Chat with Myron Medcalf
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, college basketball writer Myron Medcalf stops by to chat about the hardcourt.
Medcalf joined ESPN.com in 2011 after a four-year stint covering colllege basketball for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His relationship with ESPN began in 2004, when he was an intern for ESPN the Magazine in New York City.
Send your questions now and join Medcalf Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Myron Medcalf (3:00 PM)
Hello all. Thanks for joining me. Let's go ...
Is Cal your favorite for the Pac 12 crown?
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
I don't have one, honestly. Wide open league at this point. But Zona and Cal would be my top picks if I had to choose.
Joe (Columbus Ohio )
Any news about Jered Sullinger playing tomorrow against kansas? and should he be ready to play tomorrow?
Myron Medcalf (3:02 PM)
Matta says he woke up dancing the other day. Didn't specify what dance. I'll assume the Dougie. So, I expect him to play. But back spasms are called spasms for a reason. We won't know until gametime.
Myron Medcalf (3:04 PM)
North Carolina. Weren't the Tar Heels supposed to walk through their schedule? I mean, entering the season it was the Tar Heels and everyone else and they have two losses. I think UNC will make a Final Four run. And Kentucky is a really good team. Just surprised that there's far more parity among the top-10 than preseason projections suggested.
This season's early surprise is ..................?
Coach Cal (In Tom Crean's Head)
Whats up with all your colleagues picking the upset? Give my squad some respect were #1 for a reason! IU should fear the brow!
Myron Medcalf (3:05 PM)
Um, I'm with them. I'm going with the upset. Here's the thing. There aren't that many potential upsets to choose from this weekend. Kentucky will be on the road. That building will be rocking. And the Hoosiers have some confidence. Should be fun.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Happens if a Player Starts a Fight in NCAA Men's & Women's College Basketball?
Myron Medcalf (3:06 PM)
Depends on who they're fighting but bodily harm is always possible.
Chris (Burlington NC)
Does Duke have an identity yet and has Mason Plumlee established himself as a threat in the post?
Myron Medcalf (3:08 PM)
Yep. The Blue Devils have an identity. The guy who's in charge has won a lot of games. That's who they are. Outside of that, I think Austin Rivers is embracing the spotlight and the pressure that comes with it. It's hard to find leadership when you're relying on combo guards without a true point. They're young but talented and growing.
How good do you think the 7-0 Xavier Musketeers are? Who do you see winning the crosstown shootout on saturday?
Myron Medcalf (3:09 PM)
I think Xavier is a very good team. And Tu Holloway is a big part of that. With his leadership, I think they will be able to compete with the best teams in the country come March. I pick Xavier in the shootout.
Myron, Do you think Alabama can still comptete with Kentucky in the SEC even tough Bama lost to Dayton team that lost to Murrey State and Buffalo really bad?
Myron Medcalf (3:12 PM)
I think Dayton is a solid team. And the Tide certainly have the talent to compete for the SEC crown. But they have to snap this losing skid for psychological reasons. You don't want guys recalling last year's woes and fearing that they're headed toward a downturn again.
Did you are anyone else pull a huge double take when you wrote that Doug McDermott almost redshirted last year??
Myron Medcalf (3:13 PM)
Yeah, it's surprising now. But then, McDermott was a freshman who was competing for PT against veterans. So it made sense then. But it's still an amazing journey from possible redshirt to possible All-American.
Keys for my HOOSIERS to beat Kentucky tomorrow?
Myron Medcalf (3:15 PM)
Does Eric Gordon have any eligibility left? Just kidding. Run, run, run. If Kentucky plays fast basketball early, I think the Wildcats will build an early, insurmountable lead. Indiana has to keep up and stop the Wildcats from dictating the pace of the game. Also, this would be a good time for Cody Zeller to have one of those "Um, looks like he's not staying in school for another year" performances.
OSU/Kansas...I see all the experts on the Bucks, but I see KU with an upset at home...am I right?
Myron Medcalf (3:16 PM)
Nope .. assuming Sullinger plays.
Tim (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Myron, I am loving the attention you are giving the Gaels so far. I am a proud alum and am having a blast with their early season success. What do you think they are capable of achieving this season?
Myron Medcalf (3:17 PM)
Well, we know they can score and they love to spread the ball. That trio of Machado, Glover and Jones is as good as any in the midmajor ranks. But I didn't like their early energy against a talented Denver team. Are they getting comfortable? Iona could go far in March. But at some point, they're going to have to play better D and avoid these shootouts.
Kevin Pangos (Spokane)
Michigan State or GU who do you got?
Myron Medcalf (3:18 PM)
I like Gonzaga.
Tommy [via mobile]
Does last night's loss to UConn mean the end of Harvard's one-week reign in the Top 25?
Myron Medcalf (3:20 PM)
Probably. But that doesn't matter for their bigger goals. Harvard will have a shot at an at-large bid. And with its experience, it'll be equipped for the postseason, too.
What percentage of teams in the NCAA have a legitimate back-to-the-basket post-up game?
Myron Medcalf (3:22 PM)
I'm flattered that you think I have the answer to that question. I will say this ... What happened to the five-man in college basketball? Every 6-8 to 6-11 kid is a four. I think the traditional back-to-basket college player is approaching extinction.
How do you think Baylor will end up this season? And do you think they will win the Big XII?
Myron Medcalf (3:23 PM)
Pierre Jackson is confident. And Perry Jones is back. They're my pick to win the Big 12. But Missouri is legit. And I can't write off Kansas because of the challenges opponents might have in their building. Plus, Texas A&M could get a boost when Khris Middleton returns.
Mike K. (Durham, N.C.)
Who's your favorite Plumlee?
Myron Medcalf (3:23 PM)
The tall one.
Kyle (Asheville, NC)
What was it that you said last week.. That Kansas is pretty good but Duke isn't nearly as good as usual. You did see Duke beat them, right? Or are you just biased against the Blue Devils?
Myron Medcalf (3:26 PM)
Definitely not biased against the Blue Devils. And I still don't think Duke is the team many believed it would be before the season. They have a fresh backcourt and they lost two talented veterans. So it's going to take time. But it's not like I said Duke was bad after the Ohio State loss. But it was a lopsided loss and surprising because I thought the Blue Devils would have put up more of a fight.
Are you impressed with how the Gophers are playing w/o Mbawke? Any chance they go dancing in March?
Myron Medcalf (3:28 PM)
Yep, I'm very surprised. But it's early. They have to find a way to sustain this. And that will tough without Mbakwe's muscle in the Big Ten.
Sully vs RobinsonBuckeyes vs 'HawksIf the Jayhawks can cut down on turnovers and have big production from Robinson and bench as well, can Kansas pull the "upset" ?
Myron Medcalf (3:29 PM)
Sure, there's always a chance. But I think Ohio State is the best team in America and I think it's the most balanced team in America. Not sure how Kansas has the defensive prowess to matchup with the Buckeyes for 40 minutes. And they'll need more than Robinson to pull off the upset.
MM (KC,MO) [via mobile]
Have you had a chance to see MIZZOU live this year? If you have not, I suggest the Illini game in St.louis on Dec.22. Great atmosphere and should be a great game.
Myron Medcalf (3:30 PM)
I hope my editor is reading this. I'd love to see that.
I can't remember a Syracuse team with so much depth! And they are excellent defensively. Do you think they are Final Four material?
Myron Medcalf (3:31 PM)
It's so early. But they're very deep. Here's what I appreciate about Syracuse ... It's hard to find another team that maintains it momentum despite substitutions. They swap and it's like the starters are still on the floor. They're athletic and long. And that's going to be a huge factor down the stretch.
Hohanshelt (Indianola Iowa)
What is your thoughts on the Missouri Valley Conference this year? 3 team conference for the NCAA tourny?
Myron Medcalf (3:34 PM)
A feisty league. I think Creighton is the real deal. Wichita State just beat UNLV. Northern Iowa is solid, too. And Indiana State has only lost to Minnesota on a neutral floor and a solid Boise State team.
Everyone is using the UNC game as ammo for the IU-UK upset. Kentucky only beat UNC by a point at home, therefore Kentucky will lose on the road to an undefeated IU. Cool story. But last time I checked IU shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence as UNC. Kansas' chance at winning > Indiana's chance at winning.
Myron Medcalf (3:37 PM)
Upsets happen. North Carolina is a really good team but we realized that the Tar Heels were human when they lost to UNLV. At some point, Kentucky will have a "human" moment, too. Could be Saturday.
Has Reeves Nelson ruined any shot he had as a NBA draft pick?
Myron Medcalf (3:40 PM)
The NBA is all about skill. The red flags won't matter if he's good enough. But they'll hurt him if he's a borderline pick with baggage. That's when guys are hurt by offcourt stuff.
MM (KC,MO) [via mobile]
I know it's early but, is Marcus Denmon in the conversation for POY? MIZ
Myron Medcalf (3:41 PM)
He's on my list.
Did Howland finally get a backbone or did he cave into the crictics who said he needed to grow one?
Myron Medcalf (3:43 PM)
I think Howland knew what he had to do when he suspended Nelson for the second time. But I'm sure he felt a lot of pressure to dismiss him, too, especially within that program. I mean, his job might be on the line. He doesn't need that kind of distraction.
I know it's early but shouldn't Long Beach State deserve consideration for an at large bid should they win the conference regular season but lose in the tournament. The committee says schedule tough non conference and nobody can have a tougher non conference schedule than them. Also good win vs Pittsburgh and been competitive against best.
Myron Medcalf (3:46 PM)
But they've been playing a tough schedule in recent years. Without wins, however, it'll be hard to get in without the tourney title. The Pitt win alone might not be enough in that scenario. But they should be the Big West's best team.
Who wins tomorrow, Duke or Washington?
Myron Medcalf (3:48 PM)
I pick Duke, but I think it'll be a good game given when we saw in the Washington-Marquette matchup.
With the addition of two new teams to the SEC in the Future, if UK had to drop one it's annual rivalry games (UofL, NC, Indiana) which team would make the most sense and why?
Myron Medcalf (3:50 PM)
I hate to think of Kentucky dropping any of those matchups. As a fan of the game, I like all of those rivalries.
Can Marquette play at a final four level without an offensive post threat?
Myron Medcalf (3:52 PM)
Great question. I think they're in that Top 10, Top 12 grouping right now. And opponents will have a tough time with their versatility, the way they can spread the floor. Final Four? It's so early. But they're very talented.
UNC is likely STILL the best team in the nation despite losing to Kentucky. IU? We're talking IU?
Myron Medcalf (3:53 PM)
Kentucky won that game. How is UNC the better team right now? We're talking about IU. Yes, IU. Maybe I'll be wrong. And that's fine. But that's what I love about this game. It's fun to pick possible upsets.
Kentucky/North Carolina/Syracuse/Ohio State which one would you see as the most likely to NOT make the Final Four....and why?
Myron Medcalf (3:54 PM)
Syracuse lacks the star power that the other schools possess. So I'd pick the Orange. Plus, the latter's offcourt distractions could prove problematic as the season progresses.
Duke is not a young team! They start 4 juniors and 1 freshman and the next two players off the bench are a sophomore and a senior!
Myron Medcalf (3:56 PM)
Meant to say they have young players in the backcourt, which is true. And it's such a new team. Different makeup compared to last year's Duke team without those Smith and Singler.
I know this isnt easy to answer but who do you think are the top 3 PGs
Myron Medcalf (3:59 PM)
1. Tu Holloway2. K. Marshall3. Aaron CraftPeyton Siva, Jordan Taylor right there, too. IMO. Their are better players at PG. But in terms of floor leaders ... I pick these guys.
VCU or Richmond tonight? Do you think either of these teams have the chance to make it to the tourney come March?
Myron Medcalf (4:01 PM)
I'll go with VCU. I think the CAA is wide open. So VCU still has a shot at the Big Dance.
Myron Medcalf (4:01 PM)
Well, folks. Thank you for joining me. Hope we can do this again soon.