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March 14, 2008 - Neil Rudel
I am/was among those curious on how Bob Knight's transition from the coaching box to the broadcast booth would go.
It's been seamless. In fact, he's even more effective as an announcer than he had been in his last decade or so as a coach.
In press conferences, at least in his IU days, Knight would totally take over, answering as many or as few questions as he wanted and often railing on about a particular subject, thus limiting the number of inquiries.
Concise, he was not, which can be a problem for radio and TV.
But as a trumpeted and centerpieced role with ESPN this week, Knight has been fantastic -- insightful, funny and a perfect fit. He hasn't even blown up at Greenie.
Best of all, Knight looks like he's enjoying himself.
(Memo to Digger: Quit falling at the guy's feet).
One thing Knight has made perfectly clear is his disdain for conference tournaments, and he admitted his Indiana teams didn't do particularly well in the Big Ten tourney, perhaps in part because he couldn't stand being there.
To that end, it's curious how much it will benefit Pitt to beat Marquette tonight -- just as Louisville might have been the real winner last night by losing to the Panthers in overtime.
Especially if you've already punched your NCAA ticket, it doesn't help to win the Big East and be out of gas in the Dance, which might partially explain Pitt's NCAA struggles after great runs at Madison Square Garden.
At the same time, there's no team Knight's been singing the praises of more loudly than he's endosed Pitt.