February 13, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

It was a thrill to speak today for the beautiful people at Express Employment Professionals.  I got an opportunity to meet the two founders Robert Funk and Bill Stoller, who started the company 31 years ago.  I also had an opportunity to meet the VP of Sales and Marketing, Cory Benton.  I was really appreciative of the standing ovation by the crowd of over 700 that gathered at the spectacular Gaylord Palms Resort in the Orlando area.  Express Employment Professionals is in the business of having numerous franchises across the country and locating jobs for people.  They helped secure over 4,000 jobs for people last year .  Their headquarters are in Oklahoma City, where they are proud to talk about Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The theme of the event was to do more than just exist, to be challenged, to be recognized, to be outstanding, and to believe.  It was a super event and I am so proud to have been a small part of it.

February 11, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

I had a great time at the V Foundation event at Crown Eurocars in St. Petersburg, FL.  The event was hosted by Larry Castro, with all proceeds benefitting the V Foundation for Cancer Research.  It was a super night as I was the keynote speaker on the mission of the V Foundation.  Joining us for the evening was tennis guru, Nick Bollettieri, Jake Odorizzi of the Rays,ex NBA players, Marcus Liberty and Jerod Ward.  Mary Kenealy and her staff did a fantastic job as always.  I can’t thank all those that joined us enough for their support.

February 10, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

Saturday night’s incident between Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart and Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr was a tough situation to watch. Smart was wrong for reacting like he did no matter what the fan said. It is pretty clear that the kid was frustrated and the fan said something negative to prompt that reaction.

Oklahoma State has been under the pressure of huge expectations and have been disappointing. This team was picked in the top 10 prior to the campaign. Now, near the end of a game that marked a fourth consecutive loss, Smart went after the fan and clearly shoved him. The situation could have escalated even further, with the potential of an ugly mess out there, like the brawl involving the Pistons and Pacers years ago. Fortunately, it did not get worse.

The guy involved in the Smart mess is not a true fan as he is classless. I saw another incident on YouTube of him in a game vs. Texas A&M in which he was out of line. It is sad when a 50-year old has to resort to such behavior at a game.
The bottom line is, no matter what that so-called fan said, Smart should not have used his hands to shove that individual! As a player, you have to ignore what is said by people in the stands. They often try to get under your skin and affect your performance. They are rooting for the home team and often cross the line with negative comments.

I felt the three-game suspension was warranted and Smart will learn from his mistake. He is basically a good kid whose actions were out of frustration and we wrong.

February 7, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

What a blast I had today shooting a commerical for Disney World in Orlando.  I was able to include my entire family in the commercial, which was a thrill of a lifetime for my five grandkids.  We started at 6:00 am and wrapped up around 5:00 pm. It was an absolute blast filming with various characters at the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios parks. I can’t thank Disney executive, Kevin Young for his hospitality.  Watch the commercial here: http://bit.ly/1lPvkhl

February 5, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

The Rowdy Reptiles had reason to celebrate at the O-Dome once again. Their beloved Florida Gators extended their home win streak to 28 games by beating Missouri Tuesday night.

Billy Donovan’s team is so scrappy on the defensive end, battling for every loose ball. Florida held a Missouri team, which came in averaging 75 ppg., to just 58 points.

Scottie Wilbekin had a career-high 19 points, many of them from the foul line. The Gators had a 24-8 edge in points from the charity stripe, one key to the victory. Patric Young was another factor inside for Florida.

I was impressed with the Missouri guard tandem of Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown. This was a tough stretch for the Tigers, facing Kentucky and Florida in back-to-back games.

I will be back in Gainesville this weekend to call the Florida-Alabama contest.

February 2, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

The Duke-Syracuse game lived up to all of the hype. Saturday night’s contest was electric, with over 35,000 fans setting a Syracuse home record. You had two Hall of Fame coaches in Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski doing battle, and they have so much respect for each other. 

There were so many dramatic moments. Duke stayed in the game by hitting 15 trifectas. Syracuse had brilliant performances by CJ Fair (28 points) and Jerami Grant (24 points, 12 rebounds). 

Rasheed Sulaimon sent the game to overtime with a three-pointer. In the end, Syracuse had an edge on the foul line (26-32 to Duke’s 12-17) and remained unbeaten, 91-89. 

These two teams will meet again in Cameron Indoor Stadium in three weeks. I cannot wait to call that one.

January 30th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, February 14

Over 50,000 fans are expected at the Carrier Dome on Saturday night as Duke and Syracuse square off. I cannot wait to call the game. The atmosphere will be electric. There is a big-time buzz surrounding this match-up. You will have so much passion and emotion in this contest.

Syracuse remained unbeaten with a 67-57 win at Wake Forest Wednesday. That was huge because the Demon Deacons entered with a 13-game home win streak. Jim Boeheim was concerned going into the game at Lawrence Joel Coliseum, but his squad played tremendous defense and got another W. Tyler Ennis has developed into one of the premier diaper dandies in America and he showed why against Wake. His 18 points were vital since the tandem of CJ Fair and Trevor Cooney was cold, combining to shoot six-of-23 from the field.

Duke is coming off a big-time win at Pittsburgh Monday. The Blue Devils were especially impressive in the second half, getting to the winner’s circle against a quality Panthers team. Duke put up 80 points and one key was Andre Dawkins. He was on fire over the final eight minutes, finishing with six-of-seven trifectas. Dawkins totaled 20 points in just 15 minutes overall.

Do you think that Syracuse will try to find him in that zone?

This will be a chess match between two of the top coaches in college basketball. Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim have combined for over 1900 wins and they have the ultimate respect for each other. They are very close; Coach K hired Boeheim to be his assistant for USA Basketball in winning the Olympics twice.

You know that Duke will be prepared with the extra few days. If it shoots the three-pointer like it did against Pittsburgh (13-of-25, 52 percent), watch out. While diaper dandy Ennis is a key for the Orange, the Blue Devils will expect big things from its freshman star, Jabari Parker. He had 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Panthers, and he is ready for the big stage.

The bottom line is Duke’s offensive firepower goes against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Something has to give.

January 26th, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 14

The Wolverines are on fire, winning nine in a row. The latest W for John Beilein’s team came at East Lansing on Saturday. 

I had a blast calling the game with Dan Shulman and Shannon Spake. Nik Stauskas remained hot for Michigan. Derrick Walton Jr. showed why he was highly-recruited out of the state of Michigan.

Beilein has done a tremendous job. Mitch McGary is out for the season following back surgery, yet this team has made the necessary adjustments.

Michigan State was without Adriaen Payne (foot, fifth straight game missed) and Branden Dawson (broken hand). When they come back, watch out. Tom Izzo almost got a victory despite being shorthanded.

January 21, 2014

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 14

Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks have looked great lately. 

With Monday’s win over Baylor, Kansas has won five in a row. It is an impressive list of victories — Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Baylor.

Joel Embiid has shown tremendous improvement. He should be the #1 pick in the draft. Diaper dandies Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Frank Mason have matured and played great team basketball.

Give Self credit for playing the toughest schedule in America. There have been some bumps in the road, but the Jayhawks are playing well now.

Watch out for the Jayhawks as they go for another Big 12 title. This could be a #1 seed in the big dance.

January 20, 2013

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in Blog, January 14

We had our first Saturday night Gameday contest, with Connecticut hosting Louisville.
The atmosphere was electric in Gampel Pavilion, which is one of the best on-campus places to see a college game. It was a big one for both teams, seeking a quality win.
Louisville got the victory as Russ Smith came through big-time in the second half. The play that will be remembered most was a shot attempt by Niels Giffey of the Huskies. A replay showed he was clearly fouled, no call was made, and Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie went nuts. He was given two technicals and ejected.
I understand why Ollie was upset. The officials blew the call and compounded it by tossing him. Ollie was simply defending his players.
The bottom line is, Hall of Famer Rick Pitino got collegiate win number 680.