs KU on a neutral court next year, whats the spread?
In November? I'd say it'd be WSU -1.5. And I'd take the Shockers all day.
I know this is really early, but whose your final 4
Ugh. Why are you doing this to me? Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Arizona. Sorry, I'm no fun. But i gave you some sleepers earlier.
Will the shot clock be reduced to 30 for this upcoming season?
sounds as if it could happen. we'll know soon. rules committee meets next week.
Do you agree that Kentuckey is slightly overrated?
No, I don't think so. But they definitely were last season.
How much effect will the loss of Grant Jerrett have on this Arizona team? Aaron Gordon+Brandon Ashley Zeus Jefferson sound pretty incredible.
Zero effect. They have plenty of pieces to make up for the loss. Won't even be noticeable. Still can't believe he left.
Can Aaron Craft take the Buckeyes to Dallas?
Perhaps, but it's a long shot. Buckeyes need an elite scorer, a go-to guy. Who is it?
Do you think Arizona will run away with the Pac-12 this year?
Colorado and UCLA will be the main competitors. But Colorado just lost Roberson (bad decision) and UCLA's players will be adjusting to a new coach. It'll be a massive disappointment if Arizona doesn't win it.
Any chance Timmy Frazier bounces back from injury to be BIG10 MVP? The kid was balling the last year before he got hurt!
Love Frazier. Great player. It's a shame he doesn't get more attention. Tough to win an MVP award, though, when you're on the last-place team.
Who do you think will be the Wichita St. of this season?
Hmmm. How about Harvard. Lots of folks - including our own Andy Katz - are HIGH on Tommy Amaker's squad.
Why do you think Ohio State will be better than Michigan next year? I'm assuming you think they will be better as you had them rated higher in you "way too early rankings"
Yeah, it's close. I could've gone either way. Losing a PG is such a huge deal. You're replacing more than just points and stats. You're replacing a leader, a tone-setter, etc. That's why Burke's departure hurts Michigan so much. But I hear great things about their incoming freshmen. I like Ohio State because they return four starters, all of whom were playing well during the second half of last season. I could end up switching, though.
Why does Texas struggle to recruit so much lately Texas is the biggest school in Texas UT should be a powerhouse
I think a lot of people down south are asking that same question. Things are not looking good in Austin.
Hope you didn't put you snow shovel away for the summer...
I refuse to shovel today. Won't do it.
Does Duke need to land Tarik Black in order to make a serious run at a National Championsip? I'm not sold on their current bigs at all. And Black would at least give them a physical presence inside.
I'm not saying they can't do it, but yes, he would be a huge help. I love what he brings to the table. Big, physical, athletic, mean. They don't have anyone like him on the roster.
Now that everything has settled with transfers and NBA deadline. What is your thoughts on the Gators repeating as SEC champions. They are going to be a deep experienced and very athletic next yr. The front court will be as deep since the 07 Championship season.
I've got Florida ranked sixth overall, but I still think UK wins the league title
When answering the question about Duke and preseason poll, you list KY as first but you believe Louisville to win it all. Whats up with that? Is that like hedging a little? Be bold, step up and pick the Cards if you think they are going to cut the nets down...smh..
I did pick the Cards today in my column. smh.
Which returning player to college basketball do you predict will have a breakout year, and become a star?
Cory Jefferson, Baylor
VCU -- for-real high-major program or mid-major enjoying a nice run of success?
Oh I definitely think they're for real because Smart continues to do it each year with new players. I love what they have coming back, too. Graham, Weber, etc
Actually, in regard to the question a few slots earlier about guys poised for breakthrough seasons ... I'll go with Mitch McGary over Jefferson. I can see McGary being a first-team All-American.
The NCAA didn't do anything to UNC, and now they let Duke off the hook too. Why do they show such favoritism to the "blue blood" schools?
With the Lance Thomas/Duke thing ... they didn't have evidence and they couldn't force the right people to talk to them.
Do you think any A-10 team gets a seed higher than 7 due to all the realignment?
yes ... VCU
True or False, Jordan Adams wil be the PAC-12 POY in 2013-14?
False. Aaron Gordon or Jahii Carson. Probably Gordon.
FYI Jason, the Pac-12 chooses a 10 man positionless first team. Considering that, can McConnell make it?
Perhaps. But I think there will be so many good players on that team that he may not be the first or second guy who stands out.
Do you think Julius Randle's Alpha Dog personality willl clash with the Harrison twins who have the reputation of having a little bit of an attitude?
No because Calipari does a great job of creating harmony within his locker room and getting everyone on the same page.
How do you think Andy Enfield will do at USC?
The guy has been successful at everything he has ever done, so I hate to bet against him. I wonder, though, how that run-and-gun-and-dunk-with-no-structure-style will work once he starts going against high-level coaches night after night.
Why do people get caught up in rankings? They don't matter. There's this thing called the NCAA tournament that settles everything. The only poll that matters is the one that comes out the day after the title game.
Couldn't agree more. Polls just give us something to talk about and tide us over until the season begins.
Hate to do it, folks. But I've got to split a tad early today. Have a meeting 5 miles away at 4 ET. Let's hope it's not snowing yet.Thanks for all of the great questions.