Friday, February 6, 2009

More from Vitale and McKillop

A 20-minute interview with Dick Vitale yielded a lot more than can fit in a standard-length column (I wrote one on Vitale’s first-ever appearance at Davidson Saturday for the 6 p.m. ESPN2 home game against Charleston).

So here’s a 3-pointer I couldn’t get into that column -- a couple more things that Vitale had to say, along with something from Davidson coach Bob McKillop.
1. Vitale thinks three All-American spots are basically set already for the host of teams that will be declared following the season: Davidson’s Stephen Curry, North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. The other two are up for grabs.

2. Vitale is trying to help raise a million dollars for “The V Foundation” charity, and in part he’s doing that by promoting his new book. It’s called “Dick Vitale’s Fabulous 50 Players & Moments in College Basketball” and signed copies are available here from Vitale's personal website. Proceeds go to the V Foundation, which supports cancer research.

Vitale said in the book he has ranked Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing as the best college player he’s ever seen in 30 years of broadcasting for ESPN, with Christian Laettner No.2, Ralph Sampson No.3 and Michael Jordan No.4.

3. I asked McKillop – whose focus at courtside is legendary at Davidson -- if he ever even noticed the announcers at the game. He said he did once, in 1998, when Davidson played an NCAA tournament game in Atlanta against Michigan and Jim Nantz and Billy Packer called it.
Said McKillop: “I was a little bit awe-struck by Nantz and Packer courtside at the shoot-around for that game against Michigan and Tractor Traylor. But we’ve been in that sort of position so many times in recent years that it doesn’t really affect me anymore.”

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