Commentary

Roundball Chatter

Updated: December 18, 2009, 2:19 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:

• Last season, Georgia Tech was a major disappointment. What a difference a year makes! Paul Hewitt's team will be a contender in the ACC. Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal are a dynamite duo! I am curious to see how they will fare against the Dukes and North Carolinas in league play. The injury to guard Iman Shumpert is definitely a blow. He will be sidelined 3-6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in his right knee.

• Former Florida Gators guard Jai Lucas starts his career at Texas on Saturday against North Carolina in a game I will call with Dan Shulman. I believe he will be a solid addition to a team that already boasts solid depth. While on the subject of the Longhorns, coach Rick Barnes has an elite program down in Austin. He likes the potential of his team! Like Billy Donovan of the Gators, Barnes has used football to help recruiting and that is a smart way to do things.

• Down at Georgia, first-year coach Mark Fox was not left with a lot of SEC talent. The future of the Bulldogs will depend on his success in recruiting! When you look at what he accomplished at Nevada, you understand that Mark knows how to win.

• Harvard coach Tommy Amaker has a legit contender for the Ivy title. The Crimson put up a super effort against UConn and got a great win over Boston College of the ACC. Jeremy Lin can play with the big guys! Jim Calhoun told me he was very impressed with him.

• Seth Greenberg's Virginia Tech Hokies have been a pleasant surprise at 8-1. The lone loss so far came against a good Temple team. Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen form a solid 1-2 punch for Virginia Tech. This is a dangerous sleeper team in the ACC.

• It appears that fans of Virginia must be patient. Tony Bennett's team has had its share of ups and downs in his first year in Charlottesville. The faithful must give him time!

• After dropping three straight games, Oklahoma has put together a nice five-game win streak, including Ws over Arkansas, Arizona and most recently, a comeback at Utah. Jeff Capel still has a pretty young team, but the Sooners have potential to make some noise in the Big 12. Willie Warren is a legit All-Solid Gold candidate.

• The NCAA's longest tourney run, 25 years by Arizona, will end this year unless there is a miracle. It is not Sean Miller's fault and the long-term prognosis for the program is good. But right now, it is struggle city as the Wildcats are sitting at 4-5. However, this is a down year for the Pac-10, so there is room to make some progress in league play.

• Former Purdue star Cuonzo Martin has Missouri State playing really well! We'll have to see if that will carry over in Missouri Valley Conference play as that league is very underrated.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.