Dick Vitale

Dickie V to call Indiana-Michigan State with Magic Johnson


Just a day after news comes out that Dick Vitale will be broadcasting his first Final Four for ESPN International, more good news comes down the pipeline for ESPN’s excitable color analyst: he’ll be working a game with none other than Magic Johnson.

On February 19th at 7:00 p.m., Vitale and Mike Tirico will be teaming up with Magic to call No. 1 Indiana’s visit to No. 12 Michigan State.

I think this ought to be entertaining to listen to. It may not be the most informative broadcast — Vitale isn’t exactly known for his ability to break down x’s-and-o’s — but I’ve enjoyed Magic on the limited NBA broadcasts that I’ve seen and listening to him banter with Dickie V about their times in Michigan should produce a few chuckles. Hopefully they’ll pull out a few anecdotes.

Honestly, I just feel sorry for Tirico. It may be the first time in his career he’s paid to call a game where he never gets a word out.

Anyway, here are the statements from Johnson and Vitale in ESPN’s press release:

“From the time I was a high school basketball player in Michigan I was captivated by Coach Vitale’s spirit and passion,” said Johnson. “I’ve been fortunate to have developed a wonderful relationship with him – one which is bonded by our common love of basketball. I have the utmost admiration and respect for Dickie V as a person, a basketball genius and a commentator and I can’t wait to call this game with him and Mike Tirico.”

“I remember him as a kid so well. He was a basketball junkie, playing the game for hour after hour on the playgrounds,” Vitale said. “He became ‘Magic’ from his work ethic. I have always said if there was one player I wish I could’ve coached in my life it would be Earvin Magic Johnson. I am thrilled to be able to work with him and Mike Tirico. Although, I might have to remind him a few times that Indiana will be playing as well.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.