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 (2:01 PM)
Hello all. Thanks for joining me. Let's go ...
Tim (Corvallis, OR)
Why doesn't the PAC-12 get much respect around the nation?
Myron Medcalf (2:04 PM)
I do believe the Pac-12 squads were certainly under-seeded in the Big Dance. But, there were a lot of questions about that league throughout the season. I also think UCLA's journey affected the perception of the entire conference because there was so much hype surrounding the Bruins. Pac-12 proved a lot of folks wrong, including me. There will be more buzz nationally about the conference prior to next season.
Denzel: gainesville, fl [via mobile]
Do you think gators will be top 5 team next year and have a chance to win a championship?
Myron Medcalf (2:06 PM)
Gators will definitely be in the title mix next season. I've talked to some legit basketball minds who believe Kasey Hill could be an Allen Iverson-type at this level. Chris Walker is just a ridiculous athlete. Patric Young returns. Florida will certainly be one of the toughest squads in the country.
Connor (Iowa City)
Top 5 teams in the Big Ten next year?
Myron Medcalf (2:08 PM)
1. Michigan (IF McGary, GRIII return)2. Michigan State (IF Payne and Harris come back)3. Ohio State 4. Iowa 5. Indiana
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Where does Reggie Bullock get selected in the draft?
Myron Medcalf (2:11 PM)
This draft is wide open, so I really think Reggie made the right decision. He's a big, athletic wing who can shoot from the perimeter. So I think some team will take him in the first round. He's also a versatile defender.
mike miller (louisville ky)
how good will uk,s next freshmen clas be.
Myron Medcalf (2:12 PM)
Amazing ... Five legit pros (Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle, James Young and the Harrisons) plus Poythress and Cauley-Stein returning. ... I just don't understand any arguments against making Kentucky the preseason favorite to win the national title.
Bo Ryan (Madison, WI)
I applaud you for not ranking my team in the Top 5. We use the ignorance of the national media(have you noticed that not a single one of my Wisconsin teams have finished as lowly as you predict?) as a motivational tool. Please continue to bury your heads in the sand. Thanks.
Myron Medcalf (2:14 PM)
You didn't read my disclaimers. (This is not Bo Ryan, folks.) Michigan and Michigan State drop if those guys don't return. I know all about Wisconsin. Never finished below fourth in the Big Ten or missed the tourney under Ryan. But if those Michigan/Michigan State kids return, the Big Ten will be stacked again.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Which early entry declaration surprised you the most?
Myron Medcalf (2:16 PM)
Probably Phil Pressey. I think this is a weak draft. So I understand the philosophy behind the decision. But he could have used his final year as Exhibit A for NBA scouts who question his ability to run a team at the next level.
As of right now 4/16/13 who are your top 5 teams heading into next season?
Myron Medcalf (2:19 PM)
Again ... this is way too early. And a lot of decisions could impact this. But let's assume Mitch McGary and GRIII return for Michigan and Payne/Harris come back for Michigan State. 1. Kentucky (Any debates?)2. Arizona (Wait until you see Aaron Gordon)3. Louisville (Assuming Russ Smith/Behanan return)4. Michigan 5. Florida 6. Michigan State
Tyler (Laramie, Wyo)
Any shot of Russ or Gorgui coming back?
Myron Medcalf (2:20 PM)
No on Gorgui. Russ is still on the fence. So still a chance he returns.
Where do you rank North Carolina next year?How good are the chances of getting Wiggins with Reggie gone?Which Freshman other than the UK guys should we watch?
Myron Medcalf (2:23 PM)
If Wiggins goes to Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels will be top-5, assuming McAdoo returns. Not sure where he stands on UNC. But he'd be an ACC star if signed with the Tar Heels. He's a special prospect. ... Other freshmen? Aaron Gordon, Kasey Hill, Jarrell Martin, Noah Vonleh, Austin Nichols
whos the front runner for Okafor/Jones combo?
Myron Medcalf (2:23 PM)
No idea. But whomever gets Tyus Jones and Okafor (if they really decide to play together) will be a national title contender. Seriously.
Kevin (Boise, ID)
Will Boise State make it to the NCAA tourney again next year?
Myron Medcalf (2:24 PM)
They'd better make it. Everybody is back. Young team that wasn't fully healthy in 2012-13. So I think the bigger question is will Boise State compete for the Mountain West title and win a game or two in the tourney. That should be the ceiling, not simply making the tourney.
Where do you predict Wiggins will go?
Myron Medcalf (2:25 PM)
I don't do that. No clue. He'll go wherever he thinks he can win.
Myron, Do you think Coach Cal will be on the hot seat if his team does not play like experts are saying?
Myron Medcalf (2:27 PM)
I don't think he'll be on the hot seat two years after winning a national title. But there's a lot of pressure on John Calipari, even more than the buildup to the 2011-12 season. That's just too much talent. The Wildcats should be in Dallas.
Jay Bilas doesn't have Gonzaga in his top 5 for next year. What do you think about their prospects for next year?
Myron Medcalf (2:28 PM)
Let's chat after we know Kelly Olynyk's decision. They're definitely top-10 if he returns, maybe top-5. But I don't think he's coming back. Plus, Zags lose Harris. Huge losses.
Charles (San Jose)
Have you heard the rumor about Grant Jerrett considering declaring? Would anyone draft him off 5 ppg/3 rpg?
Myron Medcalf (2:32 PM)
I've read the rumors and I don't think he's crazy for considering it. He's a 6-10 kid who shoots 41 percent from the 3-point line. In most years, I'd say he's making a mistake by even thinking about it. But this is going to a be a draft that involves a bunch of GMs taking risks in the first round on kids who might be late second-round picks a year from now. I'm not saying he's a first-rounder. But I don't see any problem with him considering it.
So even though we have no idea what to think of Kansas next year, with Coach MacGyver leading the way, can we go ahead and pencil KU in for 27 wins, a Big 12 Championship, and a 1-4 seed in the NCAA tournament?
Myron Medcalf (2:34 PM)
I'm not going to bet against that. Conner Frankamp is one of the most underrated players in this class. I saw him play a lot at a junior Olympic team tryout in Colorado a few years ago. I was very impressed by his versatility. He's going to shine under Self. Wayne Selden has NBA tools and size right now. Kansas will be Kansas.
john david (preston)
As long as you are bringing in recruiting classes like Calipari and sending players to league, the pressure you speak of is non-existent....because each year there is ALWAYS a shot to win it.
Myron Medcalf (2:35 PM)
John, Ben Howland is on Line 2 ... He'd like to speak with you about that comment.
do you think New Mexico is a legit contender for next year?
Myron Medcalf (2:38 PM)
I haven't made up my mind about the Lobos yet. I think Alex Kirk will explode on the national scene next season. Kendall Williams too. But losing Tony Snell hurts a lot on both ends of the floor. And I know Coach Neal helps the program maintain continuity following Alford's departure. But it's still a new position for him. I still have questions about the Lobos. But the potential is high.
Alex (Bronx NY)
where do you see duke next year ?
Myron Medcalf (2:41 PM)
Still competing for the ACC crown, even if Wiggins ends up at North Carolina. I've watched most of the top 2013 guys live. I had a chance to see Jabari Parker for a four-day stretch two years ago in Colorado and really analyze his talent level at the time. I really, really like his skill set. I think he'll be better than Wiggins at this level. I know I'm in the minority but Parker is special. Rodney Hood joins the team. Dawkins is back. I won't be shocked if Blue Devils win another ACC crown.
Do you see Duke starting a smaller and more versatile lineup with Hood and Parker at the 3 and 4? Or is Coach K more likely to bring one of the bench?
Myron Medcalf (2:42 PM)
They might go smaller. But there's no way Parker or Hood are coming off the bench.
Everyone talks about Harrison's, Wiggins, Parker, etc. Why is nobody talking about the big 2 recruits Michigan is bringing in with Irvin & Walton? Even if Hardaway
Myron Medcalf (2:43 PM)
That's fair theoretically. Two talented kids. But they're not Parker, Wiggins or the Harrisons. The latter are next-level talents.
How angry do you think the Shockers will play next year?
Myron Medcalf (2:45 PM)
Biggie Smalls once said, "Mo money, mo problems." Shockers have more prestige now after that Final Four run. Success can strip a program of its edge. But I'm sure they'll be angry about something and play that way again. Whatever works. And everything seems to work for Gregg Marshall and his squad.
How big of a blow is it to Arizona if Grant Jerrett goes pro? If he does, Mike Moser would be a great fit.
Myron Medcalf (2:47 PM)
It won't affect the preseason projections. I would still expect AZ to be top-5 because Aaron Gordon is that good.
James (New York)
Why would Jones and Okafor go to Duke? With Marshall Plumlee being the man in the middle and Cook being the starting point guard for two years, it seems like someone's toes would get stepped on
Myron Medcalf (2:47 PM)
Did I say they were going to Duke?
Ney Gin (Nashville )
So you feel like Jabari Parker will impact college hoops more the Julius Randle @ Kentucky?
Myron Medcalf (2:48 PM)
Yes. Parker will be the star of the 2013-14 freshman class. In the words of Trinidad James, "Don't believe me, just watch."
Michael (Overland Park)
So who would every let Mike Rice coach a teenage girls basketball team? That is just ridiculous.
Myron Medcalf (2:50 PM)
I'm not worried about it. I'm not going to scrutinize everything he does. I don't have time for that. He got fired. That was the right move. I'm not going to track him on the weekends to see what he's doing at an AAU tournament. Not my concern. It's really a "Who cares?" situation for me. More intriguing and worthwhile concerns than Mike Rice coaching a girls' AAU squad.
Why is it that we give Freshman loaded teams the benefit of the doubt. Cal had it work once (maybe twice if you count John Wall's year) Most of the time we see teams like UCLA and UK this year. I guess why pencil a team that has never played together number 1, rank em high sure, but number 1? come on.
Myron Medcalf (2:54 PM)
Listen, if the NBA scrapped its age limit, these kids wouldn't be playing college basketball. They'd be at the next level. Kentucky didn't have any experience. That was the issue and Noel went down late. I think they make the tournament if he stays healthy. Muhammad needed a month to get right after his suspension. Bruins were the Pac-12's best by the end of the regular season. ... This next Kentucky crew is unprecedented. Five top-11 kids. And they're not raw like last year's incoming freshmen. Poythress and Cauley-Stein are back. ... That's why UK is No. 1. It's a talent thing. They have more than any team in the country right now.
Hey Myron, to play a little devil's advocate for your earlier assessment of Kentucky's title odds, I don't understand any argument concluding that 5 high school players are legit pros.
Myron Medcalf (2:54 PM)
Future pros. By the end of the year, all five kids could be first-round picks. Julius Randle would be a lottery pick right now.
What do you think of Syracuse next year? Boeheim just keeps reloading it looks like
Myron Medcalf (2:55 PM)
Another good recruiting class. Grant could be a star. Coleman gets healthy and slims down a bit. I still think Cuse will be relevant.
Michael Irving (Cancun)
Are you sure UCLA was the Pac-12's best?
Myron Medcalf (2:57 PM)
According to the standings, yes.
What's your take on Vander Blue leaving MArquette? I have to think players on the roster take the next step forward and their top notch recruits account for Vander points. Agree?
Myron Medcalf (3:00 PM)
Yep, very strong class. Gardner will be better. Players always grow under Buzz. And he's won a lot with less talent. Marquette will be fine. And I can't say I disagree with Vander's move. He had a great tournament. Why not see what happens in a year like this?
Myron Medcalf (3:01 PM)
Thank you all for your time. Enjoy the rest of your day. If I missed your question, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter (@MedcalfByESPN)