Staff Directory 10646276

Kent Youngblood

Reporter | Pro Sports
Phone: 612-673-4365
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Kent Youngblood has covered sports for the Star Tribune for more than 20 years.


Youngblood covered the Vikings in two NFC title games, Gophers football in two bowl games, both the Wild and Wolves in conference championship series and three Lynx WNBA champions.He has been writing about sports for nearly three decades, including several years in Wisconsin covering the Green Bay Packers, including two trips to the Super Bowl.
Recent content from Kent Youngblood
Derrick Rose took the winning jumper over the Suns' Mikal Bridges on Sunday night at Target Center. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com �

Derrick Rose's last-second jumper sends Wolves past Phoenix 116-114

His winning basket capped a 29-point second half against the stubborn Suns.
Karl Anthony-Towns grabbed a rebound in the first quarter against Phoenix on Sunday night.

Foul trouble becoming an issue for Wolves' Karl-Anthony Towns

The All-Star center leads the lead with six disqualifications.
Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves are running out of wiggle room in the West after Friday’s close loss to San Antonio.

The time is now: Wolves look to go on a run before All-Star break

Friday's loss left the Wolves three games behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot in the conference. And Minnesota will play its next four games in seven days, three of them on the road, starting Sunday vs. Phoenix. It's time for a run.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives to the basket against Suns center Deandre Ayton during the first half of their game on Dec. 15 in Phoenix

Suns not shining so brightly ahead of tilts with TImberwolves

The Wolves have back-to-back games looming with Phoenix, the worst team in the conference. But the Wolves already have lost to the Suns, in Phoenix on Dec. 15, one of just 11 games they have won.
Maya Moore, left, fights for the loose ball against the Los Angeles Sparks' Alana Beard, middle, Nneka Ogwumike during the game that eliminated the Ly

Questions linger after report Moore may sit out 2019 WNBA season

This much is clear: If Maya Moore does not play, it would be difficult news for a Lynx team already in transition with Lindsay Whalen's retirement and other roster issues.
Kenisha Bell (23) was defended by Alexis Sevillian (5) in the third quarter.

Another second-half collapse sends U women to fourth loss in a row

Center Megan Gustafson of No. 22-ranked Iowa dominated Minnesota with 34 points and 13 rebounds as the 23rd-ranked Gophers went from an eight-point halftime lead to an 18-point loss.
Illinois' Arieal Scott and the Gophers' Taiye Bello fought for a loose ball in a Jan. 6 game. To end their three-game losing streak, the Gophers will

After 12-0 start, what's behind U women's three-game losing streak?

The No. 18 Gophers will play host to No. 17 Iowa tonight in a game that's as must-win as can be at this point in the season. What needs to change for the Gophers?
Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns dunked for two of his 27 points vs. New Orleans on Saturday.

Towns' 27-27 performance carries Wolves past Pelicans

The Wolves made the plays at the end they failed to a night earlier to record their second victory under Ryan Saunders.
Timberwolves forward Dario Saric earlier this season.

Wolves' Dario Saric vows to shoot his way out of slump

And he stepped up Saturday with a productive second half.
Karl-Anthony Towns said of Ryan Saunders' coaching debut: “He played chess all night and came out with a checkmate."

Engaged not enraged: Saunders sets new tone running the Wolves

While he's far from making all of the changes he intends to introduce in a bid to shed the 'interim coach' label, Ryan Saunders brought a radically different presence to the bench during his first game in charge.
Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins drives between Oklahoma City forward Jerami Grant (9) and center Steven Adams (12) in the first half

Wiggins scores 40; Wolves win game of 'commotion and emotion' in Saunders' debut

From the first play they scored on, which was one of his father's favorites, the Timberwolves played with passion that led to a 119-117 victory.
Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders picked up a win in his debut Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

OKC's Donovan: Saunders 'will do a great job' as NBA head coach

Billy Donovan, now in charge of the Thunder, knows what it's like to be a young head coach, and what it takes to succeed.
Illinois senior forward Alex Wittinger, who played high school ball at Delano, blocked a shot by Gophers guard Kenisha Bell in the fourth quarter of t

Brutal second half costs Gophers women in loss to Illinois

The Gophers were outscored 23-9 in the final 10 minutes and lost their second in a row after a 12-0 start to the season.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen has had a week to prepare her team for Illinois, and move on from the loss at Michigan.

Response to first loss could tell a lot about Gophers women's basketball

A full week gave coach Lindsay Whalen and her team time to work on what went wrong in Michigan, get some rest, and to focus on the Illini.
Covington

Jeff Teague back, but Robert Covington will be out for awhile

On the day Jeff Teague returned to the starting lineup after missing nine games because of a sore ankle, the Timberwolves said Robert…
With two busloads of family and friends present, Annalese Lamke scored 20 points on Friday night for the Gophers in their Big Ten victory over Wiscons

Lamke puts on a show in Gophers' Big Ten win over Badgers

The 12th-ranked Gophers improved to 12-0 by beating Wisconsin for 12th consecutive time, led by 20 points from Wisconsin native Annalese Lamke.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen watched as guard Jasmine Brunson defended against New Hampshire guard Sarah Clement in the season opener on Nov. 9 at Wil

Under Lindsay Whalen, Gophers have tightened up considerably on defense

Gophers are among top 20 hardest teams to score on.
Minnesota's Destiny Pitts (3) was defended by Rhode Island Rams guard Maia Moffitt (12) in the first half.

No. 13 Gophers women enter Big Ten play unbeaten

No. 13 Minnesota won its final nonconference game Saturday 91-71 vs. surprisingly pesky Rhode Island. It pushed the Gophers to 11-0 with Wisconsin looming in their Big Ten opener Friday.
Four-time WNBA champion Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is this year's recipient of the Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Year.

Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx' transformer in chief

Cheryl Reeve likes to describe herself as the mother of an extended family. She has the players' backs but isn't afraid to kick their butts. Most of all, she appeals to the team by investing the time to understand what the Lynx need to play their best.
Taj Gibson (67) and the Wolves must improve their road record.

Wolves embark on daunting road trip, starting in San Antonio

At 14-17, the Wolves are about to play six of their next seven on the road, starting Friday against the Spurs in San Antonio — a city where the Wolves have lost 10 consecutive games and 50 times in team history.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dario Saric (36) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington (33) react to a foul call during overtime.

'We just gave it away.' Wolves lose in OT after Detroit scores 40 in fourth quarter

Wolves players and coach Tom Thibodeau were all terse and direct in talking about what went into blowing a 14-point lead and not being able to stop a Detroit team that had been struggling on offense.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey

Pistons coach Casey bounces around NBA, but always bounces back

Dwane Casey is happy to have landed in Detroit, though he was willing to wait a while after being fired in Toronto despite a 59-win season a year ago.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve.

Lynx open better-paced 2019 schedule against former assistant

The Lynx open against the Chicago Sky, coached by former assistant James Wade, and have no back-to-back games or extended road trips.
Wolves rookie guard Josh Okogie made a spectacular descent from the hoop after dunking in the second quarter on Kings forward Harry Giles.

Wolves return to comforts of home with resounding rout of Kings

Everyone gets into the act as the Wolves' home success continued.
Wolves forward Taj Gibson went up against former teammate Nemanja Bjelica, making his return to Target Center on Monday.

Taj Gibson pleads ignorance on Instagram likes

His verified account approved of two posts critical of his coach.
Kenisha Bell attempted a shot in the third quarter against Syracuse on Nov. 29. Bell scored 20 points on Wednesday night vs. Coppin State.

Gophers women crush Coppin State by 32, improve to 10-0

The Gophers played their second straight game at Williams Arena against a winless opponent and are undefeated through 10 games for the third time in school history.
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins hit a three-pointer under pressure in the first half Wednesday against Charlotte.

Wolves stronger in mind, and standings, into second Western swing

The Timberwolves appear to have shed issues that fueled earlier 0-5 Western trip.
Derrick Rose scored 50 points the last time he wore the Wolves throwback uniforms; Monday night against Houston, he didn’t score any.

Work on his game is only one part of Rose's improvement

The standard line when trying to explain the rather incredible season Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose is having has revolved around health.
Destiny Pitts (3) drove to the basket in the second quarter.

Defense, solid finish move U women to 7-0 in win over Air Force

The Gophers remained perfect Sunday thanks to a defense that remains stifling and despite an offense that continues sputtering.
The Gophers' Taiye Bello (5) celebrate after beating Syracuse 72-68 on Thursday

Bello winning battle of boards for U women's basketball

Tayie Bello is fourth in the nation in rebounds per game (14.3), fourth in offensive rebounds per game (6.2) and 10th in the nation in offensive rebounding rate (23.1).
Guard Kenisha Bell led the No. 20 Gophers with 24 points, including a spinning layup with 1:14 left to help clinch a 72-68 victory over No. 12 Syracus

Gophers rising: Bell's scoring, Bello's rebounding lead undefeated U past No. 12 Syracuse

Down six points with under four minutes to play, the 20th-ranked Gophers finished on a 17-7 run to raise their record to 6-0 under new coach Lindsay Whalen.
“Every game is a challenge,” said Jasmine Brunson. “But this is an opportunity.”

Challenge? U women's basketball ready for 'opportunity' vs. Syracuse

The Gophers have played well in the early going of Lindsay Whalen's first season as coach. But the schedule hasn't been too demanding. That changes Thursday with No. 12 Syracuse in town.
Lindsay Whalen receives a standing ovation from the crowd before speaking during the ceremony.

'No better place to grow up.' School names gym for Whalen

In the same space where she signed her national letter of intent to attend Minnesota 19 years ago this month, Lindsay Whalen came home to Hutchinson on Tuesday for another special day.
Timberwolves forward Robert Covington guarded Bulls guard Zach LaVine on Saturday.

Zach LaVine elevating his game this season with the Chicago Bulls

Zach LaVine has been confident since the day the late Flip Saunders took him with the 13th pick in the 2014 NBA draft out of UCLA
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32), guard Jeff Teague (0) and forward Andrew Wiggins (22) were dejected following their 103-101 loss to Denve

Poor third quarter dooms Wolves in 103-101 loss to Denver

A six-point Wolves halftime lead dissolved over a third-quarter slump that included missed shots, turnovers and lax defense.
Newcomer Robert Covington joined the Wolves with a reputation for defense, but he knows how to space the floor, too.

For Wolves' three-point shooters, spacing out isn't so bad

Before the Jimmy Butler trade the Wolves were 11th in three-point makes (11.1) and sixth in percentage (37.3). In three games before Wednesday, they rank fifth in makes (12.7) and third in percentage (42.7).
Robert Covington, right, acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade, showed his first-team All-NBA defensive flair in battling with the Pelicans’ Julius Ran

Wolves' defense has improved dramatically since Butler trade

The arrival of new players coincides with a marked improvement for the Wolves.
JaMychal Green (0) stripped the ball from Derrick Rose (25) in the second quarter.

Grizzlies' physical style too much as Wolves' winning streak ends

The clutch-and-grab, bump-and-grind Grizzles made the Wolves play at their pace, shut down their fast break and controlled the game.
Memphis Grizzlies head coach J. B. Bickerstaff

Bickerstaff has Grizzlies off to 10-5 start

J.B. Bickerstaff, a former Gophers player and assistant coach with the Wolves, inherited an injury-riddled team last season as interim coach and this season has a new title and newfound success
Gophers guard Kenisha Bell scored a layup in the second half against New Hampshire last week. The Gophers remained undefeated with a win over San Dieg

Big fourth quarter leads to Gophers women's basketball victory over San Diego

Down seven points after the third quarter, the Gophers went to work in a big way to finish.
Gophers center Annalese Lamke celebrated after forward Taiye Bello — the team’s other post player — scored a basket in the season opener. Lamke

Lamke making most of chance to start for Gophers women's basketball

Former reserve Annalese Lamke is thriving so far as the Gophers' starting center.
Brooklyn's Ed Davis guards the Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns during the fourth quarter Monday.

Double-doubles trump turnovers as Wolves dump Nets, end losing skid

Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 21 rebounds (and 10 turnovers) while Jeff Teague added 23 points and 11 assists playing without the guys acquired in the Jimmy Butler deal.
Derrick Rose during a postgame interview Wednesday night at Target Center.

Spotlight shines on Wolves' Rose, on and off the court, after 50-point game

Part of the discussion that emerged: How to balance Derrick Rose's big basketball moment with sexual assault accusations off the court, a 2016 case currently under appeal.
Jeff Teague gave Derrick Rose a hug after Rose scored a career-high 50 points in leading the Timberwolves over the Jazz 128-125 at Target Center on We

The big 5-0: Rose has career-best game as Wolves nip Utah

Derrick Rose scored 50 points on a night when the Wolves needed him that much more because they were playing without Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Tyus Jones.
The Wolves' Andrew Wiggins returned to the lineup after missing three games because of a quad contusion and scored 19 points in 38 minutes against the

Butler and Teague sit, while Wiggins returns for Timberwolves

The Timberwolves will begin a five-game road trip on Friday.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler, left, and center Karl-Anthony Towns watched the game from the bench during the fourth quarter

Thibodeau doesn't dismiss latest offer for Butler

"To me, if something is a good deal, and you think you're getting good value, you have to do what's right for the franchise,'' Tom Thibodeau said as rumors continue to swirl surrounding Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler was surrounded by the Bucks on Friday. Butler, who was ill before the game, had just four points on 2-for-11 shooting, and the team shot

Ice-cold Wolves run out of Target Center by Bucks

The Wolves attempted 112 shots from the floor, and 43 three-pointers, but could not connect near enough to match Milwaukee. The Bucks handed Minnesota a 125-95 loss, the worst in Tom Thibodeau's tenure.
Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver

New wrinkle for Wolves: Reserves respond when called upon

Last year, the start of the second and fourth quarters — time usually reserved for lineups made up mainly of reserves — could be an adventure for the Wolves.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard

Gophers' Hubbard out indefinitely; Whalen's debut sells out

Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard had surgery on her right foot Friday and will be out indefinitely. She is one of three returning starters from last year's team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler dunks in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday

Boo who? Butler's 33 points lead Wolves to victory over Cavaliers

An announced sellout crowd at Target Center booed Jimmy Butler during introductions, then chanted "MVP!" after he scored 33 points in a 131-123 victory.
Wolves rookies Josh Okogie (left) and Keita Bates-Diop, shown after being drafted in June, have not seen the floor in the season's first two games.

Wolves rookies Okogie, Bates-Diop still waiting their turn to play

Rookies Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop have watched the entire 48 minutes from the bench in the Wolves' first two games. No one should have been surprised.
Jimmy Butler will start and isn't expected to have a minutes limit when the Wolves open Wednesday at San Antonio.

Butler set to play; Wolves confident they'll get his best effort

Jimmy Butler has practiced only four times with his Wolves teammates this preseason and did not appear in a preseason game. He won't have a minutes limit Wednesday at San Antonio.
Oklahoma City’s Paul George was surrounded by Wolves (from left) Jeff Teague, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in a preseason game. Such defens

For Timberwolves, defense remains an immense challenge

Timberwolves' starters and subs alike need to zero in on curbing good shots. Minnesota finished the preseason 29th in opponent field-goal percentage, 26th in three-point-shooting defense and last in points allowed.
Wolves rookies Josh Okogie (left) and Keita Bates-Diop

Towns to Wolves rookies: Savor your first NBA game

Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop could make their NBA debuts on Wednesday in San Antonio.
Jimmy Butler

Source: Butler and Taylor meet, come to understanding on situation

Coach Tom Thibodeau said he expects Jimmy Butler to be in a Wolves uniform when the season opens. Butler, meanwhile, had a message for fans who may be displeased with him.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George found himself surrounded by the Timberwolves, from left, Jeff Teague, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins on F

Sparse crowd given little reason to cheer Wolves' lone home preseason game

Friday's game vs. Oklahoma City at Target Center — the third of five on the preseason slate and the only one to be played in Minneapolis — featured a smattering of boos.
Gophers fan Elvira “Peps” Neuman of Clearwater cheered at Williams Arena last February. Lindsay Whalen's coaching debut Nov. 9 at the Barn is near

Whalen's U debut could break attendance record at the Barn

Less than 500 tickets remain for Lindsay Whalen's coaching debut. Tickets are being discounted as the Gophers take advantage of the buzz surrounding her hiring.
Lindsay Whalen’s demeanor — running her first Gophers practice Monday as head coach — had senior center Annalese Lamke smiling. It was an upbeat

Whalen runs upbeat, intense first U women's basketball practice

"It's nice to not have to do the sprints down and back," Lindsay Whalen said when asked the difference between being a player and a coach.
New Gophers basketball coach Lindsay Whalen is returning to her alma mater.

Gophers' Whalen wants to redo office with new mementos

The office of the new women's basketball coach shows off past successes. She hopes keepsakes from future triumphs soon cover those walls.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose (25) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubow

Rose finding comfort in his role with Timberwolves

Derrick Rose stayed with the Wolves shortly after free agency began in July because he's knows he'll get a good opportunity to play.
Anthony Tolliver (right), who played for the Timberwolves from 2010-12, is back with the team and is expected to improve the club's three-point shooti

Wolves' Tolliver ready to live up to three-point expectations

Anthony Tolliver set personal highs for three-pointers attempted (4.6) and made (2.0) per game while shooting 43.6 percent, seventh best in the league, for the Pistons last season.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve knows changes are coming before 2019, and said nothing is off the table.

Reeve: No Lynx players off-limits in offseason re-tooling

Lynx coach and GM Cheryl Reeve reiterated in Friday's season-ending news conference that changes are coming. "Any phone call that comes, about anybody, you listen," she said.
Sparks guard Chelsea Gray lost control of the ball against the Lynx in the first half of Tuesday night's WNBA playoff game. Los Angeles defeated the L

After unprecedented run, Lynx face big questions about what's next

The contracts for Lynx players Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson all expire after this season. After a first-round playoff exit, it's clear things need to change.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles was named Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time.

Sylvia Fowles of Lynx named Defensive Player of Year

The Associated Press WNBA awards were announced Tuesday, and there weren't a lot of surprises. Breanna Stewart of Seattle was named the Player of the…
The Lynx prepared to take the court before Sunday night's final regular season game against Washington.

Final countdown: Lynx brace for win-or-else showdown in L.A.

"We want to fight to the end and send people off the way they should,'' Seimone Augustus said about what the Lynx want from the 2018 WNBA playoffs.
Lindsay Whalen acknowledged the cheers of the Target Center crowd (and her teammates) in the final moments of her final regular-season game for the Ly

Whalen holds court start to finish in last regular-season game of career

Before, during and after the game, Sunday night at Target Center belonged to Lindsay Whalen from the t-shirts worn by the Lynx to hitting the shot that put her team ahead for good in an 88-83 victory.
Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve hugged guard Lindsay Whalen after Whalen announced her retirement during a press conference.

'A great 15 years.' Whalen moves on

While others, including Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve were emotional, Lindsay Whalen made it clear that she was intent on celebrating her basketball career rather than ruing the fact that her playing days are about to end.
From left, the Lynx's Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Tanisha Wright and Seimone Augustus showed their frustration during the fourth quarter as the Lynx lo

Shorthanded Lynx struggle in 81-72 loss to first-place Seattle

With injuries and age taking their toll on the Lynx, coach Cheryl Reeve essentially is trying to reshape her team, just days before the regular season ends.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve hasn't decided if Lindsay Whalen will play Thursday at Las Vegas.

Lynx could clinch playoff spot tonight; Reeve undecided if Whalen plays

How the Lynx played in beating Chicago on Tuesday gave coach Cheryl Reeve some fodder for making decisions about upcoming games.
Lynx veteran forward Rebekkah Brunson might have suffered a broken nose when she was elbowed by Atlanta’s Tiffany Hayes in the second quarter.

Lynx continue standings tumble with third straight double-digit defeat

Atlanta broke open a tie game in the second quarter with a 16-1 run and the Lynx never recovered in an 86-66 defeat at Target Center.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles scored one of her 18 points in the first half over Fever Natalie Achonwa at Target Center July 18.

Lynx hope to re-establish home-court success

Now, more than ever, the Lynx have to hold serve on home court, with red-hot Atlanta up next. It will be the third game in four nights against a top-three WNBA team for the Lynx, just 8-5 at home this season.
Jimmy Butler

Wolves guard Butler has hand surgery

The All-Star underwent an elective procedure, according to the team, and won't miss any playing time.
Maya Moore held up her MVP trophy along with WNBA league president Lisa Borders

WNBA All-Stars: Fun throughout, a dunk to finish, Moore wins another MVP

Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game was a showcase, ending on a high note with Lynx standout Maya Moore as MVP
Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson, signing autographs for WNBA fans Friday night in downtown Minneapolis, is the face of a rookie class that could go

WNBA 3.0: New generation of stars emerges from pioneers

Today's most talented WNBA players don't have to look to the NBA for on-court role models.
Lynx forward Maya Moore was the leading All-Star vote-getter, and she obliged some of her fans after practice Friday at Target Center. She will play f

Even during up-and-down season, Moore is a poster child of persistence

Maya Moore finds ways to elevate the Lynx even when her shot isn't falling.
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