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DICK'S PICKS

 

2019 - 2020 Season

March 9, 2020

 

1-Kansas

2-Dayton

3-Gonzaga

4-Baylor

5-Florida St

6-San Diego State

7-BYU

8-Kentucky

9-Duke

10-Maryland

11-Oregon

12-Creighton

13-Louisville

14-Villanova

15-Virginia

16-Michigan State

17-Seton Hall

18-Auburn

19-Wisconsin

20-Ohio State

21-Stephen F. Austin

22-East Tennessee State

23-Illinois

24-Iowa

25-Richmond

November 4, 2019

One of the things that excites me about each new college basketball season is the arguments about the creme de la creme. Who is the best of the best?

There are always debates, like who is the preseason Player of the Year, the premiere diaper dandy, or the best conference in America?

I love these discussions and have strong opinions. It is never easy to do this and I’m sure fans of several conference will disagree with my choices.

Do you rank a conference based on the top teams? Do you go from top to bottom to determine strength? Do you evaluate the conference’s star power? It is a combination of factors which leads to great conversations, baby! Remember, this is a preseason evaluation. As the year goes on, we will get a true indication of how teams progress. There will be shocks, players coming from nowhere who become PTP’ers, prime time players.

In reality, the true evaluation of conferences come in the postseason. You take all the facts together and analyze the strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s have some fun as I give you my thoughts on the top 10 conference in America, with a breakdown of each one.

  1. ACC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Jordan Nwora, Louisville

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Cole Anthony, North Carolina

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Duke at North Carolina, Feb. 8

What I’m watching: This conference has four of the top 11 teams in the ACC preseason poll. Duke and North Carolina always get the spotlight, but keep an eye on a talented Louisville team. Chris Mack has done a great job rebuilding and this team is loaded and deep. You know a league is strong and deep when Syracuse is picked eighth in the league preseason poll.

  1. SEC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Kerry Blackshear, Florida

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Kentucky at Florida, Mar. 7

What I’m watching: With the addition of transfer Kerry Blackshear, Florida will challenge Kentucky in the SEC race. The ‘Cats have reloaded with Khalil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey. How will Tennessee fare without Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield? Auburn should be tough again with good size up front. Georgia will be improved under Tom Crean as diaper dandy Anthony Edwards shine. Mississippi has a pair of veteran stars and could compete as well.

  1. Big Ten

Vitale’s PTP’er: Cassius Winston, Michigan State

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Rocket Watts, Michigan State

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Michigan State at Maryland, Feb. 29

What I’m watching: While the Spartans are preseason #1, Maryland will be on Michigan State’s heels. Anthony Cowan will have a solid season. This league is deep with eight contenders for NCAA bids. Illinois will be much improved. Purdue will be solid despite losing Carsen Edwards. Wisconsin will be fine despite losing Ethan Happ. Penn State could break through with a lot of experience returning.

  1. Big 12

Vitale’s PTP’er: Uduoka Azubuike, Kansas

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Jahmius Ramsey, Texas Tech

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Kansas at Baylor, Feb. 22

What I’m watching: Texas Tech lost a lot of talent from last year’s Final Four team. Can they rebuild and contend again? Kansas fell from the top spot in the league standings and is hungry to return to the top. Azuibuike’s return, along with Devon Dotson makes them the favorites. Baylor will be tough with Tristan Clark returning from an injury-plagues season.

  1. Big East

Vitale’s PTP’er: Myles Powell, Seton Hall

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Villanova at Seton Hall, Mar. 4

What I’m watching: After earning just four NCAA bids last year, this league will be a lot stronger. While many have Seton Hall and Villanova battling for league supremacy, keep an eye on a dangerous Xavier team with Naji Marshall leading the way. Marquette returns Markus Howard, and Georgetown, Providence and Creighton can all make noise.

  1. AAC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Jarron Cumberlad, Cincinnati

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: James Wiseman, Memphis

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Memphis at Houston, Mar. 8

What I’m watching: Penny Hardaway’s young Memphis team has created a buzz with Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. Houston will be right up there with Quentin Grimes, the transfer from Kansas, declared eligible. Cincinnati will be in the mix under first-year coach John Brannen as Mick Cronin left for the UCLA job. South Florida has a lot of returning talent and could surprise.

  1. Pac-12

Vitale’s PTP’er: McKinley Wright, Colorado

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Nico Mannion, Arizona

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Oregon at Arizona, Feb. 22

What I’m watching: The league will bounce back. Arizona has reloaded with several diaper dandies, including starters Nico Mannion and Josh Green, plus transfers Max Hazzard and Jermarl Baker. Washington has top-flight diaper dandy Isaiah Stewart. Oregon has Peyton Pritchard back and will contend. All eyes will be on Mick Cronin at UCLA. USC added a pair of diaper dandies and could surprise.

  1. WCC

Vitale’s PTP’er: Jordan Ford, St. Mary's

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Anton Watson, Gonzaga

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Gonzaga at St, Mary’s, Feb. 8

What I’m watching: Once again, it is a two-team race between favorite Gonzaga and St. Mary’s. The Zags may be a little bit deeper, though Killian Tillie is already hurt again. This is a league with a lot of individual talent that does not get enough national respect. BYU’s Yoeli Childs is a star. Ford is an outstanding all-around players. Charles Minlend of San Francisco is worthy of praise. The Gaels and Zags battle for #1.

  1. A-10

Vitale’s PTP’er: Kellan Grady, Davidson

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: Jameer Nelson Jr., George Washington

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Davidson at VCU, Feb. 7

What I’m watching: Davidson and VCU are the favorites in the league. Both have experienced starters returning and that makes a difference. Kellan Grady should average 20 ppg. this season. A dangerous sleeper is Dayton, which returns forward Obi Toppin, last season’s A-10 Freshman of the Year.

  1. Mountain West

Vitale’s PTP’er: Sam Merrill, Utah State

Vitale’s Diaper Dandy: KJ Hymes, Nevada

Vitale’s Game to Circle: Utah State at San Diego State, Feb. 1

What I’m watching: Utah State is the clear-cut favorite and Craig Smith’s team could go to the Sweet 16. Sam Merrill is on numerous All-America lists and he can flat-out shoot the rock. San Diego State, Nevada, Boise State and Fresno State figure to be competitive but are probably shooting for second in the conference standings. Keep an eye on Steve Alford in his first season at Nevada.

Week of November 23rd, 2020

 

Each week I’ll write about the world of sports:

  • Looking at the 2020 NBA Draft, I like what these three teams did: my VBDI in a year where there was some good talent, but not automatic supers, I give A grades to the Knicks, Kings, Warriors and Hornets.
  • Two picks I love: Knicks getting Obi Toppin and Kings drafting Tyrese Halliburton.
  • Can’t believe the Bulls would not go for Obi Toppin as he is NBA ready. Patrick Williams has potential but Obi is ready NOW! Not a good move as Bulls will eat their heart out when they see the success of Toppin.
  • Enough Already. LaVar Ball always trying to steal the spotlight from his sons. Let it go, let LaMelo do his thing for the ⁦Hornets and stop the crazy talk about you vs. Michael the Magnificent. ⁦
  • Michigan fought hard and got a big win over Rutgers. It took three overtimes but the Maize and Blue prevailed in a wild affair.
  • The Steelers are 10-0 and Chase Claypool has been a major plus as a rookie. He joined a select group of rookies with at least 10 TD receptions in his first 10 career games.

Week of November 23rd, 2020

 

Up
Anthony Edwards was the NBA #1 pick.
Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum each signed a $195 million extension.
The Steelers moved to 10-0.
The Saints won their seventh straight.
The Titans beat the Ravens.
Danil Medvedev won the ATP Finals.
The Suns acquired Chris Paul.
Oklahoma City acquired Al Horford.
The Bucks acquired Jrue Holliday.
The Pistons added Jerami Grant, Jahlil Okafor, Miles Plumlee and Josh Jackson.
DeAaron Fox.got a five-year, $163 million extension from the Kings.
Gordon Hayward signed with the Hornets.
Fred VanVleet re-signed with Toronto, four years, 85 million.
Indiana QB Michael Penix threw for 491 yards and five TDs in a loss at Ohio State.
The Bearcats remained unbeaten, moving to 8-0.
Northwestern knocked off Wisconsin.
The Lakers signed Montrezl Harrell.
The Clippers acquired Luke Kennard.
The Sixers signed Dwight Howard.
The Hawks signed Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo.
Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson tan for 301 yards and four TDs.
The Braves signed pitcher Drew Smyly.
The Celtics signed Tristan Thompson.

Down
Robinson Cano was suspended for the 2021 season for PED use.
Klay Thompson suffered a torn Achilles.
The Lions were shutout by the Panthers.
Joe Burrow was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
The Dolphins lost in Denver.
Auburn basketball self-imposed a penalty leaving them out of 2021 postseason.
Cubs executive Theo Epstein stepped down.
Penn State fell to 0-5.
Wisconsin was held to seven points in a loss to Northwestern.
The Rays designated Hunter Renfroe for assignment.
Kansas State lost 45-0 to Iowa State.
California lost to Oregon State.
Vanderbilt remained winless.

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