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 2 p.m. ET!
Myron Medcalf (2:01 PM)
What's up everyone? We're just weeks away from the start of the season. Can't wait (Bart Scott voice). Let's go.
Best 3-point shooter in the land?
Myron Medcalf (2:03 PM)
I think it's bigger than percentages. If I need a 3-pointer, I want Doug McDermott to take it. Regardless of the scenario. Open, contested, final minute, game-winner ... It's McDermott and everyone else, IMO.
quincey hodges (SLC Utah)
How come so many ESPN guys (minus Bilas) sleep on Stanford (N.I.T champs and return just about everyone from that team) even though they were pretty much all soph's and a freshman last season?
Myron Medcalf (2:07 PM)
I don't think ESPN is "sleeping" on Stanford. But the Pac-12 is stacked at the top. I think Stanford's finish could carry over into next season, especially with a few top 100 recruits in the mix, too. But UCLA and Arizona are two of the best teams in America (right now ... on paper). Colorado will be in the mix, too. If Stanford builds off last year, people will notice. But the Pac-12 will be a battle.
How Well Do You think Arizona Gonna Finish This Year?
Myron Medcalf (2:10 PM)
Pac-12 championship strong possibiliity. I just don't trust UCLA. And I had that perspective pre-NCAA eligibility issues. Bruins return same leaders from last year that couldn't stop that ship from sinking. And I think Arizona has some serious talent that's flying under the radar because of youth and the UCLA buzz. But Wildcats are coming.
Jon (Norwalk, CT)
What are your thoughts on the Kevin Ollie contract? I understand where Uconn is coming from, not wanting to commit long term to someone who doesn't have head coaching experience, but should anyone be running a program on a 1 year deal? What are recruits going to think about that and how would he ever prove himself if he can't play with his own recruits?
Myron Medcalf (2:14 PM)
It makes sense. Calhoun is a legend. But his regime ended on a lukewarm note given the APR issues. I think Ollie will earn a longer contract if he's successful .. But recruiting has to be a question mark for the program. The situation will complicate Ollie's pitch. But, if the Huskies win at a high level, top prospects will still consider the Huskies. That's the biggest thing. Ollie winning will solve everything.
keith kulpinski (crystak lake, il)
What are your expectations for the Butler Bulldogs this year? How deep of a run can they make in the tournament despite kicking Chrishawn Hopkins off the team?
Myron Medcalf (2:19 PM)
I think they can still contend in the A10. They'll probably be one of the best defensive teams in the league. And with Rotnei Clarke eligible they have an A10 player of the year candidate (preseason). .. But it's a blow. For sure. Hopkins was a key piece to the puzzle. At the same time, we don't know what impact he had on the chemistry within that team. Could be addition by subtraction regardless of his talent.
FSU lost some senior leadership... Who steps up on this young team now?
Myron Medcalf (2:21 PM)
Has to be Michael Snaer. He says he's the best shooting guard in America. Claims that he's ready for a big year. It has to be Snaer. If you talk that way, one of two things usually happen. Teammates get behind you and grab onto that bravado. Or you miss the mark, can't back up the talk and it drags the team down. Whatever FSU does this season, Snaer will be the most important element on the roster.
Is this the year Northwestern finally makes the Dance? Returning everyone but Shurna and adding Swopshire, Cerina, Ajou and some others. They have the size downlow they have never had. The Big Ten is just so deep, but I think they are better than Purdue,PSU,Neb and maybe Illinois.
Myron Medcalf (2:25 PM)
First, I feel for Wildcats fans. Every year??? I mean, last year ... could have been the year. Same story ... "Everyone but Shurna" ... That's a big loss. And I'm less focused on the additions and really just looking at the league. I'm not sure they're better than Purdue and Illinois. And Nebraska, Penn State won't make the tourney but they'll kill some team's NCAA tourney dreams. Happens every year. With Northwestern, you have to answer this question on Selection Sunday and if you're a fan, bite your nails until then.
WHY IS NOONE TALKING ABOUT COLORADO THEY MADE IT TO THE 2ND RD of the the big dance last year and have almost everyone coming back so why no respect?
Myron Medcalf (2:26 PM)
Scroll through the chat. I just mentioned Colorado. Again, this "my team gets no respect thing." Folks, more than 340 teams. They all expect respect. You get respect at this level with success. Usually takes care of everything. ... And I know a lot of college basketball minds who've recognized Colorado chances in the Pac-12.
What do you know about rumored shady business going on with Indiana decommitt Trey Lyles and UK's Calipari?
Myron Medcalf (2:30 PM)
I know that we've become so committed to praising the verbal commitment that we've failed to recognize how worthless it really is. Means nothing. Kid can change his mind at any point before signing that letter of intent. We need a better system. I never trust a 16-year-old's word. He can't decide on lunch and he's going to make the biggest decision of his life without wavering? Baloney. Change the entire commitment culture and we won't have this problem. ... I'm off my soapbox now. We'll continue this chat.
Will you come camp out with me for Big Blue Madness tickets??
Myron Medcalf (2:31 PM)
I'd love to see that frenzy.
Jimmy (St. Louis)
When picking league champs this year, will you once again be picking against KU?
Myron Medcalf (2:32 PM)
Nope. I'll pick Kansas. But I like Baylor. Iowa State will be solid. Kansas State and possibly Texas, too. But I see No. 9 in a row in KU's future.
Kyle (Waterford, MI)
Do you think the Wolverines have a higher ceiling than Sparty? It's been tough the last few years but Michigan hoops looks to be back for good.
Myron Medcalf (2:34 PM)
Yes. Now, both could reach Atlanta. But Trey Burke elevates everything for the Wolverines. Wolverines have more size, potent wings and the best PG in America. That's a great combination. ... Michigan State is Top 10. With healthy Branden Dawson, they could be higher. Dawson is key.
Eammon Brennan (Chicago)
Myron, are my minions behaving today?
Myron Medcalf (2:35 PM)
They want you, man. I feel like that guy that replaced Tito in the Jackson 5.
HOw about the quick start John Groce is off to at Illinois?
Myron Medcalf (2:36 PM)
Nunn is a big pickup. Groce is penetrating Chicago. That's what that means. Now .. let's not ignore the fact that Nunn has wavered in the past. But Groce is making noise. But Weber scored reputable recruiting classes in the past. Let's see what Groce does on the floor with these guys. That's the test.
Rick Pitino (Louisville)
Who is going to stop me from winning my 2nd title and UofL's 3rd? IUs offense isn't better than our defense.
Myron Medcalf (2:39 PM)
Well, the first question we all have about Louisville is "Will the Cardinals be healthy?" That was the problem last year. That's where it starts. Much like Jeff Withey, however, I also wonder if Dieng is more than a shot-blocker at this point. Coaches say he's developed. I want to see it. And I don't know if I agree on Indiana. Zeller is the best player in the country. And he's surrounded by talent this season. .. If I had to choose right now, I'd go Indiana v. Louisville in Atlanta for the title. Both look great. On paper.
How much better should Terp fans expect UMD to be this year.
Myron Medcalf (2:43 PM)
Well, Stoglin demanded so many possessions. So I think losing him will help in the long run. It's hard to operate around a guy that carries that kind of load. Strong recruiting class with size. Alex Len, with the ability to play the whole season, should improve. Obviously some backcourt issues without Stoglin. But I think we'll see Maryland do more damage in the paint. And they'll need that in the ACC. It will be a better team.
blue (big ox)
How is Majerus doing? How far will the billekins drop without the big man.
Myron Medcalf (2:46 PM)
I covered that St. Louis-Memphis game in Columbus. What a coaching clinic. Majerus is a scholar within the game. The best coaches admire him. So there's really no way for the Billikens to replace that. But I also know his assistants have carried a chunk of the load due to his health in recent years. So Jim Crews and Co. can still make this into a team with the potential to advance in the tournament.
I know he's just a Class of 2014, but any early favorites for Jahlil Okafor?
Myron Medcalf (2:46 PM)
Nope. But he's a monster. I saw him play at a U.S. Olympic developmental team tryout in Colorado. Guys that big shouldn't have hands and feet like that.
No way NC State wins the ACC over both Duke and NC. Agree?
Myron Medcalf (2:47 PM)
Disagree. N.C. State is the best team in the ACC and probably Top 5 in my opinion.
Dave (East Lansing, MI)
Myron, no disrespect to you, but Michigan a higher ceiling than MSU? The last time we saw UMich, they were laying an egg against Ohio.
Myron Medcalf (2:48 PM)
One man's opinion. And that's the same Ohio team that nearly upset a North Carolina squad with three first round picks.
Ro Ro (Top City)
How far do my Jayhawks go this year?Whos your early final four?
Myron Medcalf (2:49 PM)
Jayhawks. Big 12 champs. That's all I have so far. But it won't be easy ... Final Four? Indiana, Michigan, Louisville, Kentucky
Myron, there are teams outside of the Midwest, you know. All Midwest Final Four is lame.
Myron Medcalf (2:52 PM)
I'm talking talent, man. UCLA has it. I don't trust the leadership, though. Arizona could be in the mix, too. Syracuse will be good. And remember, it's September. Those four teams stand out to me right now. Could change.
NC St loses at least 7 games this year. Most over rated team in the country. cant wait to see Gottfried fall on his face this year.
Myron Medcalf (2:54 PM)
Most overrated? Nah. They're where they should be. They finished strong. Returned their best players. Added a top prospect in Purvis. I mean, where should they be ranked?
Don't sleep on the Longhorns. Finally have a true center to go with a good point guard. Role players showed alot as true frosh and ready to step up their games especially Sheldon McClellen
Myron Medcalf (2:56 PM)
I've heard great things about Ridley. And everyone was a role player next to J'Covan Brown. How will this team transition to life without that kind of player? That's the question. But potential is there.
What kind of season does Murray State's Isaiah Canaan have this year? Repeat performance of last year or does he drop off the radar a bit?
Myron Medcalf (2:58 PM)
He can't fall off the radar after what he did last season. We all know about him. The thing with the undefeated start, NBA talk as a midmajor guy is that if he slips a little bit, I think people will make a big deal of it. He's talented. If he duplicates last season, wow. If he's a notch below, it will still be a good year.
Myron Medcalf (2:59 PM)
People, it's been real. Thanks for your time. If I missed you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me in the Twitterverse (@MedcalfByESPN). ... Thanks again for joining me.