McNabb excited to talk hoops

McNabb excited to talk hoops
March 16, 2011, 8:13 pm
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 4:12 p.m.

By Ryan OHalloran
Redskins InsiderCSNwashington.com

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During his first year with the Redskins, quarterback Donovan McNabb confirmed his reputation as a player who was loath to be critical of any teammate or publicly second-guess a coachs opinion.

But dont expect McNabb to be as politically correct this week when he guests as a college basketball analyst for Comcast SportsNet. The former reserve Syracuse guard has kept close tabs on both the college and NBA games for years.

Its very exciting because I love the game of basketball and I wanted to open up the window and not just talk about football, but show that I have knowledge of the basketball side of things as well, he said in a phone interview with CSNwashington.com Wednesday afternoon.

McNabb will appear on Comcast SportsNet for segments Thursday at 10, 10:30 and 11 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.

McNabb on the tournament: Its a wide open field. A lot of people are giving Ohio State and Kansas the edge. Kansas, I can see. But Ohio State, the Big Ten hasnt been very successful since Michigan State had its run with Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson. And the brackets this year arent as equal. Duke has an easier bracket. Ohio State has a tougher bracket.

On George Mason being a factor: Its kind of tough. Theyre a tough team and they played well in their conference, but theyre going to have to go through a lot of strong walls to advance.

On Georgetown making a run: Georgetown scares me a little bit. If they can get their point guard Chris Wright back and rebounding from their frontcourt, thats something theyve been missing through the end of the year. Austin Freeman is their scorer, but losing the point guard hurt a lot, and they havent been getting much strong play in the frontcourt.

On the chances of Syracuse, his alma mater: Im obviously biased to Syracuse. I want them to do well. I have my champion picked and some teams that I look forward to seeing move on.

McNabb, a broadcast major at Syracuse, has done NFL-related work for years and wants his post-football career to involve TV work covering multiple sports.

That was one of my goals and things I aspire to do since I was young, he said

McNabb brings a unique perspective thanks to his two years on the Syracuse basketball team. He scored 41 points in 18 games as a reserve and was on the Orange team that lost to Kentucky in the 1997 national title game.

As a player, youre very excited before the opening game, he said. The team is riled up and it all starts with Selection Sunday, and the guys get together, order pizza, have a pop and find out where youre going and who youre playing.

On the football field, McNabbs future with the Redskins remains muddled because the lockout prevents any player movement or any contact between teams and players. He ended last season on the bench after Rex Grossman was named the starter. (A parameter of the phone interview was that football questions pertain only to the labor strife.)

McNabb said he hasnt been paying much attention to the labor talks.

It pertains to me and us standing up for each other and being able to unite as one, he said. Of course, there are going to be some heated arguments.

McNabb has continued his regular offseason training routine in Arizona as usual.

Im looking forward to prepare and make myself a better quarterback and a better player, he said. The lockout is an opportunity for a lot of us to work with our trainers.

Contact O'Halloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.