Chat with Myron Medcalf
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Myron Medcalf (3:00 PM)
I'm here. Thanks for joining me. Let's go ...
Jansen B. Werner (Minnesota)
Many analysts have dubbed The Big Ten the best conference in America. Everyone knows about the upper-echelon teams, but just how good is the middle of the pack?
Myron Medcalf (3:02 PM)
The league's mid-tier makes it the best in the country, IMO. Minnesota has one loss, despite losing its best player, Trevor Mbakwe. Northwestern returned a solid core. Purdue needs more help inside but Robbie Hummel seems mentally and physically recovered from two ACL tears. Illinois is good and will get better, too. Ditto for Michigan, Wisconsin. There's far more to the Big Ten than Ohio State.
How many losses will Syracuse have this season? Also are they final four worthy?
Myron Medcalf (3:04 PM)
Hard to say, Ben. Total losses ... I think they'll lose three games in Big East play. Yes, they're Final Four worthy. The depth increases the effectiveness in the zone. There's no drop off in athleticism or talent when they go to the bench. Dion Waiters is gem. We have to see how they fare on the road in conference play, but they look like a team that's built for the long haul.
Alex (Dallas, TX)
What will it take for Baylor to make the final four?
Myron Medcalf (3:06 PM)
The Bears have to get through the Big 12 first. And that won't be easy with Mizzou, Kansas standing in their way. And Oklahoma, Texas and KSU are sleepers. But Perry Jones is a champ. He leads a very talented frontcourt. To me, it's all about what Pierre gives them each night. He's the key.
Myron, my Bulldogs are looking pretty good so far, and this game coming up against Baylor has the potential to jettison either program going forward. If we can find a way to win that game, do you think the media will really start to respect MSU? - or will the main story-line be how Baylor wasn't what everyone thought? I can understand why some analysts don't want to buy in to MSU quite yet, given the soap-opera that's been going down the past 2 years, but I really think this team is different; they came to play! Thanks, Myron.
Myron Medcalf (3:09 PM)
They're Top 20 in both polls. They're getting respect. But they'll deserve even more if they beat Baylor. To me, MSU has overtaken Alabama, Vandy, Florida as Kentucky's biggest threat in the SEC. Moultrie and Bost are legit. 10 straight wins...Wow. The drama is in the past. They're a talented team with a lot of potential.
Why is everyone so down on Memphis? They have been somewhat of a disappointment but all 4 losses to Top 25 teams, Where do you see there seed if they beat win the rest of their non conference games (Including @Georgetown and Xavier) and go 13-3 in CUSA?
Myron Medcalf (3:11 PM)
The frustration comes from a seeing a squad with that talent underperform in big games. Mr. Barton is an All-American. And he's surrounded by potential stars. Why can't the Tigers finish games? I'm not going to give them a blue ribbon for playing tough teams. They're supposed to win some of those games. Seed? Too early to know. They're going to have a tough time against the CUSA's best.
Do you think UCF can receive an at large bid if they don't win C-USA? They lost virtually nobody from last year.
Myron Medcalf (3:12 PM)
Yep. Not one bad loss. They'll have a shot with the quality teams in CUSA. Plus they have a win over UConn.
The Valley has been snubbed by NCAA the most out of any mid-major conference. Do you think that will change this year?
Myron Medcalf (3:14 PM)
Respect is earned in the postseason. And the Missouri Valley has serious players who could deliver for the league in March. Wichita State, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Indiana State ... they've looked good so far. But they'll have to do more than show up in March to warrant more buzz.
Jeff (Raleigh, NC)
It's looking like the blue devils will be gearing up for a huge next few years with the additions of Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Shabazz and Co over the next few years. If Coach K wins 1 or 2 more titles, would he go down as the greatest Coach of all time? Thanks in advance for getting back to me!
Myron Medcalf (3:15 PM)
A few weeks ago, I called him the GOAT in my Hype Machine column. Some folks didn't like it. But he's coached through different eras. It's not just the rings or the wins. No coach with his resume has had to adjust to more changes within the game. No disrespect to Rupp, Wooden, Dean Smith or some of the other legends. But he's No. 1 on my list.
Are the Ohio U. Bobcats going to hold out this year?
Myron Medcalf (3:17 PM)
The MAC won't be easy, but they're winning in tough environments away from their home floor. D.J. Cooper is a star. The Bobcats crushed Northern Iowa last night. This could be a special year for that program.
Hypothetically, Who would win in a pick-up game; Syracuse's starting 5 vs. Syracuse's reserve 5? Jardine,triche,joseph,christmas and melo vs. MCW, waiters, fair, southerland and keita? the Cuse is DEEEP!
Myron Medcalf (3:18 PM)
The winner? The fans. Yes, it's a deep team.
Richard (st louis)
Is Marcus Denmon the best player in the Nation right now? hard to argue against it.
Myron Medcalf (3:20 PM)
He's up there. Tu Holloway, Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, D. Lamb, Barnes, W. Barton ... that's a stacked group. I don't think he gets enough national love.
Joesph (Arlington, WI)
Who do you have winning the big east, big 10, and big 12?
Myron Medcalf (3:22 PM)
Big Ten: Ohio State, Big 12: Baylor and Big East: Syracuse
Reese (Charlotte, NC)
Myron,Can Indiana win the BIG?
Myron Medcalf (3:24 PM)
Yep. Cody Zeller is the X Factor. Can't wait to see how they match up with the Buckeyes. The problem with the Buckeyes is that they're so athletic and big. For the Hoosiers, who guards Buford? How will they handle Aaron Craft's pressure? But the league's best will have their hands full with the Hoosiers, too. And is there a more confident team in America right now?
Can Zona win the Pac 12?
Myron Medcalf (3:26 PM)
The Pac-12 is so wide open and lackluster, few teams are excluded from the title mix. I don't see a sense of urgency with Zona. Perhaps the light will come on in conference play. Good news is ... they're in a very dark league.
Zack Bauer (Portland, ME)
You picked Texas over UNC tonight in an upset special. Do you think Texas is better than people think, or is UNC too soft?
Myron Medcalf (3:28 PM)
I think Texas has regained its mojo. I think you have to re-assess squads that follow early losses with big winning streaks. Texas, Michigan State, MSU ... they're different teams. I like the Longhorns' chances. I think UNC is beatable.
What mid-major do you think has the best chance to repeat what Butler has done the past two seasons?
Myron Medcalf (3:30 PM)
We may never see that again in our lifetime. How many teams get to consecutive Final Fours? How many teams have played in two national title games? That run was special. Hard to pinpoint a squad that could pull off a repeat. But I like Harvard, Creighton, Wichita State, Ohio and Cleveland State to make noise in the Big Dance and rep for the midmajors.
Does the pac-12 deserve to be a major conference?
Myron Medcalf (3:30 PM)
This season ... barely.
Do you see Robbie Hummel being a 1st team All-American at the end of the season? I can't think of anyone in the country more important to his team so far.
Myron Medcalf (3:33 PM)
He's one of the best players in the country. And he's very important to that team. But that's the problem. They don't have the balance they've enjoyed in past years. He's doing a lot for the Boilermakers. They'll need more support to get through a rough BT.
Coach Cal (The only school in the State (that matters anyway))
wait..... we aren't the biggest SEC threat? Well I guess the underdog role got us all the way to the final4 last year.
Myron Medcalf (3:34 PM)
Meant to say that MSU was Kentucky's greatest threat in the SEC.
What is the bigger key in tomorrows Braggin Rights game-Illinois size or the Mizzou speed or who ends coming out on top?
Myron Medcalf (3:37 PM)
Illinois' size will be a major factor that could work in Mizzou's favor. UNLV pressured Meyers Leonard and that seemed to disrupt the Illini's offense. They can't let the sophomore dominate. I just think Mizzou is the better team right now. I they'll get the win.
Who will most likely win the C-USA championship?
Myron Medcalf (3:39 PM)
I shouldn't pick them. But I think Memphis' talent will ultimately prevail over the rest of that league. Barton looks better every night. I think he has that hop-on-my-back-we're-winning-this-whole-thing persona. But there are no guarantees. Especially if jump shooting is required.
Monkey Junction (Southern Pines)
Texas over UNC Coach Krat....the GOATDude, do they drug test at ESPN...hahahahahaha
Myron Medcalf (3:40 PM)
I know. It's crazy. Like Indiana over Kentucky.
Who ends up winning the highly competitive WCC and how many teams go dancing?
Myron Medcalf (3:41 PM)
Good question. That's going to be a battle, too. Gonzaga has the edge in my book. But BYU showed me a lot in that Baylor loss. That's a very talented and athletic squad and BYU played it tough for 40 minutes. We'll know more about St. Mary's after their matchup against Baylor.
Brad "the Real Deal" Beal (Gainesville)
With the constant UK love-fest and the recent praise being thrown to MSU, UF isn't getting the respect that it deserves (True / False). I see them beating MSU, and splitting with UK - really, very few games left that are potential losses for this team as they come together...
Myron Medcalf (3:45 PM)
Florida gets respect. You just have to answer some legit questions during SEC play. That backcourt is fierce. But is P. Young enough inside? With all of the size in that league? That's the question, not just for Florida, but for other squads relying so heavily on guard play. But the Gators are good.
As far as mid major conferences go- what about the So Con? Davidson and C of C can play!
Myron Medcalf (3:47 PM)
Big week for that league. Davidson gets Kansas. And Charleston fell apart late against Louisville. Pitino gave Charleston plenty of kudos after that game.
Who are 4 teams outside of the current top 10 you could see making the Final 4?
Myron Medcalf (3:49 PM)
Florida, Xavier, Pitt, Indiana
Masked_Rebel (LAS VEGAS)
How about a little respect for UNLV nationally. No one is talking about us as the far and away best team in the West. wins over #1UNC and #18UI along with one of the toughest road schedules in the country.
Myron Medcalf (3:52 PM)
UNLV is legit. That win over Illinois was impressive. More national respect will come if the Rebels are consistent. Giving up 89 points at Wichita State, needing double OT against UCSB, 51 points against Wisconsin? Let's see if they dominate the MWC.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Thomas Robinson or Marcus Denmon - who wins Big XII player of the year?
Myron Medcalf (3:53 PM)
Denmon if I had to pick right now.
Dusty (St. Louis)
Do you like the Shockers or Creighton to win the MVC?
Myron Medcalf (3:53 PM)
I'm going with the Shockers in a thrilling race.
Bryan (Columbia Mo)
If you were a head coach, which three teams right now would you have nightmare's about playing?
Myron Medcalf (3:56 PM)
Syracuse (That depth keeps players fresh), Ohio State (Because Aaron Craft disrupts offenses with his pressure) and Baylor (so much frontcourt talent).
Coach of the year has got to go to Frank Haith. Is the AD looking like a genious right now after all the backlash he got for this questionable hire?
Myron Medcalf (3:57 PM)
Right now, Haith is certainly in the mix. Folks questioned the hire. Then, the Miami violations surfaced. More doubt and criticism. But the Tigers are playing very well right now. Let's see how they compete on the road in Big 12 play. Could change everything.
John B (LittleBigTown)
Who is the most overated team
Myron Medcalf (3:59 PM)
It's still Louisville. No disrespect to Charleston, but how many times have the Cardinals been in that situation this season? They just don't look like the fourth-best team in America. And once they leave home in conference play, the Cardinals might be exposed.
Myron Medcalf (4:01 PM)
Thanks for joining me, folks. Hope we can do it again soon. If I missed you, find me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter (@MedcalfByESPN).