- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• I am excited about the pairings for the 2010 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Michigan State and Kansas will be joined by Memphis and Syracuse at the mecca of college hoops, and the Big Apple should be rocking and rolling for the December event. Think about some of the talent going to NYC, baby! Guys like Kalin Lucas, Marcus Morris, Kris Joseph, and a lot of newcomers to watch like Josh Selby of Kansas, Will Barton and Joe Jackson of Memphis, Dion Waiters and Fab Melo of the Orange, plus Keith Appling and Adreian Payne of the Spartans.
• We will get to see a rematch of the national championship game, folks! Duke and Butler will square off on December 4th at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. Brad Stevens and Mike Krzyzewski will get to square off once again and that should be exciting, baby! Butler will also have an early season test at Louisville in the opener of Pitino's Palace!
• Why in the world are Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe leaving Kentucky? There is no way they are going to get any playing time in the NBA. They would be picked based on potential, potential, potential and they would be better off as stars in college -- improving and working on their respective games! There are too many kids in the draft right now, and several underclassmen will get burned based on numbers alone.
• Lefty Driesell's son, Chuck, was a good hire for The Citadel. He gained a lot of valuable experience as an assistant over the years and he was due for a head coaching opportunity. By the way, Lefty belongs in the Hall of Fame!
• There's been a shock in the recruiting world as Terrence Jones said no to Kansas and Kentucky and decided to join his high school buddy Terrence Ross at Washington! Both played in the state of Oregon and it will be interesting to see the reaction when the Huskies go to Eugene and Corvallis. Wow, what a super signing for Lorenzo Romar. Dana Altman was in the running late for Jones, but the new Ducks coach fell short.
• Fran Dunphy's name was mentioned with a few recent job openings. Temple fans do not have to worry as Dunphy is not going anywhere. The Owls and their coach agreed to an eight-year contract that could keep him with the program through the 2018 season. He's led the Owls to three straight NCAA tournaments
• I ran into ex-NBA player Paul Pressey and his son, who signed with Mizzou. I told his son that if he is half as good as his Dad he will be special! I remember watching Paul Pressey at Tulsa, and later in the NBA with the Bucks.
• Former Illini guard Deron Williams is quickly becoming the best point guard in the NBA! He does not have enough help to stop Kobe and the Lakers in the Western Conference semis, though.
• New DePaul coach Oliver Purnell added a familiar name to his staff. Former Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe has been hired as an assistant with the Blue Demons. Ellerbe spent last season as an assistant at George Washington after an eight-year absence from the coaching profession.
9hMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon
5hMarc Stein and Calvin Watkins