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 2 p.m. ET!
Myron Medcalf (2:00 PM)
What's up, everyone? Hope you all are enjoying your summer. Let's talk college hoops! It's been too long.
Coach Crean mentioned he was contacted for a "made for TV game" this coming season. Have you heard anything about this game or care to speculate on who the opponent might be? Thank you sir.
Myron Medcalf (2:01 PM)
Haven't heard specifics. But I pray that it's Louisville, since we all know it won't be Kentucky.
Jonah Tuls (New Mexico)
Who do you think will win the Big East next year and why?
Myron Medcalf (2:04 PM)
I like Cuse's length. I like Coleman coming in. But Louisville is a monster right now. Dieng is a beast inside. Guards return. Blackshear will be a different player with a summer to get in shape.
Dave (Eastern NC)
Everyone expects NC State to be the preseason favorite in the ACC (I can't believe that is actually being put in print). If they stumble, who has the best shot finishing atop the ACC?
Myron Medcalf (2:05 PM)
I'd say Duke. Some key veterans return. Talented incoming freshman in Rashad Sulaiman. I'd pick Duke. But it's all NC State right now, IMO. Rodney Purvis is legit.
kentucky and coach cal has been catching grief lately for wanting to have games at football domes to better prepare his players for the ncaa tourny. my question is whats the big deal about teams wanting to do this? In my opinion with how college basketball is now if you dont win you can easily loose your job. I'm a manager at my job so i have to prepare my employees the best i can so i can keep my jop an this is sad to say but with college basketball now the players are a coach"s employees if they dont win that coach will loose his job. So why give a coach grief for doing what he can to keep his job?
Myron Medcalf (2:08 PM)
Well, I don't think Kentucky has to play at a football stadium in order for Cal to keep his job. I understand the trend. Bigger is usually better in college sports. But I'm worried that we're taking too many games off campus. College basketball is sustained by a grassroots effort. Campuses, large and small, support their favorite teams and then we all get together in March for a national party. I just question whether we're preserving that with these football stadium games. Bad trend, IMO.
JEllis (Decatur, IL)
Winning cures all problems and winning gets you top recruits, so how long will it take for the "fighting Illini" to get those top recruits? How long will Groce be given if he doesnt?
Myron Medcalf (2:10 PM)
Well, define "top recruits." Jabari Parker might be the best high school player since LeBron, but few believe he'll end up at Illinois. I don't if the question is "how long"? I think it's what will Illinois do to make itself more relevant to Chicago-area recruits and top players on the national scene. Facilities are an issue. I think Groce will get time. And he can recruit there. But premier recruits? Penetrating Chicago would help Groce's cause.
Jeremy (San Diego)
Is it wrong to think that Arizona will win the Pac-12 over Ucla?
Myron Medcalf (2:13 PM)
Short answer: Nope. Longer answer: If UCLA finds the right chemistry with its extremely talented recruiting class and standout returning veterans, then the Bruins will win the Pac-12 and might end up in Atlanta, IMO. But "chemistry" is not something Howland has been able to create for a few years. But Sean Miller faces the same problem. He has a very talented (and underrated) crew in Tucscon. Will they all blend? That's the question. If the answer is yes, then the top of the Pac-12 will be a war. Can't wait.
Tommy Matschiner (Portland, OR)
What do you think about Indiana, NC State, UNLV, and Michigan in the Final 4 next season?
Myron Medcalf (2:17 PM)
Well, I'm with you on N.C. State and Indiana. I could see both in Atlanta. UNLV? Maybe. Maybe. A lot of cooks in that frontcourt kitchen. Talent, but how will that rotation work for Rice. Michigan in the Final Four? A sleeper for sure. But that means McGary has to be Zeller. Not sure he's there. Interesting mix though.
cameron (lexington ky)
Who do you think will start for kentucky and how far in the tourney can you see them getting? Final Four?
Myron Medcalf (2:21 PM)
So many questions with that starting rotation. Noel for sure. Many battles beyond that. I could see Kentucky winning it all, again. Depends on Noel's offensive development. But they'll have the tools. But it won't be easy. Indiana, Louisville ... Very complete, balanced rosters. Both will be very hard to beat next year.
With the trend toward large neutral site stadiums and the push to play players, do you ever think the NCAA will evolve into a type of minor league with players being represented by agents during recruitment? It would be horrible but I think that twenty years down the line this may be the case.
Myron Medcalf (2:25 PM)
Well, we're not very far from that. I think NCAA basketball is a minor league for the NBA. I think players should get paid for a variety of reasons. I don't think we'll see a direct professional model in college basketball as long as the NCAA exists. But the wall between amateur basketball and pro basketball is not nearly as thick as it once was. I don't think it would be horrible. It's already happening.
Is the Issues with Hoyas not getting the Very Elite Players is the type of Offensive system they run, Because they seems to be alot of guys final 4 or 3 listed players
Myron Medcalf (2:28 PM)
The Hoyas run a complicated offense, yes. But they're not alone. JTIII has managed to sign some really talented players who've evolved into NBA guys. I think G-Town's system is one that helps guys develop over time as they learn their roles (especially bigs) in that offensive set that makes big men do a little bit of everything. But Otto Porter could be "very elite" next season. Roy Hibbert wasn't bad, right?
Adam (Las Vegas, NV)
How far do you think UNLV could go in the Tournament?
Myron Medcalf (2:30 PM)
Hard to say. That's one of those squads that might look shaky in November and Top-5 in March when it matters. I like Anthony Bennett's game. Moser is back. Birch after fall semester. Smith might be eligible. But how will that rotation shake out, especially with Birch's (Smith's?) late arrival? Chemistry so crucial for that team. But they have a Final Four frontcourt.
Jonah Tuls (New Mexico)
Do you think Louisville is the favorite to win the national championship and the consensus #1 with additions of Hancock, Rozier, and Harrell?
Myron Medcalf (2:32 PM)
No. It will probably be Indiana, entering the season. And that makes sense with all of the pieces returning. But Louisville is right there. Kentucky, too. It will be close. But "favorite" means nothing. Who's going to be ready to go in Atlanta? Louisville has the ability to reach the podium.
What's going to be the most competitive conference?
Myron Medcalf (2:34 PM)
Competitive can mean a lot of things. I think we'll see a battle in the Big 12. The top of the Big East will be interesting again. Indiana is clearly the Big Ten favorite but so many other squads can make noise, too. The Big Ten could earn the "parity" crown again. But seems like there will be a war in every major conference this season, at least at the top.
B1G come down to IU and Michigan?? MSU will still be good and OSU still has Deshaun Thomas, but I tend to think Indiana and Michigan are 1a and 1b.
Myron Medcalf (2:36 PM)
Never seems to work that way in the Big Ten. Indiana SHOULD win the Big Ten. Yep. But Ohio State will be a more versatile team with Thomas leading that offense. Gary Harris is the truth. Michigan State will be good, too. Rodney Williams went nuts in the NIT, Trevor Mbakwe returns. Minnesota is a sleeper. It's going to be very interesting.
How long do you think it will take Martin to turn the Gamecocks into a tournament team
Myron Medcalf (2:38 PM)
Hard to say. The good news is that star power carries so much weight in college basketball. And it only takes a few recruits to turn a program. But can Martin steal elite guys from the Carolina/Southern schools that will also pursue them? Not sure. He has a tough task ahead, IMO.
Whats UNC going to be like next year?
Myron Medcalf (2:40 PM)
Talented. But they've lost so much. You can't even judge guys like McAdoo right now because their roles will be so different. What's the point guard situation? I like Marcus Paige's game. A lot. I don't know if he's as "Day 1" ready as Kendall Marshall was a few years ago. Plus, N.C. State is loaded. Could be a tough year (in North Carolina terms) for the Tar Heels?
Tommy Matschiner (Portland, OR)
Who will have the nation's best backcourt and frontcourt this upcoming season?
Myron Medcalf (2:45 PM)
FrontCourt (top of my head, ok?)1. Indiana 2. Kentucky (Noel is special)3. Louisville Backcourt1. Michigan2. UCLA3. Baylor
Will U (Tupelo)
Hey Myron, Do you see Bruce Weber having a good couple of years at KSU then fizzling out(sub .500 in conference play) like he did at Illinois? Quite a few of the EMAW nation are scared that this is what will happen.
Myron Medcalf (2:47 PM)
"Fizzling out." I disagree. That's not what happened at Illinois. "Collapse." That's what happened. Weber had the makings of a Big Ten contender in recent years but couldn't find the glue to make it all come together. So, I think he'll bring players to Kansas State. But that "common goal" thing was a problem at Illinois. I could see Weber having a lot of success at Kansas State. It's really a fresh start for him.
David (Roanoke, VA)
Name someone we have not heard of today, but will be a house hold name by the final four.
Myron Medcalf (2:50 PM)
Isaiah Austin. Baylor. I saw Nerlens Noel in high school. I saw Austin multiple times in high school. Same level in terms of shot-blocking. He's a skinny kid. But Austin's defensive ability is ridiculous. Plus, he's versatile on offense. Played PG for his AAU squad in stretches. Again. Isaiah Austin. Google him.
How do you think the gators will do this year. They lost Beal, but got some good recruits. They've been to the Elite Eight 2 years in a row, but I think this may be their year to break through
Myron Medcalf (2:52 PM)
Still a team that can make a run in March. If Beal stays, however, they're a national title contender. He made the right move. But man, another year would have been something special for Gators fans.
how will steven adams fair next year against college bigs?
Myron Medcalf (2:53 PM)
I think he'll be good. Great footwork and he's explosive. Too often "international" big conjures up images of a jump-shooting 7-footer emulating Dirk. But Adams will go to the rim. Not afraid to be physical. Excited to see him play.
Yo what up Myron! How boss are my Cards gonna be next year? And who on their roster do you think will leave early for the NBA if any?
Myron Medcalf (2:54 PM)
Here's the thing. I know Louisville coaches are going to help Dieng with his offense this season. And Blackshear is healthy so he get back into game shape. If I had to pick right now, I'd say Louisville, Indiana, Kentucky and a fourth team TBA will be in Atlanta. If Cards win it all, I won't be surprised.
You said MN is a sleeper team in the B10.....where do you expect them to finish? Top 3-4 in B10 and Sweet 16 a possibility?
Myron Medcalf (2:56 PM)
Here's the thing. "Top 3 or 4" in the Big Ten is serious. Indiana (frontrunner to win the national title). Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan (Top 10). Illinois has some talent. Iowa will surprise folks. Wisconsin has Sam Dekker coming in. Let's see if Mbakwe is 100 percent again. Top 5 is possible. But it's not going to be easy. Again. Top 4, however, would mean that the Gophers would get through four teams that will be ranked Top 10 at some point next season. Tough task. But not impossible.
Michigan relying on 3 freshman to contribute next year (McGary, GRIII, Stauskas) scary considering their youth or exciting considering their talent?
Myron Medcalf (2:57 PM)
Trey Burke. If you're relying on an incoming freshman PG, different story. But Burke makes that youth exciting for Wolverines.
Marquette was listed as the 8th best coaching job in the BE, and the reasoning was "just like their catholic brethren, only with less money to spend" Last time I checked Marquette spends tremendously more than ND, Nova or GTown all of which were listed above them plus in an urban environment and closer to chicago than ND they have pretty good atmosphere. Could you offer a better explanation as to why they're so low?
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
Well, I'm from Milwaukee. Grew up watching Marquette basketball. Public arena. Competition with a slate of powerful Big Ten schools. Urban environment? Yes. Not necessarily appealing, especially for premier recruits. I think it's a good program. But in the Big East, I agree with that ranking. Sorry, Milwaukee.
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
Folks, it's been real. Thank you for your time. Hit me up on Twitter (@MedcalfByESPN) or gmail: firstname.lastname@example.org if I missed your question. Thanks again.
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