Commentary

Roundball chatter

Updated: January 27, 2011, 2:37 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

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

• After BYU beat San Diego State on Wednesday night, I feel Jimmer Fredette has moved past Kemba Walker in the race for national player of the year honors. All Fredette did was score 43 points in a 71-58 win over the Aztecs. He was absolutely brilliant, penetrating and hitting shots in the lane; nailing the trifetca; making the good pass. Jared Sullinger is also very much in the equation. There is plenty of time for this to change again.

• The NCAA made the right move by allowing Kansas to help pay for Thomas Robinson and his sister to fly to the funeral of his mother, Linda. Under NCAA rules, Kansas was also allowed to pay for the funeral of Lisa Robinson. To me, that is common sense given the tragic circumstances. This is such a difficult situation and my heart goes out to Thomas and his sister, Jayla.

• Michigan State suffered a big loss when coach Tom Izzo dismissed guard Korie Lucious for the rest of this season. It is a shame that the young man did not conform to the rules of the program. What were Lucious and Chris Allen, who left the program and transferred to Iowa State, thinking? This may be one reason Michigan State is struggling. Losing those guards may come back and haunt the team.

• Florida earned a magical win over Georgia on Tuesday night. Georgia did not foul Erving Walker when the Bulldogs had a three-point lead in the final seconds. Walker extended the game by making the trifecta and the Gators went on to the winner's circle. While on the subject of Florida, assistant coach Larry Shyatt deserves another opportunity as a head coach. He has done a super job as Billy Donovan's top lieutenant.

• Jim Calhoun has done an amazing job at Connecticut. Both Calhoun and Notre Dame's Mike Brey out of the Big East deserve consideration for national Coach of the Year honors. Irish guard Ben Hansbrough has really become a star at crunch time as he makes big plays under pressure. Just look at how he took charge down the stretch in the upset at Pittsburgh, baby!

• How tough is the Big East? Just look at Seton Hall over Syracuse and Providence over Villanova. This league is wild and tough as teams beat each other up.

• It was a tough week for guys named Mitchell. Missouri forward Tony Mitchell, a 6-8 star, was declared ineligible after the Tigers' latest appeal was denied. West Virginia's top scorer, Casey Mitchell, was also suspended for violating team rules.

• I love hearing people talk about how tough it is to win on the road. Look at what happened in the last week. Ohio State won at Illinois; Texas snapped Kansas' 69-game home win streak; Villanova and Seton Hall both won at Syracuse; Florida won at Georgia. My friends, if you can play, you can find a way to win on the road.

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.