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Sean Miller goes live tonight

Two coaches live in a hotly contested Big East game? What could go wrong?

Butler v Georgetown Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Tonight the broadcast of Xavier’s game against the St. John’s Red Storm will look a little bit different. Both Sean Miller and Mike Anderson will be sort of live on the mic at all points during the game. Yes, that’s 40 minutes of game action, every timeout, and halftime, all straight into your living room.

Most likely you are all wondering the same thing. It’s Christmas break, we’re all raising our children to be Xavier fans, and a 9pm tip can mean a good time to make some snacks, stay up late, and enjoy some ball as a family. What if, just on accident, a not family friendly word slips out from of these molders of young men? Fox has seen fit to put the game on a five second delay so, hopefully, a bleep might be the worst thing impressionable young ears hear. If something more NSFW than a “gosh dangit” should slip through, well, you knew you were playing with fire.

A brief anecdote to that subject: The school I played for was ostensibly Southern Baptist. The varsity basketball coach was a fixture in the pews at church every week, happily belting out hymns alongside his family. He was, in almost every measurable way, a good man. The first practice I attended, then, I was quite surprised to hear him using language that made the floorboards blush. Our first game he suggested, albeit quietly, that the ref attempt something that seemed anatomically impossible. The next day, he was right back in front of Joel and I at church. His review of the sermon was somewhat less colorful. Hopefully neither Miller nor Anderson hits those heights tonight.

Sean Miller has an unquestionably great mind for basketball. (And an ethical record as pure as the driven snow.) Anyone who heard him on a podcast or interview over the last year when he was free to just break down a game has recognized how well he sees the game. Mike Anderson plays a very unique style and has had success everywhere he has gone. He currently has SJU playing as the very fastest team in the nation on the offensive end. There will be coaching tidbits aplenty to glean from this game.

The only drawback is that Fox Sports One has a great crew on this game. Kevin Kugler and Jim Sparnakel are a top notch announcer pairing and not one that would require the muting or grinding of teeth that can come with Dickie Simpkins, Bill Raftery, or Donny Marshall. Hopefully, between the coaching and the bleeping, the best play by play man this side of Gus Johnson can get a word in edgewise.