gus-johnson.p1

Gus Johnson to become the voice of American soccer

2 Comments

Gus Johnson is a legend around these parts.

Anyone that follows college basketball knows who he is. We used to do an annual countdown of the top ten Gus Johnson calls in the days leading up to the start of the NCAA tournament. He had two nicknames. Gus Jeezy, and Mr. March Madness.

Unfortunately, 2011 was the last NCAA tournament that Gus Johnson would call, as contracts and salaries and whatnot ended his tenure with CBS. He’s bounced around between FOX and the Big Ten Network over the past couple of years, still making the legendary calls that those Golden Pipes are capable of.

On Tuesday, news trickled out from Richard Deitsch of SI.com that Johnson will be groomed as … the voice of soccer in America?

Now, I don’t know how many of you are soccer fans, but college hoops fans tend to enjoy their footy. And for those of you that are, this is great news. There are few things in sports more exciting than watching the buildup to, and the eventual scoring of, a great goal in soccer. And while Gus may not be an expert in the sport, he’s already been putting in some work, calling MLS games on the radio. He’ll be doing some Champions League and Premier League games on FOX Soccer this month, with the goal of eventually making him the lead voice for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Put him with an analyst that knows the game, and Johnson will be fine. He understands the moment, and that’s more important for a play-by-play broadcaster than understanding the game.

Here’s some proof that he’ll be just fine:

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Leave a comment

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Leave a comment

Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.