Chat with Myron Medcalf
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Myron Medcalf (3:00 PM)
I'm here. Let's go.
WISCONSON-INDIANA THURSDAY, WHO YA GOT?
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
I'm going with Wisconsin. The Badgers are hot. They're not losing in Madison.
Sarah (NYC, NY)
Pick your number one seeds. Now pick the first one to go out.
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse. First one out ... Ohio State.
Alex. Kansas city Missouri [via mobile]
Is Missouri's four guard attack a real contender?
Myron Medcalf (3:02 PM)
Yep. That versatility will be even more important in March. The Tigers have so many perimeter weapons. But Ricardo Ratliffe is the guy who makes the Tigers a Final Four contender. One of the smallest teams in the Big 12 ... but the Tigers are the toughest team in the league, too.
Who's the Big XII Coach of the Year to this point?
Myron Medcalf (3:03 PM)
It's Frank Haith right now. 1b. Bill Self. ... Give it a month .. Fred Hoiberg will get mentioned, too.
Ty (Big 12 Country)
Who wins the Big XII?
Myron Medcalf (3:04 PM)
Missouri and Kansas will share the title.
Could St. Mary's be a stronger team than Gonzaga?
Myron Medcalf (3:06 PM)
I know the game was played at Saint Mary's, but the Gaels destroyed Gonzaga a few weeks ago. Right now, Saint Mary's is the frontrunner for WCC title. But let's see how they fare on the road down the stretch.
Please Dear God tell me Creighton and Wichita State will get St Mary's and Murray St in bracket buster games. Iona, Nevada, and Long Beach State aren't even in the same league as these 4 so I hope ESPN doesn't screw things up.
Myron Medcalf (3:07 PM)
I disagree. I think LBSU is on that level. I'd love to see Dan Monson's team get a shot.
Pradeep (San Francisco)
Why is Kansas one of your number one seeds?
Myron Medcalf (3:08 PM)
Because Lunardi said so.
Sarah (NYC, NY)
Recent brothers you'd most want to have on your team at one time: Miles and Mason Plumlee; Stephen and Seth Curry; Tyler and Cody Zeller; Jeff and Marquis Teague?
Myron Medcalf (3:09 PM)
I'll take the Zellers. Hard to find polished big men. You could build a national champion around those two.
Andy (St. Louis)
Where is Jason King today?
Myron Medcalf (3:09 PM)
On TV. Now. Turn to ESPNU.
Do you think the Gophers end up making the Tournament?
Myron Medcalf (3:11 PM)
Maybe. I think the Gophers are playing better than most thought they would be right now. But to crack the field of 68, they'll need more than a win over Indiana. The Big Ten is such a mystery right now. Minnesota has as much of a chance as the rest of the bottom tier.
Greg (Titletown, USA)
If you had to choose one player (from this academic year), one coach (still coaching), and one venue (still in use) to start-up a basketball program, which of each would you choose?
Myron Medcalf (3:12 PM)
Anthony Davis. Steve Fisher. Assembly Hall (Indiana).
Is the Pac-12 really getting just one bid?
Myron Medcalf (3:13 PM)
It's possible. They're destroying each other out there. You can't find one team with a rock-solid resume to date. At this pace, the Pac-12 tournament might be the most interesting postseason tourney in the country if the league is playing for one-bid.
Thoughts on Isaiah Canaan?
Myron Medcalf (3:14 PM)
Put him in a Kentucky jersey and he's in the national player of the year conversation.
Reece (Mankato, MN)
Who wins wednesday's matchup: Minnesota or Michigan State?
Myron Medcalf (3:15 PM)
I'll find 6-8 guys who can go. Harder to find 6-11 kids with polish. I was asked to build a team. I'm starting inside with the Zellers.
Julian (New Orleans)
Which rivalry game for the rest of this year are you looking forward to most?
Myron Medcalf (3:18 PM)
Duke-UNC Feb. 8. ACC title implications. Many questions after losses to FSU. There's a race in the ACC. Want to see how both teams respond.
SMG (NYC, NY)
The hypothetical: DUKE and UK meet in the tourney. Now, true or false: Anthony Davis would set a single game blocks record solely for the shots Austin Rivers tries to drive in on him?
Myron Medcalf (3:19 PM)
I could see it. Davis might set the NCAA tourney block record. Kentucky will win the national title because of his defense. Yeah, I said it.
The Big Ten race seems to be closer than people originally thought it would be. How many conference losses with the champion have?
Myron Medcalf (3:21 PM)
Good question. It's so tight early. But I expect Ohio State, Michigan State and a third team (maybe Wisconsin, maybe Indiana) to move away from the pack...eventually. 13-5 will win the Big Ten.
Terry (St. Louis)
If Murray State played Wisconsin tomorrow, what's the score?
Myron Medcalf (3:22 PM)
What makes Kansas so good year in and year out, even in a "down" year?
Myron Medcalf (3:25 PM)
Well, competing with a guy who's the national player of year frontrunner in the minds of many really helps. Withey isn't as soft as most assumed before the season began. And Taylor .. he's Taylor ... he's going to turn the ball over ... But he's also the best player in the Big 12 pound-for-pound. Credit Bill Self's coaching, too. A different team came out of the locker room after halftime against Texas A&M Monday night. That's Self.
MSU's win over FSU is looking more and more impressive every day. Unfortunately, the loss to Northwestern looks even worse by the day. If MSU can somehow win the Big Ten, will they get a number #1 seed?
Myron Medcalf (3:27 PM)
No guarantee of that even though the Big Ten is considered the best league in America. The conference winner could have five losses. And the Spartans have nonconference losses to Duke/UNC. It would be a strong possibility .. just not sure how the league's parity and those nonconf losses would affect their seeding.
Myron, you did not provide an answer to who wins the Minny-Michigan St game?
Myron Medcalf (3:27 PM)
Michigan State. Gophers always play tough in East Lansing. But Spartans are always too tough down the stretch.
Myron, What did you think of Alabama playing a good game aginst Kentucky? Kentucky barley is beating teams when it comes tourney time should they be worried when they play the top teams?
Myron Medcalf (3:29 PM)
I think Alabama had a lot of reasons to be proud of its effort against Kentucky. Anthony Davis is one of the best defenders we've ever seen. He was the difference-maker. But Bama found balance. And in the tournament, I think that squad will make a run. I think Kentucky can beat any team in the country.
So who is your frontrunner for POY?
Myron Medcalf (3:31 PM)
Anthony Davis. It's not like it's a landslide. I think you could make a case for Thomas Robinson and Doug McDermott. But Davis' defense is such a huge factor in every game.
Are you saying you think LBSU is better than Wichita State?
Myron Medcalf (3:33 PM)
That wasn't the question. The comment suggested that LBSU wasn't in the same class as the other teams. I disagree. I think LBSU could play with those teams. I'd take Wichita State in a head-to-head matchup. But don't sleep on LBSU.
Mike (San Diego)
Can the Cyclones win in Texas tonight? Seems like this is a bubble game in every sense of the term.
Myron Medcalf (3:35 PM)
Well, the Cyclones crushed Texas A&M on the road and they had early leads against Kansas and Missouri. Royce White is one of the best players in America. ... But now, the Cyclones have to put it all together and win consistently. I think they'll win at Texas.
I keep reading about potential coaches of the year, but ive not seen coach cals name. His teams are always top 5 in the country on the defensive end, hes in his third year with already a elite 8 and final four apperance. I think he deserves it!!
Myron Medcalf (3:36 PM)
He made my list. Check ESPN.com.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Lately it seems like Tyshawn Taylor has a little Kemba in him. Can he lead the Jayhawks to the title?
Myron Medcalf (3:37 PM)
I trusted Kemba far more than I trust Tyshawn. I think Taylor can lead Kansas deep into the NCAA tourney. But at some point ... in a situation where guard play is so important ... those mistakes will cost the Jayhawks in the Big Dance.
Matt (Fort Collins)
When SDSU loses in Laramie tonight, can we put to rest the idea that they're a top 15 team? They've beaten one good team (UNLV) on a last second bucket at home. Where are the other wins to substantiate such love?
Myron Medcalf (3:39 PM)
Well, the Aztecs won't lose. They outplayed UNLV ... the best team in the West ... They're balanced. And they have the national coach of the year frontrunner. I think they're Top 15.
Bill George (Memphis, TN)
Is there a ceiling for UT freshman Jarnell Stokes?
Myron Medcalf (3:41 PM)
There's always a ceiling. But how does a kid go from high school to college reserve competing as hard as anyone on the floor against Kentucky to SEC starter .. amazing. Stokes changes the second half of the season for Cuonzo Martin's team.
Does Creighton have the ability to have an equally successful season next year?
Myron Medcalf (3:43 PM)
Not if McDermott goes pro. But if he's back ... you can always build around him. Echenique is back, too. But losing Young will be a blow.
Assembly Hall in Bloomington is the worst venue I have ever been at for college basketball. Horrible sight lines and an atmosphere that hasn't been relevant in more than a decade.
Myron Medcalf (3:45 PM)
Well, when I build my team there with Anthony Davis inside and Steve Fisher on the sideline ... everything will change. But seriously, I attended multiple games at Assembly Hall during Indiana's toughest days. Fans arrived early. They were loud and engaged. Disagree with that take.
How does MU match KU's size down low? I'm a Cavs fan but can't wait for that game in a couple weeks!
Myron Medcalf (3:46 PM)
That's no longer the question. Teams have to worry about covering Missouri outside. And Ratliffe is legit. How will KU deal with that versatility?
Why don't you have love for Kevin Jones? The guy having the best statistical season in the country while leading the Mountaineers to a much better than anticipated season.
Myron Medcalf (3:47 PM)
Great point. Kevin Jones is certainly in the mix. It's kind of like an ice cream shop. There are about five flavors to choose from this season. All winners.
Speaking of horrible environments, fans here can't even fill up Mizzou Arena unless Kansas comes to town. Apparently nobody realizes we are the #2 team in the country.
Myron Medcalf (3:49 PM)
yeah, that's too bad. Fun team to watch. I saw the Tigers at Iowa State a few weeks ago. They play with so much energy and tenacity.
How do you think Teague has done this year following Wall and Knight. Im not sold on him due to the high level of talen of the two before him.
Myron Medcalf (3:50 PM)
That's the problem .. folks who saw Wall and Knight expect to see that same kind of player at that position. But that's not Teague. If he perfects the role of the distributor and consistent defender, he can help that team win a national title. He's not Wall or Knight. But Wall and Knight didn't have his weapons, either.
Can you see J'covan Brown in the pros?
Myron Medcalf (3:51 PM)
Will an NBA coach let him shoot 28 times a game?
John David (Preston)
Is the SEC underrated like Calipari claims? Big wins last week...
Myron Medcalf (3:52 PM)
Nope. Not underrated. Underachievement put the SEC in this position. We've been given a multitude of reasons to question Florida, MSU, Vandy and Bama this season.
How far can UNC make it in your eyes w/o Dexter Strickland? Are they still a final four team?
Myron Medcalf (3:53 PM)
I can't call UNC a Final Four team right now. But the Tar Heels are so talented, even without Strickland. They have a lot of time to rebuild their momentum. They could end up in New Orleans. But due to a lack of consistent toughness, they could be the first Top-10 to go home early in March, too.
John David (Preston)
Which preseason all american underachiever has surprised you the most this year? Reason for their struggles?
Myron Medcalf (3:56 PM)
Terrence Jones. I was surprised. But Jones has a tough task .. going from The Man to finding his role on this talented roster. But I think he's finding his rhythm. Jordan Taylor struggled early too. But he's going to be a Big Ten player of the year contender by the end of the season.
Daniel (Dodge City)
What is your opinion on K-State? Contenders or Pretenders?
Myron Medcalf (3:58 PM)
Ask me in a month (KU/Baylor/Mizzou in back-to-back-to-back games in February)
Give me a prediction for the Feb 4th top 5 showdown of KU v MU.
Myron Medcalf (3:59 PM)
Kansas will win that game. Not sure about the score yet.
Myron Medcalf (4:01 PM)
Thanks for your time everyone. I'll see you soon. Follow me on Twitter @MedcalfByESPN. If I missed your question, send me a note at email@example.com.