20 January 2015

How will CBS/Turner replace Greg Anthony for March Madness?

As many of you know already, CBS Sports college basketball analyst Greg Anthony was arrested on Friday afternoon in Washington on the charges of soliciting a prostitute, as first reported by WJLA. Anthony, who was inside the Beltway as he was scheduled to call Michigan State-Maryland on Saturday afternoon (he was subsequently replaced by Jim Spanarkel), was promptly place on an indefinite suspension by CBS and by Turner Sports, his NBA employer.

Now that Anthony will not be working any further college basketball contests, including the Final Four, only a year after he was promoted to the top broadcast crew, how will the CBS/Turner consortium replace him?

CBS and Turner is a funky spot because they are already in the midst of replacing one of the analysts for the Final Four in Steve Kerr, who left broadcasting back in May to become the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. But now with this Anthony news (read his statement here), Jim Nantz will now have to work with a whole new crew seemingly.

While there is obvious sentiment for Bill Raftery to finally work a Final Four on television (he has worked every Final Four on radio since 1993) and it would be awesome quite frankly, but it does feel like it would be a long shot. But hey, one can hope.

It seems like a relatively safe bet that one of the open analyst spots, essentially the spot that Anthony is vacating, will be the guy who flipped positions a year ago with Anthony, Clark Kellogg. Kellogg is indeed better in the studio than he is in the booth but he already has familiarity with Nantz and experience calling games on the big stage given his many years working the Final Four following the retirement of Billy Packer.

As to who will be the second analyst in the booth is a little greater mystery, especially considering the hand in the pot that Turner has (they were the ones who included Kerr on the Final Four crew alongside Nantz and Kellogg, a trio that was pretty solid). They also have to replace Kerr on the crew with Marv Albert, which was a regional crew. Look for the top NBA broadcasters on TNT (Grant Hill, Reggie Miller and Chris Webber) to be in the mix. A lot of observers are thinking that it will be Miller considering his already large role of the March Madness coverage, but I actually think it will be Hill. My reasoning is that Turner clearly thinks highly of Hill that they put him in that mix to replace Kerr on the top NBA crew as opposed to Miller, who was the notable excluded announcer. Hill has also been pretty solid on game broadcasts, and certainly better than Miller.

And a Nantz-Kellogg-Hill broadcast team would certainly better than a Nantz-Kellogg-Miller crew, mostly due to the fact that Miller more-or-less torpedoes any crew he is with but also because Kellogg is better when he works alongside a solid analyst in a three-man team. Plus you know that Nantz would love to work with a Dukie in Hill.

Time will tell to see how the broadcast team comes together, and we could legitimately see said crew within the coming weeks. After all, the NCAA's are coming faster than you think.

UPDATE: Jason McIntyre is reporting that Miller is the current favorite to replace Anthony. Lord helps us all if that happens.

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