Bob Knight Adds Weekly Thursday Game, College GameDay and More to ESPN Role
ESPNís Menís College Basketball Coverage Includes Return of Dick Vitale for 30th Season Plus Other Top Commentators
Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Knight, who joined ESPN last year as a menís college basketball studio analyst on the networkís Championship Week and NCAA Tournament coverage, will expand his role with ESPN for the 2008-09 season. As part of his additional duties, Knight will work weekly Thursday night and select non-conference game telecasts, be an on-site College GameDay Driven by State Farm analyst, provide analysis on SportsCenter, be a special guest on ESPN Radio shows and more. He will continue to provide post-season studio analysis.
His first appearance will be on a special edition of College GameDay from Chapel Hill, N.C. November 18 at 8 p.m. ET, site of that nightís Kentucky at #1 North Carolina telecast on ESPN at 9 p.m. His first game telecasts will feature a 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer semifinal and third place matchup from New York City November 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, on ESPN2. With the new role, Knight will:
* Work a weekly Thursday night game telecast involving various conferences with announcer Brent Musburger beginning January 15 and select non-conference matchups on other nights with commentator Dan Shulman.
* Serve as an on-site analyst on the 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. editions of the eight weekly College GameDay sites, ESPNís weekly college basketball road show originating from the site of the Saturday Primetime telecast. Rece Davis will return to host with returning analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Hubert Davis and reporter Andy Katz. Dick Vitale, analyst on the Saturday Primetime game, will continue to contribute on the 8 p.m. show.
* Serve as an on-site pre-game, half-time and between game analyst for the Menís Jimmy V Basketball Classic doubleheader at Madison Square Garden in New York City December 9.
* Be a weekly special guest on ESPN Radioís Mike & Mike in the Morning or Tirico & Van Pelt shows beginning in December.
* Will appear live on SportsCenter once a week from January to February.
In addition to Knight, ESPNís 30th season of menís college basketball coverage will feature the return of top commentators, including Dick Vitale, a member of the 2008 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, entering his 30th season as a game and studio analyst with the network. Vitale worked his first game for ESPN on December 5, 1979 featuring Wisconsin at DePaul, a 90-77 DePaul victory.
Vitale will continue to work ESPNís game-of-the-week Saturday Primetime series (weekly at 9 p.m. beginning January 17) and select top games with Dan Shulman. Reporter Erin Andrews will work Saturday Primetime while Doris Burke will report from the top games. Vitale will also call select Wednesday Night Hoops Presented by Disney Parks ACC games with Mike Patrick, who has been with ESPN since 1982, and reporter Stacey Dales. Additional highlights include:
* Analyst Jay Bilas will call a game on most Wednesday nights during conference play while continuing to work Big Monday Presented by Bud Light BIG EAST games with Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery, a network analyst since 1980, and top non-conference telecasts on various days. In addition to College GameDay, Bilas will continue to make select studio appearances.
* In addition to working the sidelines on top games, Doris Burke, who recently expanded her basketball responsibilities by becoming the sideline reporter on ABCís lead NBA game assignments, will return to work as a game analyst on ESPN Big Ten and BIG EAST telecasts as well as on womenís college basketball coverage.
* In addition to her sideline reporter role, Stacey Dales will return as a studio analyst during ESPNís Big Monday doubleheader.
* Jay Williams, an analyst with ESPN from 2004-06, will return to the network after a professional basketball comeback to work select game telecasts and in the studio.
* Adrian Branch, who offered analysis on ESPNUís studio shows last year, will add ESPN games and studio work to his ESPNU role.
* Additional returning commentator pairings include: Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe (Big 12); Musburger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews (Big Ten); Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Jeannine Edwards (SEC); Terry Gannon and Stephen Bardo (Big 12); Bob Wischusen and Adrian Branch (West Coast); Dave OíBrien and Doris Burke (various); and Jon Sciambi and Hubert Davis (Atlantic 10). Analyst Len Elmore, entering his 23rd season as an analyst, will work with Mike Patrick and Dave Pasch on various conferences.
* ESPNU will field a team of commentators to call the 24-hour college sports networkís more than 200 games and extensive studio coverage. Commentator pairings include Dan McLaughlin and Mike Kelley; and Clay Matvick and Dickey Simpkins. Primary play-by-play announcers include Dave Armstrong, Jim Barbar, Quint Kessenich, Steve Physioc and Dave Ryan. Analysts will be Krista Blunk, Bob Wenzel, Mark Adams, Jay Williams, Fran Fraschilla and Miles Simon.
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