Frank Burlison Chat Wrap - Part 2

On Sunday, August 21st, Scout.com's Frank Burlison visited with the DePaul fans at WeAreDePaul.com to talk some college hoops. Burlison, elected to the USBWA Hall of Fame in April, is Scout.com's National Basketball Expert and also covers basketball for the Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram. Below is Part 2 of that chat…

WeAreDePaul.com: So, in your opinion, where do Wainwright's teams tend to be weakest?

Frank_Burlison: They haven't had great "big men" but that might have more to do with the ability to recruit at Wilmington and Richmond, etc. Recruiting at DePaul, in Big East, will be a lot easier; a wider variety of prospects to choose from, etc.

W: Who do you think is stronger right now, DePaul or Illinois? Who has the better long-term (3-5 years) prospects?

Frank_Burlison: Illinois will be a big surprise, nationally, this season. If D. Brown is healthy, focused, playing smart and not trying to do TOO much. Augustine will be solid, as will M. Arnold (Ill State transfer). Plus Randle, McBride, etc. Brock will be good, too. And Weber is a solid coach. I saw his teams at Southern Illinois to realize that. They will be fine. D. Brown will HAVE to learn to be a TRUE PG. He has always been a shoot-first undersized 2-guard.

W: Who is your sleeper team?

Frank_Burlison: Here's a national sleeper team for you guys to check out ... IOWA. I wouldn't be shocked if Hawkeyes get to Final Four. Brunner, Horner, Haluska, Hansen, Henderson, Thomas. All very good and Alford is a good coach.

W: Iowa? Frank, do you believe in Steve Alford's coaching ability that much?

Frank_Burlison: Yes ....another guy who proved he could coach elsewhere (SW Mo State). People were saying the same thing a year ago this time when I picked Illinois No. 1 for Lindy's Magazine

W: What do you think about Cully Payne's commitment to DePaul as part of the Class of 2009?

Frank_Burlison: Haven't seen Payne.

W: Who are the best HS prospects for the class of '06, and for Illinois specifically?

Frank_Burlison: I gotta think, in state, Sherron Collins for Illinois. In my mind, he is a little erratic. But, he is very talented/quick and Illinois will have gaping hole at PG with D. Brown leaving.

W: How about Jon Scheyer?

Frank_Burlison: Am I screwy, or is Scheyer overrated? Scheyer STRUGGLED at USA BB in San Diego. He couldn't get a shot off if he wasn't WIDE OPEN. I'm sure he will do fine in the Duke system, but he is NOT nearly as good as Reddick was at same time.

W: Speaking of the Dookies, how do they look this year?

Frank_Burlison: I think Duke should be an easy choice for No. 1. McRoberts would have been Top 10 pick if he had gone pro.

W: Number 2? Number 3?

Frank_Burlison: Michigan State. Gonzaga.

W: Is there a better coach than Coach K?

Frank_Burlison: He's solid. But I've seen enough American Express ads to last me a lifetime.

W: How about Calipari at Memphis?

Frank_Burlison: Anyone else think Memphis has been overhyped/under-achieved under Calipari? With Preseason NIT, Coaches vs. Cancer and Post-season NIT, I think Memphis plays in MSG more often than do the Knicks. Some of those guys (Stoudemire, Woods, etc.) were NEVER going to Memphis.

W: How will the SEC teams fare this season?

Frank_Burlison: SEC will be WAY down this season. Alabama has by far most talent in the SEC. Kentucky will be overrated, even if Randolph Morris is back.

W: What do you think of Prep Schools? Good or bad? We have our first one in Chicago.

Frank_Burlison: I'm very suspicious of most of them. Seems like diploma/grade "mills" to me, in some cases. Another thing I can do without: rating prep school guys with true HS players. I saw some guys at the Bigtime tourney in Vegas last month that I swear had to be 20 or 21.

W: Would you have taken Morris back if you were Tubby Smith?

Frank_Burlison: I would have made he and his family jump through a lot of hoops to come back, that's for sure. They definitely punked Smith/Kentucky in the whole process. Faxing them a letter to let them know? Absurd.

W: How will Tubby make out this season?

Frank_Burlison: Very good coach. But his talent level isn't NEARLY as good as it was under Pitino. Even Pitino now (Palacios, and Padgett) has better pro prospects than UK. Kentucky should get better players than Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, etc.

W: How about Bill Self?

Frank_Burlison: I can't understand Kansas taking B. Rush, if they do. He's a wing and they already have: Wright (very good!)/Downs/Stewart, etc. Rush: all right-handed, no jump shot/doesn't play real hard all the time. The guy is already 20, right?

W: How does the draft look for next year?

Frank_Burlison: This will be the WORST draft (2006) in history. Even Rudy Gay didn't help his stock this summer. Six or seven HS guys would have been lottery if HS guys could go. Oden, Hawes, both Lopezes, B. Wright, etc, K. Durant.

W: What is the deal with Villanueva going so high in this year's draft?

Frank_Burlison: Shocker, but is tall 6-9 plus. He has some skill, can shoot it some. A lot of guys scared off teams because of injuries, etc. Granger (knee), Turiaf (heart), etc.

W: How about the Blue Demons?

Frank_Burlison: Chandler and Woods are good; Liked them in HS; they can score. In HS, Mejia reminded me of Brian Shaw; remember him? Big point guard; knows how to play, etc.

W: Thanks for coming to talk with us.

Frank_Burlison: Feel free, anyone, to email me if you have any questions or if I can be of help! frank.burlison@presstelegram.com Thanks, guys!

W: Take care Frank.

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