On Tuesday, FOX Sports revealed the talent pool for their college basketball television broadcasts in the 2015-16 season.
It comes to little to no surprise that Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery remain as the headline team for the network who will begin its third season of televising the BIG EAST Conference this year. Gus and Raft have held serve for the last two years after Gus spent a long tenure at CBS while Raftery spent time with ESPN and CBS Sports, for whom he still does broadcasts for.
Reading through the press release you will find such familiar names like Joe Davis, Justin Kutcher, Brian Anderson, Kevin Kugler and Justin Kutcher with analysts ranging from Jim Spanarkel, Stephen Bardo, Nick Bahe, Tarik Turner, Ron Thompson and Dickey Simpkins.
But one prominent name that is joining the fold is former Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer, Don Orsillo. Orsillo, a longstanding veteran in the broadcast business, is a familiar voice in the New England area having spent fifteen seasons calling games for the Red Sox on NESN and will begin calling games for the San Diego Padres this spring. Before that though he'll be having his hand at hoops for the FOX Sports networks.
The press release also reveals that Steve Lavin will return to the TV world after spending five seasons as the head coach for the St. John's Red Storm. Lavin will be a studio analyst, replacing Ben Howland who now is the head coach at Mississippi State. Joining Lavin is Jim Jackson and Donny Marshall with Rob Stone as the signal caller at the desk.
You can view the full press release from FOX Sports below:
FOX Sports Unveils Loaded Lineup of Studio and Game Announcers for 2015-16 College Hoops Season
Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery Return to Call Games; Steve Lavin Joins Jim Jackson and Donny Marshall in Studio
With the college basketball season set to tip off this week, FOX Sports announces its impressive roster of game and studio broadcasters for the 2015-16 season, featuring some of the most recognizable names and voices in the sport. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports President, Production, John Entz.
The inimitable duo of Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery return for their third season as FOX Sports' lead game announcers, while former UCLA and St. John's head coach Steve Lavin is a new addition to the network's college basketball coverage, leading studio analysis and calling select games. Lavin makes his FOX Sports debut Friday, Nov. 13, during studio coverage of college basketball's opening night on FS1, FS2 and FOX Sports Regional Networks, including halftime of Wagner at St. John's (6:00 PM ET, FS1) as Chris Mullin coaches his first regular-season game with the Red Storm - the same program Lavin led a season ago.
"We are once again thrilled to have several of the nation's top broadcasters calling college basketball for FOX Sports this season," Entz said. "This loaded lineup of game and studio broadcasters brings a wealth of energy and knowledge to our coverage, and we're looking forward to another season of great games featuring some of the nation's best coaches and players. We can't wait to get the season started, and we look forward to seeing who's going to cut down the nets in March."
Rob Stone returns as FOX Sports' lead college basketball studio host and is joined by analysts Lavin, Jim Jackson and Donny Marshall at the desk.
Jackson, a two-time All-American at Ohio State and 14-year NBA veteran, also calls select games and contributes to NBA coverage in what is now a full-time role with FOX Sports after serving the network in similar roles each of the last two seasons. Now based in Los Angeles, Jackson also appears regularly on FS1 signature studio programs THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD and FOX SPORTS LIVE.
Kevin Burkhardt, Mike Hill, Ryan Field and Greg Wolf also serve as hosts for select college basketball studio programming throughout the season.
In addition to pregame, halftime and postgame coverage, FOX Sports' college basketball studio programming is enhanced with INSIDE THE BIG EAST, FS1's weekly show dedicated to the latest news and stories in the conference, which returns with the start of league play in January. FOX Sports takes its college basketball studio on the road multiple times this season, beginning with the Gavitt Tipoff Games Nov. 17-19. FOX Sports also has a live studio presence at New York's Madison Square Garden for the entire BIG EAST Tournament, March 9-12, and in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Arena for FS1's coverage of the Pac-12 Tournament March 10-12.
In addition to its robust studio lineup, FOX Sports welcomes back several familiar and iconic voices to call game action. Led by the Johnson and Raftery, game broadcasters Joe Davis, Tim Brando, Justin Kutcher, Brian Anderson and Kevin Kugler return to FOX Sports this season, while veteran play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo is new to the network's hoops coverage. Lavin, Jackson and Marshall serve as game and studio analysts and are joined by a host of other top voices including Stephen Bardo, Nick Bahe, Jim Spanarkel, Tarik Turner, Ron Thompson and Dickey Simpkins. In addition to Lavin, play-by-play announcer Aaron Goldsmith and analysts Sean Elliott and Casey Jacobsen return to lead FS1's Pac-12 coverage.
College basketball on the FOX Sports family of networks tips off Friday, Nov. 13, with Chris Mullin's first game as St. John's head coach at his alma mater as the Red Storm host Wagner at 6:00 PM ET on FS1. The Gavitt Tipoff Games take center court the following week with four games of the inaugural BIG EAST vs. Big Ten conference challenge on FS1 Tuesday, Nov. 17-Thursday, Nov. 19.
This season, a minimum of 15 games are scheduled to air on the FOX broadcast network - more than ever before - including the championship game of the BIG EAST Men's Basketball Tournament, which returns to broadcast television for the first time in more than 20 years. FS1, America's fastest-growing sports cable network, carries more than 150 men's and women's contests, including games from the BIG EAST men's and women's, Pac-12 and Conference USA men's and Big 12 women's tournaments and a potential Ivy League playoff game, while additional games can be seen on FS2, FOX Sports Regional Networks and FOX College Sports. Games are also available via the FOX Sports GO app and online at FOXSportsGO.com.