The “What, Who, Where, When & Why” of ESPN’s 2013-14 Men’s College Basketball Commentator Assignments

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The “What, Who, Where, When & Why” of ESPN’s 2013-14 Men’s College Basketball Commentator Assignments

“Five W’s” of ESPN’s Extensive Game and Studio Coverage

ESPN’s 2013-14 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,500 games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3 – will showcase a deep roster of experienced commentators. Below are the five “W’s” of ESPN’s commentator lineup:

What: ESPN will provide fans with live coverage of at least one game every day but three from November 8 to March 16 (December 24 and 26, and January 3). The wealth of experience covering games on ESPN networks include former Division I coaches and NBA, WNBA and collegiate players, along with versatile and veteran play-by-play voices.


  • Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale enters his 35th season calling games for ESPN and will be paired with Dan Shulman. During conference play, Vitale, Shulman and reporter Shannon Spake will work the Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV game that host’s that day’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm.
  • Jay Bilas will work his 19th college basketball season for the network and continues to be a fixture on ESPN’s Big Monday ACC package with play-by-play veteran Sean McDonough. Reporter Jeannine Edwards will join the duo this season. The trio of Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe return to work the second half of the Big Monday doubleheader featuring Big 12 programs.
  • The ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series will again be called by Carter Blackburn, Jay Williams and Allison Williams. Additional ACC games will be covered by Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke (Saturday) as well as Bob Wischusen and LaPhonso Ellis (Wednesday).
  • Mike Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators and the voice of Monday Night Football, pairs again with analyst Dan Dakich and reporter Samantha Ponder for the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday game. Dakich will also call a Saturday Big Ten contest with Wischusen.
  • The duo of Joe Tessitore and Sean Farnham will again work the Big Ten Thursday Night Showcase game.
  • The SEC weekly telecast, part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday series, will see the return of Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Spake to the booth. Dykes and Mark Jones will return to call the Saturday SEC window, while Rece Davis and Bob Knight will pair up for the Thursday SEC telecast.
  • Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton will again have the call of Pac-12 games on Wednesday and Thursday nights with Dave Pasch.
  • Several analysts return to ESPN and ESPN’s studio coverage – with a consistent presence from Seth Greenberg, Andy Katz, Bruce Pearl and Jay Williams.
  • For the 10th year, Davis will serve as host for College GameDay. He will be joined by Bilas, Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose to preview all the day’s action and discuss the biggest storylines in college basketball.

Where: Announcers across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3 will call games at arenas involving 276 teams from 31 Division I conferences.

When: Non-conference coverage gets underway with more than 375 contests beginning Friday, Nov. 8, with a full slate of games including the Armed Forces Classic pitting Oregon vs. Georgetown from United States Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Commentators can also be seen during ESPN’s popular weekly series’ beginning in January – Big Monday, Super Tuesday, Wednesday Night Hoops, Thursday Night Showcase Presented by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, College GameDay Covered by State Farm, Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV and ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball – plus a full slate of games throughout the season.

Why: “Our goal is to give fans the best seat in the house by ‘bringing the viewer to the venue’ through comprehensive coverage that is accurate, innovative, unique and memorable,” said Jay Levy, ESPN senior coordinating producer. “Our production crews and announcers have a passion for college basketball that is matched by their overall knowledge of the game and credibility in the sport.”

Game Coverage
Big Monday

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN ACC Sean McDonough Jay Bilas Jeannine Edwards
ESPN Big 12 Brent Musburger Fran Fraschilla Holly Rowe

Super Tuesday

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN Big Ten Mike Tirico Dan Dakich Samantha Ponder
ESPN SEC Brad Nessler Jimmy Dykes Shannon Spake
ESPN2 Big 12 Dave Flemming Miles Simon
ESPNU ACC Tom Hart Len Elmore
ESPNU SEC Joe Davis Dino Gaudio

Wednesday Night Hoops

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPN2 ACC Bob Wischusen LaPhonso Ellis
ESPN2 Pac-12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton
ESPNU American Jason Benetti Tim Welsh
ESPNU Big 12 Clay Matvick Darrin Horn
ESPNU Pac-12 Beth Mowins Jon Crispin

Thursday Night Showcase Presented by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups                         

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPN or ESPN2 Big Ten Joe Tessitore Sean Farnham
ESPN or ESPN2 SEC Rece Davis Bob Knight
ESPN or ESPN2 Pac-12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton
ESPN or ESPN2 American Mike Patrick/Dave O’Brien Various analysts
ESPNU West Coast Roxy Bernstein Jarron Collins/Corey Williams


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPNU MAAC Doug Sherman Tim McCormick
ESPNU Horizon Jim Barbar Malcolm Huckaby


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporters
ESPN Saturday Primetime Dan Shulman Dick Vitale Shannon Spake
ESPN Big Ten Bob Wischusen Dan Dakich
ESPN Big 12 Jon Sciambi Fran Fraschilla
ESPN ACC Dave O’Brien Doris Burke
ESPN SEC Mark Jones Jimmy Dykes
ESPN/ESPN2 American Mike Patrick Len Elmore
ESPN2 Atlantic 10 TBD TBD
ESPN2 West Coast Beth Mowins Kara Lawson
ESPN2 MVC Rich Hollenberg Mark Adams
ESPNU American Adam Amin Brooke Weisbrod
ESPNU SEC Tom Hart Jon Sundvold
ESPNU Big 12 Anish Shroff Tim Welsh


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPNU ACC Carter Blackburn Jay Williams Allison Williams
ESPNU Pac-12 Roxy Bernstein Corey Williams

ESPN Regional Television (ERT)
In addition, ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate games from the SEC and Big 12:

SEC TV Play-by-Play Analysts
Wednesday and Saturday Dave Baker, Dave Lamont, Clay Matvick, Mike Morgan or Dave Neal Barry Booker, Joe Dean, Daymeon Fishback, Kyle Macy or Jon Sundvold
Big 12 Network Play-by-Play Analysts
Saturday and select weekdays Dave Armstrong, Doug Bell, Mitch Holthus or Brad Sham Reid Gettys, Stephen Howard, Bryndon Manzer or Chris Piper

Studio Coverage
In additional to Greenberg, Katz, Pearl and Williams, Dan Dakich, Jimmy Dykes, Laphonso Ellis, Sean Farnham, Fran Fraschilla, Kara Lawson and Miles Simon will all see time during ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.

ESPNU will rotate its studio coverage between analysts Dino Gaudio and Adrian Branch, along with hosts Dari Nowkhah, Matt Schick and Anish Shroff.

Hosts Zubin Mehenti and Chris Hassel will rotate in with analyst Tim McCormick (Saturday) and reporter Jeff Goodman (Wednesday) to anchor the ESPN Buzzer Beater network – which offers live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon ET to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., beginning Wednesday, Jan. 8.

College GameDay Driven by State Farm
The 10th season of ESPN’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm, the eight-week Saturday morning and evening college basketball program originating from the site of ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecast, will return on Saturday, Jan. 18, with a special split-site show: Temple vs. LaSalle from the historic Palestra in Philadelphia and Louisville at Connecticut from Storrs. The first hour begins at 10 a.m. ET on ESPNU, continuing at 11 a.m. on ESPN with a one-hour evening edition leading into the Saturday Primetime game-of-the-week on ESPN.



Rachel Margolis Siegal

A part of the Internal Communications team at ESPN, I began with the network in 2010 as part of the College Sports PR team. Always an avid sports fan and not an athlete – I grew up a huge fan of the Hartford Whalers, while also watching my brother compete at different levels. I became the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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