One of Adam Morrison’s first observations of his new position as analyst on Gonzaga men’s basketball radio broadcasts was, well, very Morrison-like.
“I usually stay away from media types, now I’ve joined them,” Morrison cracked.
Morrison, one of the Zags’ all-time greats, replaces Matt Santangelo, one of the Zags’ all-time greats. Tom Hudson is back for his 16th season of play-by-play.
Hudson and Morrison will be on the air for Gonzaga’s Kraziness in the Kennel on Saturday.
Santangelo partnered with Hudson for the last three seasons and six of the last seven. Former Zag standout Cory Violette provided commentary in 2014.
Santangelo thoroughly enjoyed the radio job but was running short of hours in the day. The executive director of Hoopfest is a husband and father of three, including two boys active in Spokane AAU basketball, a Hoopfest program.
“I loved it for a number of reasons: close to the program, close to the game, my friendship with Huddy. That’s a really big deal but he’s my neighbor now so I’ll still get to see him,” said Santangelo, who helps coach his two sons’ AAU teams. “All of those would be huge reasons to keep doing it, but you start to look at the time commitment.
“I have a day job and a family, that’s what it comes down to.”
Morrison led the nation in scoring (28.1 ppg) in 2006, was a consensus All-American and shared player of the year honors with Duke’s J.J. Redick. Morrison became the highest draft pick in school history when he was selected third overall by Charlotte.
“His experience and success as a Bulldog will add an intriguing element to our broadcast,” Gonzaga IMG College general manager Mark Livingston said.
Morrison had a checkered NBA career. The Mead High product averaged 11.8 points as a rookie but missed the 2008 season with a torn ACL. He played part of the following season with Charlotte before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a reserve on Lakers’ championship teams in 2009 and 2010.
Morrison joined Gonzaga’s staff as a student assistant in 2014 while completing his degree. He returned in 2015 as an assistant video coordinator. He nearly joined the broadcast team a few years ago but it didn’t work out.
“Obviously I’m a dad so I’ll miss a few things, but this is something that gives me an opportunity to stay close to the game and be part of the university,” said Morrison, who stays busy with his three children. “I’m excited. I’ll ride Huddy’s coattails and learn as I go.”
Morrison has always been a straight shooter on and off the court. That probably won’t change when he puts on a headset for Zags’ games.
“Obviously I have to be careful of any foul language, but I think I can censor myself,” he said. “I think fans just want honest descriptions and that’s what I’ll try to give. I like the Zags but I’ll try not to be a homer, too.”