Longtime ESPN college basketball analyst Digger Phelps has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, according to a network announcement late Thursday night.  The former Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach has been a mainstay on ESPN's college basketball coverage for two decades as one of the network's most identifable studio analysts.  More from ESPN:

"Television analyst and former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, ESPN announced Thursday.

Phelps has had surgery and will start follow-up treatment next week near his home in South Bend, Indiana.

In a statement, Phelps said that "he and his family appreciate your thoughts and prayers as he prepares for the 2013-2014 college basketball season."

Phelps, 71, has been a college basketball analyst for ESPN since 1993. He coached the Fighting Irish for 20 years from 1972-1991."

Well wishes have already poured in from around college basketball and Phelps' ESPN broadcast colleague Dick Vitale tweeted an encouraging statement that Phelps' cancer had been caught early and he was optimistic.

Certainly we pass along our thoughts and prayers to Digger and well wishes for a full recovery.

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