Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 

Microphone Fiends

I've seen a lot of College Basketball this year and so I've decided to give out some Announcing awards...

Best play by play man

Ron Franklin
A lot of people dont see Franklin but he is a solid play by play guy. No shtick from Franklin and he calls the game as it is. He lets his analyst (Fran Fraschilla) speak and he also provides strong analysis himself.
Honorable Mention- Dan Schulman, I was going to give this to Schulman until he contacted Len Elmore disease, which is making excuses for a player, by saying Carl Krasuer's mouth was hurting him a week after it happened..I guess they didnt see the SU-Pitt game.

Worst play by play man
Brent Musburger
Its time for Brent to give it up. He barely knows the players names and he has totally lost contact with the college game. His calls are late and he talks more about the coaches than the game going on. Brent wins this in a runaway.

Best Color Analyst
(tie) Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery
The best thing ESPN has done for college basketball is put these two guys together. They are both knowledgeable and very unbiased. Bilas provides the player point of view and Raftery provides the coach angle. It is a joy to listen to these two call a game. Raftery on his own is very good also.

Worst Color Analyst
Rick Majerus
I like Majerus' one liners but he is atrocious. The points he makes take way to long to get out and he ends up describing a play that happened 2 plays ago. Also he sounds muffled. Very Bad. I guess ESPN must have run out of announcers this year.

Best Studio host
Dave Revsine, ESPN
Rece Davis does a great job, but no one knows college sports like Dave Revsine. He is so in tune with the college game that he understands the nuances of the college athlete. He provides very good highlight description and sets up his analysts nicely. The best show for college basketball is the one he hosts with Doug Gottleib and Andy Katz. They get along and Revsine makes sure to punctuate points.

Worst Studio Host
Terry Gannon, ABC
Man he is awful. I never liked Gannon on anything, but he knows nothing about college basketball. I dont even know why he's in there. He doesnt know half the players names and I'm not sure he understands basketball.

Best Studio Analyst
Doug Gottleib
I know, I know. I killed Gottleib earlier in the year for his ridiculous comments on the Big East, but he has grown on me this year. He's not afraid to make the controversial point or take his fellow analysts to task. When Andy Katz said Virginia Tech could be in the tournament after beating Duke, he looked shocked and argued with Katz right there. I like how Gottleib has gotten better during the year. Right now he makes his points and has facts to back them up.

Worst Studio Analyst
Mike Jarvis
This just goes to show me that former players make better analysts than former coaches. Jarvis makes bland arguments and never goes out on a ledge. He's very safe and just usually agrees with the studio host. For example..."Don't you think Syracuse has a chance to win the tournament?" Jarvis- "Of Course..blah blah blah"

Best Unknown Announcer
Jim Spanarkel
Many people outside of the Big East have never heard of Spanarkel but he is a solid analyst. He makes great concise points and backs them up. He understands the way the teams playa and does not go crazy on the hyperbole. He's gotten lost in the shuffle on CBS but hopefully he does some tourney games this year.

Most Disappointing Announcer
Len Elmore
I saw Elmore at the Baltimore ESPN Zone before the season and was going to compliment him on his great work with ESPN, but I'm glad I didnt. Elmore has been very bad this year. He takes one angle on the game and runs with it. In the Va Tech/Duke game he ran with Duke's guards. In the SU/BC game he ran with BC getting jobbed by the officials. In the Pitt/Nova game he made excuses for Carl Krauser, saying his mouth was hurting him a week after he had teeth knocked loose. I thought Elmore was on the way up, but he took a step back this season.
Comments:
ESPN really missed the boat by downsizing (entirely?) Jon Sundvold's play-by-play role this season.

Agree with you across the board ---- though I'd have added Mike Patrick alongside Musburger regarding their past due expiration dates.
 
Not bad in your assessments, but note that Terry Gannon does indeed know college basketball. He won an NCAA title as a player with NC State in 1983, and had a reputation as an outside shooting specialist.
 
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