Even if he does, seemingly, always pick the No. 1 seeds to advance to the Final Four, kudos to Clark Kellogg for stepping into the shoes of Billy Packer as CBS’ lead basketball analyst.
Mr. Kellogg always brought a great presence and solid analysis to CBS’ college basketball coverage and should be a great complement to Jim Nantz, a feeling clearly shared by the network suits. Mr. Kellogg was a game analyst for the network's NCAA Tournament coverage in 1993 and 1994 and was studio co-host for first- and second-round coverage from 1994 to 1997. He has co-hosted “The Road to the Final Four” since 1997. Mr. Kellogg also served as an analyst for ESPN's regular-season basketball coverage.
“With his unquestioned popularity and performance over the years, Clark Kellogg earned all rights to this top spot,” said Sean McManus, president, CBS News & Sports. “Like Billy Packer, Al McGuire or any of the most highly regarded broadcasters, Clark is an original voice with his own style and perspective. We have been proud to have him lead our studio presence for many years and look forward to his fresh impact on CBS Sports’ coverage of college basketball for years to come.”
In case you hadn’t heard the buzz, reports circulated this weekend that CBS Sports lead game analyst Billy Packer was out after 27 seasons. Mr. Packer had drawn some heat in recent seasons for statements that included trashing the selection of George Mason as an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament (the team went on to make the Final Four) and calling a Kansas/North Carolina game “over” before the Tar Heels came back, although Kansas ended up winning the game. However, he was top-notch at breaking down analysis in-game.
“For over three decades Billy Packer has been the voice of the NCAA Final Four and, in many ways, of college basketball,” said Mr. Kellogg. “His excellence as an analyst is Hall of Fame-worthy. His knowledge of the game and its history is unparalleled. That, along with his passion and keen insights, enabled him to do his work as an analyst better and longer than anyone in the game’s history. His legacy is one of enduring excellence and keeping the focus on the game. That is the foundation I aspire to build on.”
The Charlotte Observer had a good interview with Mr. Packer, which you can read here.
In it, Mr. Packer noted that he didn’t see himself coming back as a broadcaster, noting, “In the history of nationally televised basketball, I’ve done probably 90% of the great games, so I don’t want to be going to do games of a different status, so I have no interest in that.”
Good luck to both men as they begin their new journeys.