Dick Vitale, the quintessential voice of college basketball for over 40 years, began treatment for lymphoma last week. This comes just a couple of months after the excitable sideline personality fought melanoma that was discovered in August.
Thoughts to Dickie V
The 82 year old Vitale is a staple for every college basketball fan. Regardless of your feelings towards the man in terms of his defense of Rick Pitino or relentless love for Duke basketball, no one person has done more to promote the sport over the last half century. In fact, in the 90’s, many would be disappointed when Vitale wasn’t providing commentary on their game of choice.
Personally, I grew up on Vitale calling games for the Atlantic Coast Conference with Mike Patrick, Dan Shulman and Brad Nessler. Those could be considered the glory days of college basketball commentary. That was before we had hippies talking about everything except the game or lawyers exuding arrogance sitting in the color chair.
Vitale has pared down his schedule in recent seasons and while he may not be the shiny object he once was, he is still the gentleman of college basketball and in 2021, we need more men like him.
Get well soon, Dickie V!
Syracuse Adds Talent in Bunches
Coach Jim Boeheim is having a nice October on the recruiting trail, landing four-star wing Chris Bunch to his 2022 recruiting class last week. Bunch is the #72 ranked player in the nation and the second commit for Syracuse this month.
Maliq Brown, a power forward out of Virginia, also committed to play for Boeheim during the early period. Brown, the #226 player in the 2022 rankings, and Bunch bring the recruiting class to five total players set to join the program for the 2022-23 season.
Kansas Lands Big Man of the Future
The Kansas Jayhawks landed front court stud Ernest Udeh Jr. this week. The four-star big is ranked as the 29th best player in the 2022 after a tremendous junior season.
Udeh is a 6’9 slab of granite was being recruited by the likes of Stetson and Florida Atlantic just over a year ago before the Florida Gators jumped into the mix in early October of 2020. Udeh was not offered by another power six school until the middle of May of this year.
Kansas officially offered Udeh in June of this year and hosted him for an official visit on October 8th. He committed less than two weeks later and is the likely replacement for David McCormack who is entering his fourth season with the Jayhawks.
Xavier Star in a Walking Boot/on Crutches
It was reported early last week that Xavier Musketeers star forward Zach Freemantle was in a walking boot following a foot injury. Early reports quoted Xavier head coach Travis Steele saying that Freemantle is considered “week to week.”
Later in the week, it was reported that Freemantle was no longer just in a walking boot but also on crutches. The expectation is now that the 6’9 forward will return around the start of league play on December 21st when the Musketeers travel to Philly to take on Villanova.
Freemantle led Xavier in scoring, rebounding and blocks last season as a sophomore, earning an All-Big East selection. Following a 13-8 campaign last season, Xavier has high expectations heading into the 2021-22 season and the sooner Freemantle gets back on the court, the more likely it is that those expectations are met.