Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dick Vitale predicts KU basketball fifth…in Big 12

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale speaks at Washburn University’s Lecture Series at Lee Arena in this file photo. Vitale has picked KU to finish fifth in the Big 12 this season.

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale speaks at Washburn University’s Lecture Series at Lee Arena in this file photo. Vitale has picked KU to finish fifth in the Big 12 this season.

November 6, 2010


The most famous college basketball analyst of all — Hall of Famer Dick Vitale of ESPN — is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward Kansas University’s men’s basketball team.

Vitale has tapped six-time defending Big 12 champion KU fifth in his preseason Big 12 basketball rankings.

The prediction comes with freshman point guard sensation Josh Selby waiting to hear if he’ll be eligible to play this season.

Vitale has Kansas State first, followed by Texas, Baylor, Missouri, KU, Texas A&M;, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa State.

“If Josh Selby is eligible, Kansas will be higher than this ranking,” Vitale writes on He adds: “Kansas State is a legitimate Final Four contender with Jacob Pullen, but the loss of point guard Denis Clemente will be a factor. The Wildcats also still have Curtis Kelly, who will be a positive force on the baseline. Texas coach Rick Barnes has a lot of young talent. Cory Joseph will have the ball in his hands while running the offense. Tristan Thompson will have an immediate impact, too. Jordan Hamilton must step up and live up to his potential. Baylor’s prediction is based on the return of LaceDarius Dunn. Missouri, with Kim English, will also be tough.”

Vitale has predicted a Final Four of Duke, Michigan State, Villanova and Ohio State, with Duke winning its second NCAA title in a row.

Meanwhile, KU, which has been picked No. 7 nationally in preseason polls of the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today, checked in at No. 3 in polls of both and the Sporting News’ Mike Decourcy, which were released late this week. taps Duke No. 1 and MSU No. 2, while KSU is sixth.

“With Selby, Kansas would be the favorite to win the Big 12. Selby is a do-it-all point guard, with tremendous athleticism. Team him with underrated forward Marcus Morris, and KU would have one of the best inside-outside duos in the nation,” writes. “But while coach Bill Self has said he thinks Selby will play this season, the NCAA hasn’t officially ruled on his eligibility. Without Selby, KU is good — but it wouldn’t be this good.” college basketball editor Mike Huguenin sees KU as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with Duke, Michigan State and Ohio State. He has K-State as a No. 2 seed.

Decoucy ranks Michigan State No. 1 and Duke No. 2. Kansas State is ranked fifth and Wichita State 24th.

“The team’s profound personnel departures still left behind multiple first-round prospects and a coach who finds ways to win,” DeCourcy says of KU, adding, “If point guard Josh Selby loses all or a significant part of his freshman year, the Jayhawks will miss a difference-maker.”

KU will meet Emporia State in an exhibition at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

— Gary Bedore compiled this report.


kujayhawk 5 years ago

This guy is still around? Retire already.

independent_rebel 5 years ago

Vitale is right a lot more than he is wrong (remember his prediction about Larry Brown leaving).

Perhaps if folks around would stop believing everything printed in the LJWorld they would not have the expectations they have. For example, all you read about is how Josh Selby is the #1 recruit in the nation. Well, he's not. He was ranked #1 with, but that is what Gary "Brown Nose" Bedore and the LJWorld report, so the sheep drink it up. They didn't mention that Selby was not ranked #1 by Rivals until Rivals' very last ranking, or that many ranking services don't even have Selby as the #1 ranked point guard, let alone #1 recruit overall.

Truth is, this year's team needs to play with some hunger, and some defensive tenacity, and I'm not sure the make up is there to do that. We don't have a Mario Chalmers or a Russell Robinson to create havoc on defense, or a Brandon Rush to lockdown the opponent's top threat. What about that great defensive player, Morningstar? Please.

The team that won in 2008 had swagger, a cockiness when it came to playing defense. The last two teams have fallen well short or that.

That, more than Josh Selby, will determine how successful this team is. This team should be fast, but I'm worried about defense.

Mike Barnhart 5 years ago

Vitale is about as relevant as hammer pants, gravity boots and Meg Ryan! He hasn't really paid attention to the game of basketball since the players wore shorty shorts and knee socks.

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