ESPN released its lineup of announcers and analysts for the new college basketball season, and you had to look pretty hard to find Knight’s name. Oh there it is:
“American games will see Mike Patrick on Thursdays and Saturdays with Len Elmore and Bob Knight.”
Quick quiz: What schools play in the American Athletic Conference?
With all the conference reshuffling, there are plenty of fans drawing a blank. I know my pals Josh and Mike in Bristol can answer the question. The league features UConn, Cincinnati, Houston, among others.
OK, there are a few decent teams (UConn is the defending national champs), but the American is far down ESPN’s pecking order, judging by the release. It is mentioned last in the round-up of leagues and coverage teams.
In fact, the release notes high that “(Rece) Davis will also call a Thursday Night Showcase game involving Big Ten teams.”
That likely means most of the American games and Knight will be seen on ESPN2.
Knight’s star has dropped considerably from the days of being a featured analyst at ESPN. Last year, he did SEC games. The American Conference isn’t the SEC, and it is a long way from the days of the old Big East.
There has been speculation for the last couple of years that the network finally would cut ties with him. Yet Knight is back again, albeit in a three-man situation with Elmore as a co-analyst. The set-up reduces his responsibility to help carry the telecast.
At 74, Knight still must feel the need to be connected to college basketball in some way, even if he isn’t on the big stage anymore.