Buckner will broadcast BTN games

Indiana legend Quinn Buckner has joined the broadcast team at the Big Ten Network. Also of note is that Gus Johnson has doubled the amount of BTN games he’ll call, including Penn State at Indiana.

From Big Ten Network’s Mike Vest:

CHICAGO – America’s favorite play-by-play announcer, Gus Johnson, returns to the Big Ten Network for a third season, and will call 23 Big Ten men’s basketball games this winter, more than twice as many as the previous two years.

Johnson headlines a new season of basketball on the Big Ten Network that will include nearly 160 men’s and women’s basketball games and pre- and post-game shows, as well as Big Ten Basketball and Beyond and the award-winning The Journey: 2011 Big Ten Basketball.

Twenty of Johnson’s 23 assignments will be regular-season conference matchups or Big Ten Tournament games. His first conference game is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 27, when Indiana hosts Penn State at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Johnson also will handle play-by-play responsibilities during the network’s Super Wednesday doubleheaders beginning in January, as well as selected Tuesdays and Thursdays during the conference season and all three of the network’s Big Ten Tournament games.

Johnson, a Detroit native, made his Big Ten Network debut in November 2008 and has called NFL and NCAA Tournament games for CBS since 1996. Johnson’s voice is associated with many memorable NCAA Tournament games of the past 15 years.

“When Gus Johnson calls a game, there’s a feeling of anticipation and a sense that anything can happen. He brings a level of genuine excitement to the game that no one else does,” Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. “We’re also pleased to add a couple of faces who are new to the network, but familiar to Big Ten fans everywhere.”

Jim Jackson, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year at Ohio State, returns as the Big Ten Network’s lead basketball studio analyst and will again call select games this season.

The network also has signed former Indiana guard and long-time basketball analyst Quinn Bucker as a Big Ten Network game analyst this season. Buckner has served an analyst for NBC, CBS and ESPN and is also the television analyst for the Indiana Pacers. He was the point guard on the Hoosiers’ 32-0 national championship team in 1976. Buckner remains one of only three players in basketball history to win championships at the high school, college, Olympic and professional level.

Brian Anderson, who has called Major League Baseball playoff games for TBS for the past three seasons and has served as the television play-by-play announcer of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2007, will call the play-by-play of select Big Ten Network men’s basketball telecasts this fall. Anderson also called some basketball games for ESPN last season.

Other familiar faces return to the network this winter, including play-by-play announcers Tom Hamilton, Wayne Larrivee, Dave Revsine, Eric Collins, Tom Hart, and analysts Shon Morris, Greg Kelser, John Laskowski and Kenyon Murray.

Veteran women’s basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli also joins the network this season. Antonelli’s extensive resume includes stints with CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports, CSTV and Oxygen, serving as the lead analyst for ACC, Big 12 Conference, SEC and NCAA Tournament games. Antonelli has called each of the last 10 Women’s Final Fours on the radio, and has been the television analyst for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and Charlotte Sting. Antonelli spent five years as the television analyst at Ohio State, where she also worked in the Buckeyes’ marketing department.

Antonelli joins returning women’s basketball analysts Stephanie White, Vera Jones and Mary Murphy.


  1. Quinn Buckner from the undefeated ’76 team and nothing from Downing on this thread? He must be in a very dark place right now.

  2. This guy was the greatest winner I ever saw play at IU (and maybe anywhere). He ran that team for four years (twice it was only a week after he finished playing safety on the football team). He couldn’t shoot free throws worth a damn unless the team needed him to do so in order to win a close game (Alabama in the 1976 NCAA run). This guy did everything. I know there were guards whose statistics are much better than his but there hasn’t been anyone at IU who knew what to do in order to win like he did.

  3. Bobby Wilkerson wasn’t too shabby either. I’ll never forget listening to the road game against Kentucky when Benson tipped in the game-winner with time expiring. The Hoosiers were so thick in talent in ’75 and ’76 that they annihilated many Big 10 teams on their own floors.

    And I don’t think I’ve ever heard Buckner say a bad word about his coach at IU. Say what you want about Knight’s public tantrums and difficulties taking the Hoosiers deep in tournaments in the latter stages his years at IU, the man catapulted IU basketball into the national limelight to stay. He commanded respects and intimidated opponents through his expertise and understanding the game. He invested enormously in the game and I think that’s why he demanded the same out of his players. I always felt it was his voluminous hoops knowledge that brought in the talent. Charisma and big egos, the weapons of the mouth, can certainly give early turn the floodlight of attention in your direction. Great to wave around at the podiums and press conferences, but so few coaches have the deep stockpiles of knowledge and on-court strategy, the munitions to take into battle every game, to fear seriously the machine guns their tongues. Knight had both. Knight had the charisma and the ammo. Some fans the game got so infatuated on the bazooka mouth they believe it did the coaching. The banners didn’t simply come to Assembly by way of throwing chairs and landing top talent. Many try to make a simpleton out of Knight. Knight was a lifetime student of the game. I believe he treated the game bigger than his own capacity to ever totally absorb it or beat it. He wasn’t just coaching against an opponent every night. He was challenging his players and himself to recognize moments and opportunities that could marry the knowledge to their actions on the floor. When it meshed, it would break through the mental and mechanical of a chalkboard lesson and his teams moved on the court with the choreographic flow of a hoops Bolshoi Ballet. Teach…Digest….Teach… Digest…It was Knight’s never-ending quest.

  4. Quinn was amazing running the team but not for 4 years. Freshman eligibility didn’t come around until the ’73-’74 season.

  5. Sorry Chet…I think if you take a look at the history of Freshman Eligibilty, you’ll see that it started in the 1972/1973 School Year. If it didn’t, then Knight used an ineligible player (Buckner) in the Harvard game that opened the 1972/1973 Season. The reason that May and Wilkerson weren’t on that roster as Freshman is because there were academic requirements (from High School) for Freshman to play. Buckner qualified and they didn’t.

  6. ^I think that’s correct, Chet. McGinnis and Downing(both out of Washington High School in Indianapolis) couldn’t play their Freshman years. They only played together one year at IU(though academically Sophomores, they were basically Freshman on the basketball court). The following year, McGinnis elected to go Pro and Downing and the Hoosiers made that marvelous run to the Final Four. Downing outplayed Walton at the Final Four, but can you imagine that Hoosier team with McGinnis on the floor? 6th banner. Isiah doesn’t go Pro after Sophomore year? 7th banner?

  7. Chet-
    No problem. I’m still a little uncertain on the eligibility stuff back then. I just remember reading an article that stated McGinnis and Downing had to sit out their Freshman years. I believe it was NCAA rules at the time and not due to any academic problems.

    Possible 8th banner: What if Scott May doesn’t miss the rest of the ’75 season and the NCAA tournament because of suffering a broken wrist in a game at Purdue? 8th banner? The ’75 team(also undefeated during the regular season like the following year’s ’76 squad), even without the services the All-American, Scott May, barely lost to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.

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