Vitale Returns for 32nd Season; Dakich, Farnham & Whittenburg join; Lawson Adds Game Analysis Role
ESPN’s 2010-11 men’s college basketball game and studio coverage – the most extensive in network history featuring more than 1,200 games — will feature the deepest roster of commentators in familiar and new roles, highlighted by the return of two Basketball Hall of Famers and the addition of several analysts.
- Dick Vitale, in his 32nd season with ESPN, will continue to call top games from various conferences, including an ACC game on Wednesday nights, the weekly Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV series and will provide postseason studio analysis. He will primarily work with play-by-play voice Dan Shulman. Erin Andrews will return as the sideline reporter with Shulman and Vitale on Saturday Primetime telecasts and provide reports for College GameDay Driven by State Farm.
- Bob Knight, who joined ESPN in 2008 for Championship Week and postseason studio analysis, will return to work the weekly Big Monday Big 12 game with Brent Musburger and reporter Holly Rowe as well as various non-conference games throughout the season. He will continue to appear weekly on College GameDay Driven by State Farm, including on-site on select weeks, and provide postseason studio analysis.
- Veteran analyst Jay Bilas, who joined ESPN in 1995, will return to work ESPN’s Big Monday BIG EAST telecasts with Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery (who started with ESPN in 1980), top games across various days and the weekly College GameDay Driven by State Farm.
- Rece Davis will return to host College GameDay – expanded to include an extra hour of analysis, news and features every Saturday beginning January 15 – with analysts Digger Phelps, Bilas and Hubert Davis. Knight will return to provide analysis at select sites. ESPNU will air the new first hour at 10 a.m., while ESPN will continue to televise the program at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- This year’s coverage will feature the addition of three analysts:
- Dan Dakich, former standout player under Bob Knight at Indiana and veteran coach with Indiana and Bowling Green, will join ESPN as a game and studio analyst. He will primarily work Big Ten contests Tuesdays and Saturdays with commentator Dave O’Brien.
- Former UCLA star Sean Farnham will join ESPN as a game analyst with commentator Dave Flemming, who also joins ESPN this year. They will primarily work telecasts involving West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference teams. Farnham will also work a Saturday ESPNU Big 12 telecast with Dan McLaughlin and provide studio analysis.
- Dereck Whittenburg, former Fordham coach and member of the 1983 N.C. State NCAA Championship team, will join as a game and studio analyst. He will primarily work ESPNU telecasts involving the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Fridays with Doug Sherman.
- Former Tennessee star Kara Lawson will add men’s game coverage to her role as a women’s college basketball studio analyst. She will primarily work Wednesday 9 p.m. games on ESPNU with Dan McLaughlin. In addition, Beth Mowins will work play-by-play on men’s games throughout the season, including a regular BIG EAST game with Mike Kelley Saturdays on ESPNU.
Additional highlights include:
- ESPN’s Super Tuesday SEC telecasts will feature the return of Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes. Rece Davis and Mark Gottfried will work select Thursday SEC telecasts.
- Doris Burke will once again work as a game analyst on ESPN’s Thursday Night Showcase BIG EAST telecasts with Dave Pasch and they will also call the action on Saturday BIG EAST matchups.
- For the second straight season, Fran Fraschilla will call a weekly Wednesday BIG EAST game with veteran commentator and studio host John Saunders. Fraschilla will also call Saturday Big 12 contests with Ron Franklin, who will work Wednesday night Big 12 telecasts with Hubert Davis or Bill Raftery.
- LaPhonso Ellis, a member of the Notre Dame All-Century Basketball Team, will return as a game and studio analyst, primarily working a weekly ESPNU Wednesday telecast at 7 p.m. with Carter Blackburn.
- Analyst Miles Simon, who worked in the studio and called select games last year, will add a weekly ESPNU telecast involving teams from the West Coast Conference, Western Athletic Conference and Big West Conference with Todd Harris or Mark Neely.
- ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz will return to provide reports across ESPN platforms throughout the season, including pre-game, halftime and post-game segments.
Commentators appearing in regular weekly ESPN and ESPN2 time slots — Big Monday, Super Tuesday, Wednesday Night Hoops and Thursday Night Showcase– plus Saturdays throughout the season (conference assignments can vary):
|Jan. 15 – March 5||Dan Shulman||Dick Vitale||Erin Andrews|
|Select Games||Dan Shulman||Dick Vitale|
|BIG EAST||Sean McDonough||Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery|
|Big 12||Brent Musburger||Bob Knight||Holly Rowe|
|Big Ten||Dave O’Brien or Brent Musburger||Dan Dakich|
|SEC||Brad Nessler||Jimmy Dykes|
|Various Conferences (ESPN2)||Jon Sciambi||Doug Gottlieb|
|Wednesday Night Hoops||Play-by-play||Analyst||Reporter|
|ACC||Mike Patrick or Dan Shulman||Dick Vitale or Jay Bilas or Len Elmore||Jeannine Edwards|
|BIG EAST||John Saunders||Fran Fraschilla|
|Big 12||Ron Franklin||Hubert Davis or Bill Raftery|
|WAC||Dave Flemming||Sean Farnham|
|Thursday Night Showcase||Play-by-play||Analyst|
|BIG EAST||Dave Pasch or Beth Mowins||Doris Burke or Len Elmore or Mike Kelley|
|Big Ten||Bob Wischusen||Stephen Bardo|
|West Coast||Dave Flemming||Sean Farnham|
|SEC||Rece Davis or Brad Nessler||Mark Gottfried|
|BIG EAST||Dave Pasch||Doris Burke|
|Big Ten||Dave O’Brien||Dan Dakich|
|Big 12||Ron Franklin||Fran Fraschilla|
|Atlantic 10||Jon Sciambi||LaPhonso Ellis|
|ACC||Mike Patrick||Len Elmore|
|SEC||Brad Nessler||Jimmy Dykes|
|Conference USA||Bob Wischusen||Stephen Bardo|
In addition to regular assignments on ESPN and ESPN2, ESPNU will field announcer pairings on select days and conferences, including:
|At 7 p.m. – ACC, BIG EAST, SEC||Carter Blackburn||LaPhonso Ellis|
|At 9 p.m. – Big 12, ACC, BIG EAST, MVC||Dan McLaughlin||Kara Lawson|
|BIG EAST||Beth Mowins||Mike Kelley|
|Big 12||Dan McLaughlin||Sean Farnham|
|ESPNU West Coast||Play-by-play||Analyst|
|West Coast, Big West or WAC||Todd Harris or Mark Neely||Miles Simon|
|Tuesday||Rob Stone||Jay Williams|
|Friday||Doug Sherman||Dereck Whittenburg|
|ESPNU Missouri Valley Conference||Play-by-play||Analyst|
|Sundays||Dan McLaughlin||Mac McCausland|
|Wednesday and Saturday||Carter Blackburn or Clay Matvick||Mark Gottfried or Joe Dean, Jr.|
|Big 12 Network||Play-by-play||Analyst|
|Saturday and select weekdays||Dave Armstrong or Mitch Holthus||Reid Gettys, Jon Sunvold or Stephen Howard|
|BIG EAST Network||Play-by-play||Analyst|
|Saturday||Mike Gleason or Eamon McAnaney||Bob Wenzel|
ESPN and ESPN2 Studio Shows
ESPN and ESPN2’s studio programs and segments will feature Rece Davis as the primary host with Karl Ravech, John Saunders and Dari Nowkhah rotating duties.
|Big Monday||Digger Phelps and Hubert Davis|
|Super Tuesday||Stephen Bardo and Fran Fraschilla|
|Wednesday Night Hoops||Jay Williams and Jimmy Dykes|
|Thursday Night Showcase||Dan Dakich and LaPhonso Ellis|
|Saturday College GameDay||Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Bob Knight|
|Saturday||Doug Gottlieb, Adrian Branch, Jay Williams and Andy Katz|
|ESPNU||Lowell Galindo||Adrian Branch|
ESPN’s 2010-11 men’s college basketball coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN3.com, ESPN Regional Television and ESPN FULL COURT will feature a network record 1,200 games.
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