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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I actually thought his response to his partner's question about what Paolo should look to specifically improve upon was incredibly insightful. He said "all guys want to improve in all facets of the game." 🤦 Bahaha.

    While I find his commentary inane at times, I'll be honest that he doesn't bother me all that much. I largely ignore. I found Len Elmore much worse. Or even Jay Bilas really.

    CA doesn't really add much to the game for me, but also doesn't totally grate me. Maybe I'm alone in this thought...
    CA's a happy guy who likes basketball. Although he talks too much, better him than some curmudgeon who doesn't recognize this is a G-A-M-E.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I actually thought his response to his partner's question about what Paolo should look to specifically improve upon was incredibly insightful. He said "all guys want to improve in all facets of the game." 🤦 Bahaha.

    While I find his commentary inane at times, I'll be honest that he doesn't bother me all that much. I largely ignore. I found Len Elmore much worse. Or even Jay Bilas really.

    CA doesn't really add much to the game for me, but also doesn't totally grate me. Maybe I'm alone in this thought...
    I'm fine with CA. He's just kind of there...and that's what I want from an announcer. He played in the ACC, was pretty good and gives first hand accounts. I can understand if people want to hear less of that and if he needs to make sure his tangent is relevant to the game but I just don't find him bothersome.

    Mostly I'm always happy when Jay Bilas isn't doing the game.

    I hope Dickie V beats cancer's arse and is back on the air soon (yes I know he's annoying but he so positive and genuine).

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Cabbagetown, Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    The thing that bugs me about Bilas is that he has certain phrases and ideas that he repeats game after game after game. How often do we have to hear, "The best three pointer is after an offensive rebound."

    The worst is "SPECTACULAR!" which he uses multiple times a game because he sees this as his tagline, similar to Marv Albert's "YESSSSS!" To me, it's spectacularly grating and self serving in a "look at me" sort of way, as if one day he plans to write a book entitled "I'm Spectacular!"
    Yes, Bilas has been trying for years to get "Rip and go" to catch on. The phrase describes a player who can "rip" down a rebound and then "go" e.g. dribble down court, in transition.

    It's a stupid phrase and I believe Bilas may have finally, thankfully, given up on this one.
    Hard at work making beautiful things.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    I'm fine with CA. He's just kind of there...and that's what I want from an announcer. He played in the ACC, was pretty good and gives first hand accounts. I can understand if people want to hear less of that and if he needs to make sure his tangent is relevant to the game but I just don't find him bothersome.

    Mostly I'm always happy when Jay Bilas isn't doing the game.

    I hope Dickie V beats cancer's arse and is back on the air soon (yes I know he's annoying but he so positive and genuine).
    Folks may or may not like his style or his humor (I actually do) but Bilas watches and analyzes THE GAME. I defy anyone to mention one insightful thing Alexander said last night about the game we were watching. One bit of analysis that wasn't completely obvious such that any casual basketball observer could've said the exact same thing. He added absolutely nothing to the broadcast. He just has diarrhea of the mouth, with nothing funny, interesting, or insightful to say. Just boring stories about himself. Hard to believe ESPN can't find guys better than he is to do this job.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    I'm fine with CA. He's just kind of there...and that's what I want from an announcer. He played in the ACC, was pretty good and gives first hand accounts. I can understand if people want to hear less of that and if he needs to make sure his tangent is relevant to the game but I just don't find him bothersome.

    Mostly I'm always happy when Jay Bilas isn't doing the game.

    I hope Dickie V beats cancer's arse and is back on the air soon (yes I know he's annoying but he so positive and genuine).
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Folks may or may not like his style or his humor (I actually do) but Bilas watches and analyzes THE GAME. I defy anyone to mention one insightful thing Alexander said last night about the game we were watching. One bit of analysis that wasn't completely obvious such that any casual basketball observer could've said the exact same thing. He added absolutely nothing to the broadcast. He just has diarrhea of the mouth, with nothing funny, interesting, or insightful to say. Just boring stories about himself. Hard to believe ESPN can't find guys better than he is to do this job.
    Read the bolded part above. I don't need CA to add anything to the game. A good game by an announcer is one where I don't really realize who they are or much of what they are saying. I can understand not being pro-CA but your take is way too harsh IMHO.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Folks may or may not like his style or his humor (I actually do) but Bilas watches and analyzes THE GAME. I defy anyone to mention one insightful thing Alexander said last night about the game we were watching. One bit of analysis that wasn't completely obvious such that any casual basketball observer could've said the exact same thing. He added absolutely nothing to the broadcast. He just has diarrhea of the mouth, with nothing funny, interesting, or insightful to say. Just boring stories about himself. Hard to believe ESPN can't find guys better than he is to do this job.
    I don't have a strong opinion about Alexander one way or the other, but I don't really think Bilas adds anything insightful to the game either. He did at one time, but now he's basically just a cliche machine (ironically, falling prey to the same things he used to rail against, like saying stuff like "there's nobody better in the country at ...") and a guy who gushes excessively over a routine play two or three times a game.

    I think it's a really hard job to do, and made harder by how many games of different teams these guys have to cover. It's just really hard to be able to carry on a conversation with the play-by-play guy and sound insightful about the teams at hand when you're dealing with SO many different teams and with less time to prep between games. Bilas used to try hard, and he used to be very good. But as he's gotten more seniority and thus more air time, he's gotten more generic like they all do.

    Alexander's approach appears to focus on adding the color to the game: more backstories/anecdotes than analysis. And I agree that's not for everyone. But I find the degree of animosity folks have towards his presence on air a bit weird. They all pretty much stink at the job of analyzing the game.

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    They all pretty much stink at the job of analyzing the game.
    Prithee reconsider this calumny against the generally sterling work of Bonner and Spanarkel, both of whom are good-spirited, focused, balanced. They do actually analyze the play on the court.

    Just every once in a while even these two exemplars will attempt an unnecessary foray into self-deprecating humor. But theirs comes across as genuine. Bilas does it too much. Alexander, rarely, and never genuinely, IIRC.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I think it's a really hard job to do, and made harder by how many games of different teams these guys have to cover. It's just really hard to be able to carry on a conversation with the play-by-play guy and sound insightful about the teams at hand when you're dealing with SO many different teams and with less time to prep between games. Bilas used to try hard, and he used to be very good. But as he's gotten more seniority and thus more air time, he's gotten more generic like they all do.

    Alexander's approach appears to focus on adding the color to the game: more backstories/anecdotes than analysis. And I agree that's not for everyone. But I find the degree of animosity folks have towards his presence on air a bit weird. They all pretty much stink at the job of analyzing the game.
    One of the problems IMO is that the current crop of college hoops analysts compare so poorly to the best NBA analysts. Doris Burke, Jeff Van Gundy, and Reggie Miller are terrific, and I'm sure I'm leaving out some others. Even Hubie Brown in his mid-80's is still very good. The NBA analysts are very knowledgeable, and add to the viewers' understanding of the court action, while still providing humor and anecdotes. Is there a single college analyst who is of that caliber?

  9. #89
    To sum up a potentially very long post in response to your well grounded question: no.

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by roywhite View Post
    Is there a single college analyst who is of that caliber?
    I would say Bill Raftery at least was that caliber. I haven't seen him enough in recent years to know whether he's slipped.

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    I would say Bill Raftery at least was that caliber. I haven't seen him enough in recent years to know whether he's slipped.
    Bill Raftery hasn't actually analyzed a game in about ten years. He's too busy figuring out how to squeeze in his favorite catch phrases in that fake voice he uses for those. Those used to be just a colorful style. Now they are pretty much his whole gig. But I agree that he used to be very, very good.

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Prithee reconsider this calumny against the generally sterling work of Bonner and Spanarkel, both of whom are good-spirited, focused, balanced. They do actually analyze the play on the court.

    Just every once in a while even these two exemplars will attempt an unnecessary foray into self-deprecating humor. But theirs comes across as genuine. Bilas does it too much. Alexander, rarely, and never genuinely, IIRC.
    I need to watch more Bonner and Spanarkel, and admit the overgeneralization.

    And I agree that the NBA analysts are better. I think some of it is familiarity (way fewer teams/players to cover, way more coverage of the same teams), but for whatever reason the NBA analysis is just better.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I need to watch more Bonner and Spanarkel, and admit the overgeneralization.

    And I agree that the NBA analysts are better. I think some of it is familiarity (way fewer teams/players to cover, way more coverage of the same teams), but for whatever reason the NBA analysis is just better.
    I would be curious if there are any other Knicks fans here and what their take is on Clyde Frazier. Clyde is an institution in NY. He knows the game really well and shares quite a bit of that knowledge and analysis. But he has a whole lot of shtick going on - he announces games like he has memorized "100 words to a more powerful vocabulary" books, using lots of esoteric words (like esoteric) and rhymes - it all sort of works in an odd way. And his outfits are the icing on the cake. I love it and find it really entertaining, but I'm not sure how others would feel. I'm sure other cities and/or sports have the equivalent. I loved Phil Rizzuto doing Yankees games but many people felt otherwise, especially in his later years, and I could see why they felt that way (baseball is a very different sport to announce than basketball).

    For college, I just like announcers who keep it interesting without getting in the way. Chris Spatola is pretty good. Malcolm Huckaby has done a few games this year and is fine. You don't get a sense of a big event with those guys, but for a midweek game vs. a random ACC team, I will take them over a Cory Alexander type any day. For a game like Carolina, I want someone who brings a bit more, without taking it too far. There is a delicate balance between showing a lot of energy and excitement and taking it too far.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Bilas

    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Folks may or may not like his style or his humor (I actually do) but Bilas watches and analyzes THE GAME. I defy anyone to mention one insightful thing Alexander said last night about the game we were watching. One bit of analysis that wasn't completely obvious such that any casual basketball observer could've said the exact same thing. He added absolutely nothing to the broadcast. He just has diarrhea of the mouth, with nothing funny, interesting, or insightful to say. Just boring stories about himself. Hard to believe ESPN can't find guys better than he is to do this job.
    I used to like Bilas a lot, but in recent years I find myself having to turn the sound down. I don't like:

    How he makes his views the main focus;
    His harping on rules that should be changed;
    His defense of the UNC scandal and Ol' Roy (yeah, I know, this is dated); and
    His football references, especially for Trevor Keels.

    It's too bad, because I used to be proud that Bilas went to Duke. Not so much any more.

    I'll take Bonner, Spanarkel, and Gman any day. I can put up with Robbie Hummel.

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    ^ yes. e.g. "that a foul." "that's a foul"...

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I'll take Bonner, Spanarkel, and Gman any day. I can put up with Robbie Hummel.
    Thanks for mentioning Gminski, whom I miss.

    And I agree about Hummel, who probably is only assigned Big10/midwest games? Another guy who covered a few ACC games last year but now seems back to midwest only is Jon Crispin, who was focused, a good commentator.

    Looks like we in the ACC will get more of Malcolm Huckaby (BC bball in the ‘90s) and Jordan Cornette (ND role player). I have a positive impression of both, but based on limited exposure. We get Huckaby Sat night for Miami game.

  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I need to watch more Bonner and Spanarkel...
    I would be genuinely interested in a few comments from you and other posters about these 2 as the season moves along. What you like, don’t like, overall assessment. I will say, Bonner laughs a lot, regularly comments playfully about mistakes, maybe unexpected moments, on the floor. I am confident he would have had fun with but also gently criticized Pastner’s interference with Banchero. He has fun watching the game and is, for me, goofy-good rather than goofy-irritating.

    Spanarkel, always paired with Ian Eagle for the NCAAT, also has some laughter in his voice as a commentator. In his case, that seems over the last few years to have convinced many viewers that he isn’t “dull,” an early criticism, IIRC. Other posters may be able to comment on him as a Brooklyn Nets analyst. I don’t know his work there.

  18. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    I would be genuinely interested in a few comments from you and other posters about these 2 as the season moves along. What you like, don’t like, overall assessment. I will say, Bonner laughs a lot, regularly comments playfully about mistakes, maybe unexpected moments, on the floor. I am confident he would have had fun with but also gently criticized Pastner’s interference with Banchero. He has fun watching the game and is, for me, goofy-good rather than goofy-irritating.

    Spanarkel, always paired with Ian Eagle for the NCAAT, also has some laughter in his voice as a commentator. In his case, that seems over the last few years to have convinced many viewers that he isn’t “dull,” an early criticism, IIRC. Other posters may be able to comment on him as a Brooklyn Nets analyst. I don’t know his work there.
    Can't give a strong enough vote of confidence on behalf of the Brooklyn Nets broadcast team generally. One of the absolute best in the NBA, and has been for years. Eagle is a big part of that. I think Sparnarkel is technically out of the rotation there for the time being (almost certainly by his own choice; he was pretty well-loved even though he was never the primary color commentator), but he's great. They rotate Sarah Kustok and Richard Jefferson (when he's not doing ESPN games) now, and both are fantastic, though a part of that is definitely Eagle.

    That's one of the big strengths of the NBA product right now, I think: all the teams have their own broadcast teams for the regional broadcasts, and you get those when you watch via NBA League Pass. Some of the teams are really amazingly good. Both NYC teams are great (Breen and Clyde Frazier are still so so good, and Clyde's suits have their own game-by-game evaluation Twitter account). Charlotte's great, and I'm obviously biased as a Wolves fan, but the Minny duo is in the top 2 and not #2.

    There are also some really terrible listens out there: the Warriors crew is... not good (loved Kelenna Azubuike as a player, even at UK, but do not love him as a commentator), Utah is awful, and Houston is rough (sorry Clyde the Glide/the inferior announcing Clyde). But there's enough great options that it highlights how not having this team-by-team option in college is kind of too bad.

    The major current Dukie broadcast tie-in is Alaa Abdelnaby who's the main color commentator in Philly. Sadly, he's... not quite as well-loved, I think, especially this season, when he's had a couple of moments that were unfortunate in their homerism.

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    Read the bolded part above. I don't need CA to add anything to the game. A good game by an announcer is one where I don't really realize who they are or much of what they are saying. I can understand not being pro-CA but your take is way too harsh IMHO.
    If he's not to add anything to the game, or you don't want to even realize he's there or saying anything, then what's the point of even having the color analyst, to your way of thinking? Maybe you really don't want one at all, which would be valid. Just wondering.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Alexander's approach appears to focus on adding the color to the game: more backstories/anecdotes than analysis. And I agree that's not for everyone. But I find the degree of animosity folks have towards his presence on air a bit weird. They all pretty much stink at the job of analyzing the game.
    His job is to analyze the game, to provide insight as to what is going on in the game, why it is or isn't going on, the coaching, the refereeing, etc. He doesn't do that. If he didn't do that and was just a pleasant voice who chimed in something bland or unobjectionable now and then -- as others do -- I wouldn't mind him so much. But he's actively obnoxious, self-centered, self-aggrandizing, and he just drones on and on with stories about himself that have nothing to do with his job to analyze the action on the floor. For me, he isn't just a non-factor who doesn't impact my enjoyment of the game in either direction. He actually makes the game less enjoyable to watch-- much less, if truth be told -- to the point where it makes sense for me to just mute the TV. That's the sign of an awful announcer -- you'd rather sit in silence than listen to him blather on about nothing important or interesting.

    As far as all of them pretty much stinking at analyzing the game, we'll have to agree to disagree there. Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, the following college basketball color guys (play by play guys would be a different category) have done, or still do, a good-to-excellent job of watching, analyzing, and speaking to the actual action on the floor, and attempt to enlighten viewers with information they don't already know about what is going on on the floor:

    Billy Packer
    Mike Gminski
    Bill Raftery - yes there is shtick too, but he's also describing the game
    Al McGuire - the best in my book -- again a unique style but man did he know basketball, and people
    Bob Knight - no shtick, all basketball
    Steve Kerr - very smart and insightful
    Reggie Miller - knows and describes the game
    Jay Bilas
    Hubie Brown - along with Knight, the smartest basketball guy, and with a more pleasant personality. I LOVE it when Hubie is doing a game I'm watching. Always learn something.
    Clark Kellogg
    Jim Spanarkel
    Robbie Hummel
    Chris Spatola
    Greg Anthony
    Len Elmore - yes he hates Duke. But he analyzes the game.
    Fran Frischilla - substantive
    Steve Lavin - knows the game, doesn't make it about himself
    Jimmy Dykes - don't love his personality but he is substantive
    Dan Bonner

    The common thread, besides basketball knowledge and the ability and desire to communicate about the game we're watching, is that these guys don't make it about themselves. They can have fun with their partner and with what is happening, and sure, tell a funny story here and there, but it's not about making themselves seem great, or reliving glory days, or telling stories about themselves. The game is the thing, first and foremost. The job is called "color analyst" after all. Means you're supposed to analyze. Also: the other common thread is these are all former college/pro players and coaches. The idea behind that is that because of their long involvement with the game, they will know more about basketball than your average Joe flipping the game on. And it's that knowledge that we want to have conveyed. Or else, why hire basketball people to do the job? Why not hire comedians or other entertainers?

    I do agree with your point about the NBA announcing and the advantage of having fewer teams and players to cover, and it also being easier because there is less turnover among the players from year to year. Still - the college gig can be done well. I just think ESPN and the other networks are sometimes bad at selecting/hiring college basketball color guys, and then very poor, or lazy, about giving them the hook once it's clear they're terrible and a poor fit for the job. Dan Dakich anyone? (ducks)

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    They all pretty much stink at the job of analyzing the game.
    As for the ESPN guys, I don't think "analyzing the game" is really their job description anymore. ESPN seems to want their commentators to act like sports radio hosts as much as anything. Maybe it helps attract casual viewers, I don't know. Sadly, most sports media is for "the masses" rather than the diehards who actually want to hear analysts breaking down schemes, etc.

    I'd love to see some new ideas in CBB broadcasts. Here are two examples of some alternative broadcasts:

    1. Every year ESPN does a "coaches room" broadcast on one of their channels for the CFB title game. It's really cool to hear coaches talk strategy and actually analyze the game. I have no idea if it gets good ratings (probably not) but it's really popular among CFB nerds.

    2. Every year for 1-2 MLB playoff games, ESPN does a "statcast broadcast" which is likewise a "for the nerds" version. It's probably also a niche production but I think it's pretty cool.

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