Staff Directory 10646291

Jerry Zgoda

Reporter | Timberwolves, NBA
Phone: 612-673-7197
Jerry has been a Star Tribune sportswriter so long, his first beat directly out of college was covering the North Stars. In nearly 30 years, he has covered the NHL, the Wolves and the NBA twice (he missed the first Kevin Garnett era, which says something about his sense of timing), Gophers and NCAA athletics, the radio/TV beat, major-championship golf and outdoor recreation. Follow @JerryZgoda
Recent content from Jerry Zgoda
Bethel quarterback Jaran Roste threw for 177 yards against St. Thomas and ran for 116 more.

Bethel knocks off St. Thomas to likely secure D-III playoff berth

Both teams entered Saturday with 8-1 records after each lost to MIAC champion St. John's in October. The Royals put up 217 yards rushing to come away with the win.
Blaine sophomore Will Frederickson scored three touchdowns against Eastview.

CLASS 6A QUARTERFINALS BLAINE 42, EASTVIEW 14A day later, Blaine moving on

A power outage pushed the game's finish back a day.
Eagles QB Nick Foles caught a trick-play touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton on fourth down during Super Bowl LII against the Patriots. More coa

More football coaches bucking tradition, going for it on fourth down

Numbers say going for it on fourth down is often advisable, including fourth-and-10 on your opponent's 40 when a long field goal's odds are just that and a deep punt isn't guaranteed.
Former Gophers star softball pitcher Sara Groenewegen, who contracted Legionnaires’ disease last summer, worked with youngsters at a recent weekend

Former U softball star Groenewegen: Coming back from a coma

All-America softball pitcher Sara Groenewegen spent 10 days in a medically induced coma this summer after falling ill with what doctors eventually diagnosed as Legionnaires' disease
The sun set Sunday on TCF Bank Stadium. The Loons move into new Allianz Field next season.

Record-setting sendoff: Loons lose but support is 'magnificent'

An announced crowd of 52,242 turned out for the Loons' last home game of the season - and final at their temporary home of TCF Bank Stadium - but went home disappointed.
Wolves guard Derrick Rose worked around Cleveland rookie Collin Sexton in the first half Friday.

Rose finds comfort leading Wolves' second unit

Derrick Rose on Friday provided the pulse for a second unit that made six of the Wolves' 10 three-pointers and helped push the home team to a 20-point lead before halftime
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath earlier this season.

Video reviews no help to Minnesota United in 2-0 loss to Colorado

Two goals are overruled, and red cards abound.
United States’ Jordan Morris celebrated his second goal against Martinique during a CONCACAF Gold Cup match last summer in Tampa, Fla. The United St

Team USA to play at St. Paul's Allianz Field on June 18 in soccer's Gold Cup

The new Allianz Field will be host to the U.S. men's national team in its opening game of soccer's championship for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Tom Lehman’s test: test golf’s best next summer at TPC Twin Cities, where last month he surveyed some recent changes to the course’s layout.

Extreme makeover: Lehman changing course to challenge stars

Lehman is leading an effort to test the world's best golfers on a course with which senior tour players typically collected low scores.
Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra made an assist to forward Angelo Rodriguez for a goal in the first half

Rodriguez scores twice for Loons in victory over NYCFC

The Loons carried on where they left the Portland game, this time with Angelo Rodriguez scoring two first-half goals.
Patrick Reed teed off on the first hole of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in 2016. The event will return in 2028

Over breakfast, Hazeltine celebrates Ryder Cup past and future

On Saturday, Hazeltine club members remembered the Ryder Cup brought to Chaska for the first time in 2016 and perhaps peering far ahead to when it returns in 2028.
Minnesota native Tom Lehman, captain of the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team in Ireland, became convinced of the value of statistical analytics when he was a

How a key golf stat gives us great Ryder Cup clues

North Score: Statistics could play a big part in the strategy used in the Ryder Cup. Minnesota's own Tom Lehman is a believer.
As the San Francisco 49ers showed in the opener earlier this month vs. the Vikings, NFL players on kickoff teams must line up within one yard of the l

Kill the kickoff? Football may face it, but not without a fight

At all levels of football, rules are being changed to make the kickoff safer. But that might not be enough to save it.
Luol Deng

Bull market: Wolves sign Deng to veteran's minimum contract

Luol Deng was a two-time All-Star forward in Chicago in 2012-13, but played only one game last season for the Lakers even though he was healthy. He joins Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose in Minnesota.
Says coach Tom Thibodeau of Wolves guard Jimmy Butler: “We think this is the best place for him, and it’s up to us to show him the reasons why.”

Thibodeau: Winning best way to reassure fans, players about state of Wolves

Questions about the team's chemistry and Jimmy Butler's future were thrown out at the State Fair.
Josh Okogie was the 20th pick in the NBA draft.

Wolves guard Josh Okogie stands out at NBA rookie program

Okogie was named 'MVP' of the NBA's Rookie Transition Program, an event held every summer to prepare the league's newest players for life as a professional.
Choosing Anthony Tolliver (below right) instead of Nemanja Bjelica (below left) was a matter of timing, not talent, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau talks free agency, Butler and other Wolves issues

Asked about Jimmy Butler's relationship with the team and teammates, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned young big man Karl-Anthony Towns as well.
Brooklyn Nets' Yuta Watanabe (42) drives around Minnesota Timberwolves' Josh Okogie during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Mon

'Whoa, whoa, whoa!' Top-pick Okogie learns about speed of NBA

At almost 6-5 and with a 7-foot wing­span, Wolves rookie Josh Okogie believes he can handle bigger and stronger players, even if he is yet to turn 20 years old.
The Timberwolves reached agreement with Anthony Tolliver (left), a three-point-shooting big man, on a one-year contract believed to be worth $5.75 mil

Wolves to sign Tolliver, part ways with Bjelica

Tolliver is a 33-year-old forward who has played for nine NBA teams, including two previous seasons with the Wolves.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler watched from the bench during the second half in Game 5 of the first-round playoff series with Houston.

Butler receives maximum extension offer from Wolves; Rose to return

Derrick Rose took a minimum deal; Jimmy Butler was offered a maximum extension.
Former Bloomington Jefferson standout center Cole Aldrich saw little playing time this past season with the Timberwolves.

Wolves waive Aldrich, making him a free agent

The Minnesota native played in only 21 games last season, and was due nearly $7 million next season.
Veteran point guard Derrick Rose played in 14 games with the Wolves in 2018.

Derrick Rose will return to Timberwolves on one-year contract

The former NBA MVP will be paid nearly $2.4 million in 2018-19.
Timberwolves general manager Scott Layden, left, and head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Between tight cash and LeBron possibly moving west, Wolves face uphill fight

The Wolves, limited in options, already must contend with Golden State and Houston in the Western Conference and Utah and Denver are improving.
Karl-Anthony Towns is in the final year of his rookie deal: four years, $25.72 million. He will be a restricted free agent after this season.

As NBA free agency nears, Wolves focus on building roster at home

Paving the way to retaining Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns is crucial to the Wolves' future.
Coach Tom Thibodeau, left, and General Manager Scott Layden, introduced the 2018 Draft Picks Josh Okogie (20th overall), left, and Keita Bates-Diop (4

Second-round pick Bates-Diop says he's 'perfect fit' for Wolves

Keita Bates-Diop, the Wolves second-round pick, calls his older age (he's 22) a "big upside."
Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau with Josh Okogie, center, and Keita Bates-Diop, right, at Tuesday’s news conference.

Listen and learn: Top pick Okogie ready to be mentored by Butler

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau says Jimmy Butler kept his mouth closed and his ears wide open during his rookie season in Chicago long ago. He sees some of Butler in Josh Okogie, drafted last week.
Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie was selected by the Timberwolves in the first round.

Next step for Wolves picks: finding where they fit

Known to depend noticeably upon his starters, Tom Thibodeau makes no guarantees after calling himself and General Manager Scott Layden "very excited" to add the two players that they did.
Gary Trent Jr. is a one-and-done at Duke. The former Apple Valley star was selected Thursday night in the NBA draft second round.

Gary Trent Jr. traded to Portland after being drafted by Kings

The Trail Blazers will give up two future second-rounders to the Kings for the rights to Trent, a former Apple Valley High School standout, who was taken 37th.
Jeff Teague (0) talked withTimberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau last season. Thibodeau is also the team's president of basketball operations.

One man, two jobs: Thibodeau used to getting the last word

Tom Thibodeau and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich are the NBA's only coaches who hold ultimate decision-making power. The dual roles are seen as efficient by some, conflicting by others.
Grayson Allen, from Duke, participates in the NBA draft basketball combine last month in Chicago. Allen is a possibility for the Wolves with the No. 2

Wolves prospecting for prospects for NBA draft

Shooters, stoppers and sleepers: Who might the Wolves take at No. 20 in Thursday's NBA draft?
Gary Trent Jr. earned a reputation as a three-point ace at Duke, but the son of a former NBA power forward also showed he can slash to the basket when

Apple Valley's Trent Jr. ready to head full speed into NBA

The 6-foot-6 guard, son of former Timberwolves forward Gary Trent, was raised around the NBA and is now headed there himself.
Timberwolves GM Scott Layden, left, and coach Tom Thibodeau

Wolves' pick - 20th - on draft night offers no guarantees

As the Timberwolves weigh what to do with the 20th pick Thursday night, they must ask: What is an NBA first-round pick really worth?
Rick Brunson

Brunson resigns as Wolves assistant; agent denies improper conduct

An NBA source said that assistant coach Rick Brunson had been the subject of complaints that he behaved improperly toward women.
Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler (23) celebrated when the Wolves clicnhed their first playoff berth in 14 years in the final

Keeping Butler, Towns key as Wolves attack their next steps

Signing Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns to contract extensions while surrounding them with more talent under salary-cap rules will challenge Wolves' management.
Andrew Wiggins

Thibodeau expects more from Wiggins

The Wolves coach thinks the young guard's last offseason was clouded by contract issues.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and his wife, Becky, watched an October game at Target Center.

Wolves met Taylor's expectations, but he knows they can be better

Despite making the playoffs and having 18 sellouts at Target Center, the owner hoped for home-court advantage.
Rockets forward PJ Tucker, left, drives to the basket as Timberwolves forward Taj Gibsondefends during the first half of Game 5

Season gives Wolves peek into what their future should hold

By whatever evaluation, the Wolves' 47-victory regular season and first-round, five-game playoff loss to Houston were important experiences for a franchise that hadn't made the postseason since 2004.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is cornered by Rockets guard James Harden and forward PJ Tucker during the first half of Game 5

Season over: Another third-quarter collapse buries Wolves in Game 5

Houston's 30-15 advantage in the third quarter of Game 5 wasn't as massive as its 50-point barrage on Monday. But it erased Minnesota's halftime lead and ended the season for the Wolves.
Minnesota's Jimmy Butler, right, and Cole Aldrich walk off the court after the Wolves' 122-104 loss to the Rockets in Game 5

Game 5 seen as a test of growth for Timberwolves

"We've grown a lot from the beginning to now," Wolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns said.
Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) is defended by Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler (23) in the third quarter in Game 4 of their series Monday, April 23, 201

Harden recovers quickly from poor shooting night vs. Wolves

James Harden scored 22 points all by himself in Monday's third quarter, less than a week after he went 2-for-18
Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) is defended by Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler (23) in the third quarter in Game 4 of their series Monday, April 23, 201

Quarter pounded with 3's: Houston buries Wolves with 50-point quarter

Leading by only a point at halftime, the Rockets outscored the Wolves 50-20 in the third quarter, including seven three pointers by Houston star James Harden.
The Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins, left, and Karl-Anthony Towns watched as the game ended Monday.

Unbowed Wolves eager to put hard Game 4 defeat behind them

The Wolves said their confidence had not been dented. "Absolutely not," Karl-Anthony Towns said. "We will be ready [for Game 5]."
Jimmy Butler (23) reacted after hitting a three-pointer during the third quarter of Game 3.

Can the Wolves win Game 4 by winning the battle of threes again?

Keeping pace with Houston's notorious three-point shooting gives the Wolves a fighting chance in the playoff series that resumes at Target Center tonight.
The Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler celebrates with fans after making a three pointer in the fourth quarter of Game 3 at Target Center.

Long time coming: Wolves erupt at home for 121-105 Game 3 victory over Rockets

The Timberwolves treated Target Center fans to quite the show in the first home playoff game in 14 years: A blowout victory.
Jeff Teague shoots between the Rockets' Chris Paul, left, and Clint Capela during the second half in Game 1

What happened to the offense? Wolves search for playoff answers

Houston's defense has turned the Wolves upside-down in the first two games of the NBA playoffs. Can they find answers before Saturday's game at Target Center?
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was not a factor on either end for the second consecutive game. He scored five points — all in the first quarter.

Paul delivers for Houston to take 2-0 lead, Towns quiet again for Wolves

Houston's Chris Paul came back from a six-turnover performance in Game 1, delivering an acrobatic 27-point, eight-assist night for the Rockets while Karl-Anthony Towns finished with just five points for the Wolves.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden

Off days work to coaches' advantage for Wolves, Rockets

With no back-to-back games in the playoffs, star players can see more minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns, left, had only eight points Sunday in Game 1 while James Harden, a strong NBA MVP candidate, scored 44.

Missing in action: Wolves need Towns more involved vs. Rockets

Held to eight points in Game 1 vs. Houston, Karl-Anthony Towns spoke repeatedly Tuesday about maintaining "discipline" and following "the game plan."
Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Rose drives around Houston Rockets' Gerald Green during the first half in Game 1 Sunday in Houston.

Foul trouble forced Wolves to rely on Rose in Game 1 loss

Seven years ago, Derrick Rose was coming off a league MVP season just as Butler was entering the NBA as a rookie. Now it's all changed.
James Harden and Chris Paul have been dynamic for the Rockets this season.

Harden's MVP-like performance in Game 1 overwhelms the Wolves

Rockets superstar James Harden toyed with the Timberwolves often Sunday, scoring 25 of his 44 points in the game's final 18 minutes while making seven three-pointers.
Rockets guard James Harden evaded the defense of the Wolves’ Gorgui Dieng for a layup Sunday.

Too much Harden, too little Towns sends Wolves to Game 1 loss

James Harden scored 44 points on 15-for-24 shooting in leading the Rockets to a 104-101 victory while Karl-Anthony Towns took only nine shots and scored eight points.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns made 42.1 percent of his three-point attempts during the regular season — a stat well known to James Harden, right,

Rockets takes away what makes Towns special to Wolves

The NBA playoffs are all about deciding what to give the opponent and what to take away, and Houston didn't let Karl-Anthony Towns get good looks at three-pointers in Game 1.

Butler 'still a kid from Tomball' as he makes Wolves playoff debut in Texas

Some former high-school teammates and an assistant principal temporarily have become Wolves fans because Jimmy Butler has come home for the playoffs.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) shoots while defended by Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors earlier this month. The NBA playoffs b

Wolves about to find out NBA playoffs bring intensity up a notch

It's one thing to beat an opponent one time, such as in the NCAA tournament. It's quite another thing to do so four times after both sides have had days before — and in between — to prepare for their opponents.
Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague celebrated at the end of Wednesday night's game that clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs.

Wolves feel no playoff pressure in facing top-seeded Rockets

In the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, the undaunted Wolves face the No. 1-seed Rockets with a goal to "shock the world."
The Wolves and Karl-Anthony Towns will earn a spot in the NBA playoffs with a win Wednesday night.

Season's work on the line for Wolves tonight against Denver

After getting no help from other teams around the West, the Timberwolves must earn a playoffs spot themselves to end 14-year drought. The Denver Nuggets stand in their way.
Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler returned Friday night with a bang. He scored 18 points and snagged four steals in 22½ minutes. It was his first game a

Butler's return serves Wolves with energy surge as they chase playoffs

There was no doubt Jimmy Butler's teammates started to show the burden borne during Butler's absence, both because of their increased workload without him and the loss of Butler's sheer will.
Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins, right, drives as Lakers forward Josh Hart defends Friday night in Los Angeles.

Wolves hope Butler's return propels Wiggins, too

Can Jimmy Butler's return after 17 games convince the Wolves' younger players — enigmatic Andrew Wiggins, to name one — just what it takes to win with playoff spots on the line?
Injured Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler jokes with teammates during introductions before the team's game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday

He's back: Butler returns to the court tonight for Wolves vs. LA Lakers

Jimmy Butler hasn't played since he partially tore the meniscus in his knee Feb. 23.
Karl-Anthony Towns defended the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic during the first half in Denver on Thursday.

Wolves fizzle in final minutes, drop into tie for final playoff spot

The Wolves built leads of eight points in the second and third quarters, but gave it up in the final minutes with Karl-Anthony Towns on the bench after fouling out.
The Timberwolves and veteran guard Jamal Crawford, right, missed one of their dwindling opportunities to strengthen their playoff footing in the West

Seven teams, one week figure in Wolves' quest for playoff spot

Winning last four will go far, but playoff tiebreakers, other factors can seal fates.
Jeff Teague

Teague sits out with hurt knee as Rubio lights up Wolves

Already missing guard Jimmy Butler for the past 16 games, the Timberwolves went two starters down Sunday when point guard Jeff Teague didn't play because of a sore knee in a 121-97 loss to Utah.
Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) drove against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones (1) in the first quarter.

Smooth Jazz blows out sloppy Wolves sparked by Rubio's big night

Utah's Ricky Rubio hits five three-pointers and scored 23 points on a night when the Wolves lacked "intensity" and "execution" during an important game in the NBA playoff scramble.
Minnesota Timberwolves' , from left, Nemanja Bjelica, Taj Gibson and Tyus Jones wait out the closing minutes of their 121-97 loss to the Utah Jazz in

Wolves-Utah game recap

The Timberwolves suffered a lopsided loss at the hands of the Jazz Sunday, which may have big playoff implications.
Utah Jazz's Ricky Rubio, middle, drives the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves' Tyus Jones (1) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game

Gameday preview: Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz

The Jazz has won two of its past three games, three of its past five and 12 of its past 15 after Friday's 107-97 home victory over a Memphis team that won Monday at Target Center.
Karl Anthony Towns hugged his girlfriend, Kawahine Andrade, after scoring 56 points on Wednesday night against Atlanta at Target Center.

The day after: Teammates, foes marvel at Towns' record 56 points

Towns joined eight other players — including Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal — who reached at least 55 points and 15 rebounds in an NBA game.
Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns hugged his girlfriend on his way off the court after he set a franchise record with his 56-point effor

Hawks learn firsthand how 'impressive' Towns can be

Mike Budenholzer found the All-Star center's three-point shooting particularly eye-opening.
Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague said "guys ran out of gas" in the Wolves' loss to the Grizzlies on Monday.

Teague says 'guys ran out of gas' in Wolves' loss to Grizzlies

Jeff Teague played 42 minutes and fellow starters Taj Gibson and Andrew Wiggins played 43 minutes each and Karl-Anthony Towns 39 in a game when the Wolves shot 3-for-17 and were outscored 23-11 in the fourth quarter.
Phil Mickelson drinks from a bottle of champagne while celebrating Team USA's Ryder Cup victory over Europe in 2016.

Hazeltine will become first U.S. repeat host of Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup is returning to the Twin Cities in 2028 at the same course where the world's premier international golf event enjoyed so much success in 2016.
A 76 percent free-throw shooter in each of his first three NBA seasons, Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins recently has shot himself over 70 percent for th

Wiggins shooting, hitting more free throws after early-season struggle

After missing almost as many free throws as he made in December, Andrew Wiggins is getting to the line more -- and showing some improvement.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins, left, and Karl-Anthony Towns, right, sit on the bench during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game

Wolves have no explanation for their Eastern Conference woes

Together, they have no definitive answers, but just like you the Timberwolves wonder why they have fared so well in Western Conference play and struggled so against the East.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford, left, and Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue have had to step away from their teams during this season for medical reasons.

NBA Insider: Stress taking a toll on coaches this season more than most

Effects of the profession are showing in health issues across the league.
New York forward Tim Hardaway Jr. tried to shoot around Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns in the fourth quarter Friday, when the Knicks had a har

Wolves break Eastern Conference hex by holding off Knicks 108-104

By surviving on the road against a struggling team, they clinched their first winning season since 2005.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns dunked in the first half Tuesday against the Clippers.

Wolves dominate Clippers to secure first non-losing season since 2005

By ending a two-game losing streak to San Antonio and Houston, the Wolves put three games between them and the Clippers.
Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford dribbled pass LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan at Target Center on Tuesday.

Another birthday for the Wolves' ageless Crawford

Jamal Crawford, who turned 38 on Tuesday, has played for 18 coaches in 18 seasons and just keeps on playing, whether winter or all summer long.
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