He's awesome, baby

One of Knight's greatest supporters is former coach, college basketball analyst Vitale



He is arguably the most animated voice in college basketball.

His catchphrases and antics are often mimicked.

He also is one of the few people that routinely refers to Texas Tech's head coach as Robert Montgomery Knight.

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale is one of Knight's biggest supporters. Vitale is the one that dubbed Knight, "The General" when Knight was still at Indiana.

Needless to say, Vitale had plenty to say about Knight surpassing Dean Smith.

Vitale

"You are talking about one of the truly great ones. I believe he is as good as it gets," Vitale said. "You go to clinics and listen to the man speak. He maximizes the ability of his players and that's what separates him from most coaches. If the talent is equal, he is going to beat you. He is a teacher, first and foremost. He has gotten on me sometimes and I've gotten on him for some of the things that he's done, but his kids go to class and academics are so important to him. Never, during his entire tenure, has his integrity been questioned." Vitale's college coaching career began at the University of Detroit, where he finished 78-30 from 1973-77.

Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons for one season before joining ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 1979. Vitale called the first college basketball game on ESPN and continues to serve as an analyst every week during the college basketball season. Vitale's contract with ESPN runs through 2013.

When speaking about Knight, one subject runs deep in Vitale's heart.

"I think it is an absolute disgrace that Indiana has not honored him and that's only because of a few egos up there," Vitale said. "They should rename the building, not the floor because that's what people are doing these days, but the building - the Robert Montgomery Knight Assembly Hall. All the players that he's touched, the lives he touched, all he did for the library and the money he raised. Because of some egos, though, it will not happen. He is Mr. Indiana and Texas Tech has benefitted greatly on a national level from him being there."

Don't call a T.O., baby, Vitale still wants to praise Knight.

"He's as unique as they come. He is strong in his beliefs and his loyalty is incredible. He teaches and he cares a great deal about the game.

"He's as fierce a competitor as they come and you need to go no further than the hottest coach in the country in Durham, N.C. to see what kind of impact he has had on the life of Coach K. ... He has a passion for what he does and a work ethic that is unmatched. He is a one of a kind, a legend and an icon."

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