After undergoing highly publicized layoffs in the spring that included college basketball commentators Andy Katz, Dana O’Neil, Len Elmore and others, ESPN retooled their lineup yesterday. The network announced the addition of former coaches Tom Crean, John Thompson III, Jimmy Dykes, along with previous players Caron Butler and Robbie Hummel, to their array of analysts.
Game and studio teams for the network will be announced in the next few weeks, but Tom Crean is expected to serve as both game and studio analyst on ESPN and ESPN2. Crean, who spent 15 years coaching at Indiana and Marquette, was fired from the Hoosiers after nine seasons.
John Thompson III was let go from Georgetown following a 13 year coaching tenure with the school. The former Hoya’s coach will work as a game analyst on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU.
Caron Butler and Robbie Hummel are both set to have primary roles as game analysts. Butler, retired from the NBA in 2016, has appeared on ESPN in the past contributing to their NBA Draft coverage and “The Jump.” Jimmy Dykes previously worked at ESPN before spending the last three years as head coach of women’s basketball at Arkansas. Dykes returns to the studio as an analyst on the SEC Network.
The college basketball season begins Friday November 10th, last week ESPN announced they will no longer launch the season with 24 hours of consecutive game broadcasts.