February 14, 2010 12:16:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- If you think the action on the court is fast, try keeping up with Eric Posman and Dave Burchett.
Between waves of the left hand and snapping of the fingers, the producer-director tandem that worked the Jan. 30 LSU-Mississippi State men''s basketball at Humphrey Coliseum are equal parts conductor and traffic cop.
The way they pulled it off with the help of associate director Jil Gossard-Cook and a host of talented crew members who took care of graphics, the clock and score, audio, replays, and everything else was a whirlwind to watch and a treat to enjoy.
Here is a blow-by-blow sample of how the men and women on the SEC Network game on ESPN/ESPN Regional Television made the most of a less-than-stellar 67-51 MSU victory.
11:22 a.m. -- Humphrey Coliseum is just stirring to life and the cameramen are busy capturing players from both teams as they warm up. MSU''s Ravern Johnson is one of the players targeted. He is part of one of the storylines -- the Bulldogs'' 3-point shooting woes-- the announcers will try to highlight in the broadcast.
Burchett is delighted the cameramen get the shots needs to assemble the package. "I love it when we knock it out early. It makes me happy," he said.
11:36 a.m. -- A picture of analyst Joe Dean Jr., a former MSU men''s basketball player, comes up on one of the high-definition monitors that forms a wall of images in front of the group in the back of the production trailer. "Look at that hair," someone says. The image of Dean Jr. is to be used with a package that will highlight the great players in MSU men''s basketball history.
11:38 a.m. -- Spelling is essential. The crew edits a graphic that includes the word "underrated" and another that highlights freshman Renardo Sidney and the NCAA investigation into his "amateur" status.
11:49 a.m. -- Play-by-play announcer Dave Baker and Dean Jr. do their advancer, or scene-setting introduction that will be used at the start of the broadcast. They need a second take to get the wording down. The footage the cameramen shot of the crowd earlier in the morning is edited together with an on-air shot of the announcers, or "talent," and graphics. Dean Jr. talks too long explaining one of the points to watch, which leads Posman to tell him that they would put them both on camera if he was going to talk that long.
Dean Jr. doesn''t go as long in his actual introduction to start the game.
11:51 a.m. -- On the fourth take of the advancer, Baker works a play on words into his opening to incorporate the cold temperatures outside: "In weather like this, don''t leave your dogs outside."
The final product is one minute long and is recorded and sent to Charlotte, N.C., the home site for the regional telecasts.
12:15 p.m. -- The cameramen are asked to get another fan shot because the other fan shot is too tight, or close. The cameramen get a posed shot of the MSU cheerleaders to add to the opening.
12:35 p.m. -- Someone brings up a point tat no one has mentioned: The coaches are wearing sneakers as part of Coaches vs. Cancer weekend.
12:38 p.m. -- Baker says he is not going to do another game this year unless it is with this crew.
12:43 p.m. -- Lights out at The Hump for player introductions.
12:45 p.m. -- One minute to broadcast.
12:47.22 p.m. -- Tip
12:55 p.m. -- The graphic highlighting Varnado''s place on the NCAA all-time blocked shots list is used after his first block.
12:56 p.m. -- Dean Jr. talks about the Renardo Sidney eligibility issue, and a camera catches him on the bench.
1 p.m. -- The graphics guys are encouraged to keep updating LSU''s field goal woes to highlight their slow start.
1:03 p.m. -- The producer sets up the return by telling the cameramen to get a shot of Bully, MSU''s mascot, and then to have the graphic on Sidney ready.
1:05 p.m. -- Sidney congratulates a teammate on the sideline and the announcers continue to discuss his situation with the NCAA.
1:06.45 p.m. -- LSU hits its first field goal and the telecast briefly loses its audio.
1:06.56 p.m. -- The audio returns.
1:11 p.m. -- The producer asks, "What are you supposed to do with a 12-4 game?"
1:25 p.m. -- The producer asks graphics to create a graphic for LSU''s season-low scoring output in first half.
1:27 p.m. -- LSU had a season-low 18 points vs. Alabama.
1:32 p.m. -- At halftime, the producer and Baker compare South Carolina''s Devan Downey and LSU''s Tasmin Mitchell. "Mitchell is far more one-dimensional than Downey," Baker said.
1:53 p.m. -- Dean Jr. gets to use the signature line, "a little string music" after a made basket. There haven''t been many times to try to use it.
2:02 p.m. -- Baker calls Varnado the best on-ball shot blocker he has seen.
2:06 p.m. -- Varnado gets block No. 500.
2:32 p.m. -- Varnado''s spin move for a score is the play of the game.
2:41 p.m. -- Out.
Adam Minichino is the former Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.