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Kent Youngblood

Reporter | Pro Sports
phone: 612-673-4365
Kent Youngblood is a general assignment reporter. He writes most often about the Timberwolves and Wild.
Recent content from Kent Youngblood
Minnesota Lynx point guards Lindsay Whalen and Danielle Robinson are sharing nearly equal minutes as Robinson has grown more comfortable with her new

Robinson splitting time with Whalen in transition filled with challenges

Through 11 games, Lindsay Whalen and Danielle Robinson are pretty much even in playing time, with Robinson working hard to pick up the Lynx's system.
Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop was selected in the second round on Thursday night.

Wolves 'surprised' to land Big Ten POY Bates-Diop in second round

Many draft analysts had Keita Bates-Diop going higher. Some had him as a first-round pick. Some even speculated he might land with the Wolves at No. 20.
Maya Moore drove to the basket next to the Dallas Wings' Kayla Thornton on Tuesday.

Back on track? Lynx' second win in a row is 200th victory for Reeve

The Lynx led by 18 after three quarters before stumbling down the stretch but still picked up a win, which was the only statistic Cheryl Reeve was worried about despite reaching a milestone.
Lynx forward Cecilia Zandalasini’s minutes have risen dramatically of late because of Seimone Augustus’ hamstring injury, and she's scored in doub

Smooth shot, stingy defense earn Lynx's Zandalasini more minutes

Cecilia Zandalasini's work on both ends of the court has coach Cheryl Reeve determined to find more playing time for her.
Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore (23) and Minnesota Lynx guard Danielle Robinson (3) do a special chest bump cheer at the end of a game earlier this

Lynx return from layoff with victory over New York

Sylvia Fowles had 25 points and nine rebounds and Maya Moore had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Lynx, who played Saturday for the first time in a week.
New York Liberty head coach Katie Smith

Former Lynx standout Katie Smith firmly at the helm for NY Liberty

Katie Smith, who won two titles in Detroit with Bill Laimbeer as her head coach and Cheryl Reeve as her assistant, has been discovering the joys and frustrations of being the one in charge.
Cheryl Reeve

Reeve says WNBA has put Lynx 'on notice' during 3-6 start

Coach Cheryl Reeve believes the Lynx still have the players to finish near the top of the WNBA. But they'll need to once again answer the challenge of an improving league.
Minnesota's Toby Hanson (20) taps helmets with Luke Pettersen (13) after Hanson hit a solo home run off Oregon State's Luke Heimlich during the openin

After loss, Anderson credits seniors for restoring U's baseball success

Gophers baseball coach John Anderson recalled the meeting he and his then-freshman class had in 2015 after a difficult series against Northwestern. Things had to change, he said.
Oregon State shortstop Cadyn Grenier (2) tags out Minnesota's Ben Mezzenga (1)

Late Oregon State rally ends Gophers baseball season

Oregon State tied Saturday night's NCAA super regional game 3-3 in the eighth and scored three runs in the ninth to advance to next week's College World Series in Omaha.
Oregon State's Adley Rutschman (35) celebrates with Micahel Gretler (10) after hitting a solo home run in the first inning of the Corvallis Super Regi

Gophers thumped 8-1 by Oregon State in NCAA baseball super regional opener

Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich lasted into the ninth, limiting the Gophers to one run, and the Beavers offense ate up Minnesota early with back-to-back home runs.
Eli Wilson

Second-generation Gopher: Wilson mirrors his All-America dad

Sophomore standout Eli Wilson reminds a lot of people, including Gophers coach John Anderson, of the catcher's father Dan.
After the Lynx won the 2015 WNBA title, team members posed with President Obama during the team's third trip to the White House.

No invitation to White House? Lynx doing community service instead

Instead of a fourth trip to the White House — that invitation never came — the Lynx will attend a school in Washington, D.C., where they will give away socks and shoes and spread goodwill.
Terrin Vavra

Gophers shortstop Vavra drafted in third round by Colorado

Terrin Vavra, a junior who was a first-team All-America this season, was the 96th overall selection.
Minnesota Lynx forward Temi Fagbenle and the rest of the team are on a three-game skid heading into Sunday's game at LA.

Lynx looking for way to stop slide as they begin tough road trip

Off to a 2-4 start, their worst since 2010, and having lost two of three games at home, the Lynx now go on the road for games at Los Angeles, Washington and Connecticut.
Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi (3) hits a shot over Minnesota Lynx's Seimone Augustus (33) and Sylvia Fowles

Phoenix takes over, sends Lynx to 10-point loss

Phoenix had three players score 21 or more points as the Lynx dropped to 2-4 on the season and now head out on a three-game road trip
Guard Lindsay Whalen and the Lynx are off to an uncharacteristic 2-3 start.

Lynx struggle with intensity; Reeve says she's 'not going to talk about it'

Despite divulging what the issues are that have led to the Lynx' 2-3 start, coach Cheryl Reeve was tight-lipped when asked why they're happening.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles faced a double-team by the Los Angeles Sparks in a May 20 game at Target Center. The Lynx, with their core players another y

Fresh challenges facing Lynx on display in struggling start

For a fan base — and a league — used to seeing the Lynx get off to great starts, it's a surprise to see the defending WNBA champions start the season with a 2-2 record.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles shoots against Dallas Wings center Elizabeth Cambage during the first half Wednesday.

Fowles meets huge challenge with huge game in Lynx win

Center Sylvia Fowles responded to playing against a bigger opponent with the first 20/20 performance in Lynx history as her team jumped to a huge lead and beat Dallas 76-68.
Maya was just like Mike, even if it was only for a day

Maya was just like Mike, even if it was only for a day

An enormous poster of Maya Moore graced downtown Minneapolis on Sunday, put up by Nike's Jordan Brand, that mimicked Michael Jordan's famous "Wings'' poster from 1989.
Lindsay Whalen tried to distance herself from the L.A. scene as the Sparks’ Chelsea Gray (12) celebrated her game-winning shot with teammates.

'Dumb basketball.' Lynx get their title rings, then lose at the buzzer

The Lynx didn't make use of a huge advantage on the inside in their season-opening loss to the Sparks. "How do you have that big an advantage and you can't exploit it?' coach Cheryl Reeve asked.
Sylvia Fowles

MVP Fowles ready for an encore: 'They'll be coming at me from the start'

Pushed by Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve to be great, prodded by assistant coach James Wade in workouts before and after every practice, Sylvia Fowles went from very good to historically dominant last season.
Minnesota Lynx's Maya Moore, left, drives around Los Angeles Sparks' Odyssey Sims during the first half of Game 5 of the WNBA Finals in Minneapolis la

WNBAwesome: Lynx, Sparks resume 'unmatched' rivalry in opener

The Lynx and Sparks have their last split 16 games (and the last two WNBA titles). "This has been awesome for women's basketball,'' Lynx guard Seimone Augustus said.
Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen (13) scores on a layup and is fouled by Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker, left, during the second half of

Gameday preview: Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks

The Lynx kick off their 20th season with a rematch of the past two WNBA Finals.
Lynx guard Seimone Augustus (33) tries to drive past Mystics guard Tierra�Ruffin-Pratt (14) Sunday, May 6, 2018, during their WNBA preseason game at

Five keys to the Lynx season

The Star Tribune's Kent Youngblood lays out the case for what the team needs this season to succeed.
Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore hoists two WNBA championship trophies above her head before she addresses the crowd at Williams Arena as the team ce

WNBA power rankings

The Star Tribune's Kent Youngblood breaks down the WNBA entering the 2018 season.
Lynx team photographer David Sherman took a group shot of, from left, Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson, and Seimone Augustu

Posing for a repeat: Lynx in search of back-to-back titles

The Lynx have reached the WNBA championship series six of the past seven years but have yet to win back-to-back. "We have a small, limited time to get it done," Seimone Augustus said.
Lynx forward Lynetta Kizer, left, has issues with her sacroiliac joint and it’s unclear if she will be ready for Sunday’s opener.

Injury to Kizer affects Lynx's backup plans at forward

Kizer left the team's final preseason game Saturday in the first half with a sacroiliac joint issue. Her return to action will depend on if she can play through the soreness.
Lynx guard Seimone Augustus showed Chicago’s Allie Quigley her still-smooth jumper Saturday.

Augustus' scoring drop was partly by design by Lynx

Less scoring and more assists by the longest-standing member of the franchise helped fuel Sylvia Fowles' MVP year.
Tanisha Wright directed a teammate during a drill at the Minnesota Lynx training camp.

Lynx bring shutdown defender Wright back after season away

Tanisha Wright is one of the best defensive players of her generation. So perhaps what the Lynx did to acquire her should be called a full-court press.
Minnesota Lynx guard Alexis Jones

Second-year Lynx Fagbenle, Jones hope to play bigger roles

Both players are coming off confidence-boosting stints in Europe, and hoping they'll get more minutes during the 2018 season, which begins May 20.
Lynetta Kizer got the ball knocked away by the Mystics’ Ariel Atkins on Sunday. Mistakes in the preseason game had Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve str

Reeve asks for more following Lynx's preseason loss

Sunday in Des Moines the Lynx turned the ball over 15 times while making 14 baskets in the first half.
Lindsay Whalen, who will be 36 Wednesday, isn’t doing one job, but two: point guard for the Lynx, head coach of the Gophers women’s basketball tea

'It's a fun busy.' Whalen brings new fire to long days with Lynx, Gophers

Lindsay Whalen went from seriously considering retiring from the Lynx to becoming one of the busiest women in Minnesota when she decided to keep playing -- and was named coach of the Gophers.
Lynx guard Danielle Robinson stole the ball from Mystics guard AJ Alix during Washington's 90-85 WNBA preseason victory at Wells Fargo Arena in Des M

Reeve checks out new Lynx guards, likes what she sees

Point guard Danielle Robinson scored 18 points in 22 minutes and Tanisha Wright showed her defensive skills in a preseason loss to Washington that featured the Lynx' new bench.
Lynetta Kizer calls offseason signing with the Lynx a “no-brainer” because it is a first-class organization with talented players.

Kizer appreciates getting a shot playing for Lynx

Lynetta Kizer looks to be the primary backup for Rebekkah Brunson. But that role is in flux. Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve has been surprised at Kizer's ability to guard smaller forwards.
The Lynx acquired 3-time WNBA all-star point guard Danielle Robinson from the Mercury for a first round draft pick. Robinson is among the fastest play

'Lightning' fast Robinson gives Lynx a new look at guard

Lynx star Seimone Augustus says Danielle Robinson is the fastest player in the WNBA. She's expected to help the Lynx on defense and in their running game.
Carlie Wagner was a standout with the Gophers, and is now trying to make the WNBA.

Going overseas may be Gophers star Wagner's best path to Lynx

After she was taken by the Lynx with the final pick of the WNBA draft, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve and Carlie Wagner had a talk about the future.
Lynx stars Sylvia Fowles, left, and Maya Moore held up all four WNBA championship trophies as the team arrived at Williams Arena for a celebration of

With so many new faces, WNBA champion Lynx back to defend title

As has been the case for years now, the core of the Lynx's success -- the starters -- is back. But after that? All sorts of newcomers.
James Harden was fouled in the third quarter by Jeff Teague. Harden led the Rockets’ 50-point barrage in the quarter with 22.

Wolves face many questions after Houston's near-record outburst

The Wolves went from being in position to tie the best-of-seven series at two games each to trying to explain how the Rockets managed to score 50 points in 12 minutes.
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]."
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins has kept his quiet, steady demeanor in the postseason, but his play is speaking volumes.

Wolves' Wiggins emerges by staying the same

Pressure builds in the NBA playoffs? Don't tell the young forward that.
Wolves guard Derrick Rose passed in the second quarter against the Rockets' Clint Capela in Game 3 Saturday at Target Center.

Wolves' passing out of double-teams gets results

In Saturday night's 121-105 Game 3 victory over the Rockets at Target Center, the Wolves had 29 assists and only seven turnovers.
Jimmy Butler, left, keeps the ball close as the Rockets' PJ Tucker defends during the second half of Game 3

What, me hurt? Butler plays through pain in Game 3

Jimmy Butler on Saturday didn't let an apparent ankle injury slow him at Target Center. "That shows you how much he wanted this," Derrick Rose said. "He's the leader on this team."
Karl-Anthony Towns hasn't been able to get anything going in the first two playoff games against the Rockets

Towns: 'Amish-like' life makes him oblivious to public criticism

Karl-Anthony Towns is struggling in the playoffs, but he isn't paying attention to outsiders' observations.
Wild works to unclog neutral zone ahead of Game 3

Wild works to unclog neutral zone ahead of Game 3

While being outscored 7-3, outshot 84-37 and falling behind 0-2 in their first-round playoff series with Winnipeg, the Wild has had its offense through the neutral zone disrupted by the Jets.
Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose

Rose's defense could provide Wolves a boost off bench

Tom Thibodeau's more recent attempt to reunite his old Chicago Bulls team might be in a position to pay dividends in the Wolves' upcoming playoff series with Houston.
Gophers guard Carlie Wagner was drafted by the Lynx on Thursday night.

'Dream come true' for Gophers' Wagner drafted by Lynx

The Lynx were active in Thursday night's WNBA draft, picking up Gophers guard Carlie Wagner and trading for a 6-3 forward from Gonzaga.

Lynx teammates, coach endorse Whalen's hiring by Gophers

Gophers players excited over new coach, too, Wagner says.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson, left, knocks the ball loose from Denver Nuggets' Paul Millsap during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wed

Game-changing defense: Sore neck doesn't stop Taj Gibson

Despite a neck so painful he couldn't finish Monday's game, Gibson played, and played especially well when it mattered most.
Lynx guard Alexis Jones.may played a bigger role in her second WNBA season.

Roster close to set, Lynx looking to draft for camp competition

The Lynx have two picks in the second round – No. 17 and No. 24 – and the final pick in the third round, 36th overall.
Wolves point guard Jeff Teague drove to the basket in the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

Wolves beat Grizzlies; Wednesday's Nuggets game sends winner to playoffs

The Wolves got a needed victory to set up a one-game showdown with Denver at Target Center. The loser stays home for the postseason.
Wolves forward Taj Gibson left the Memphis game holding his shoulder in the first quarter Monday night.

Wolves' Gibson leaves Memphis game in first quarter with sore neck

Gibson's status for Wednesday's crucial regular-season finale with Denver could be in doubt.
Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach Rick Brunson.

Wolves assistants Brunson, Pinckney savor Villanova success

Timberwolves assistants Rick Brunson and Ed Pinckney were able to be in San Antonio on Monday night for Villanova's national championship victory. Both have a rooting interest in the Wildcats.
Timberwolves veteran guard Jamal Crawford jogged to the bench during Friday's game in Dallas.

Jamal Crawford's big fourth quarter helps Wolves hold off Dallas

A night full of stumbles required a late rescue from the veteran.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler

Wolves' Jimmy Butler tests his knee in first contact drills

Cleared for contact, the All-Star accompanied the team to Dallas just so he could take that next step.
Tanisha Wright, left, played for Seattle against Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson in a 2013 game at Target Center.

Former WNBA star Tanisha Wright ends 'retirement' to join Lynx

Wright, whose defensive prowess allows her to guard both guards and forwards, left to become an assistant coach at North Carolina-Charlotte last season.
Cory Provus has been the Twins' radio voice since 2011.

Coming home: Twins return to WCCO after 11-year absence

The Twins are returning to their long-time radio home after the Pohlad family decided that mixing baseball with the music format on 96.3 FM didn't work well.
Taj Gibson of the Timberwolves was surrounded by Memphis defenders on Monday night at Target Center.

Thibodeau says team lacked toughness in Memphis loss

Wolves coach Thibodeau said he talked to his team about the need to be mentally ready to bounce back on Wednesday against Atlanta.
Memphis Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks (24) fouls Minnesota Timberwolves' Jeff Teague (0) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Monday, Marc

Gameday preview: Wolves vs. Atlanta

After losing at home Monday, 101-93, to a Memphis team that had lost 23 of its past 24 games before coming to Target Center, the Wolves will try to rebound against the Atlanta Hawks, the worst team in the NBA East.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns had the ball stripped from him by Grizzlies center Marc Gasol as he drove to the basket in the fourth quarter.

Wolves produce grisly performance in loss to awful Grizzlies

Memphis had won only one of its last 24 games, lost 17 in a row on the road and been beaten by 61 points last week before coming to Target center. 'This is the worst loss,' guard Jeff Teague said.
Tyus Jones had a difficult weekend. While he and the Wolves were splitting a two-game road trip, Jones was following both his little brother play for

Wolves' Jones feels the pain of weekend losses by brother, alma mater

Tre Jones and Apple Valley lost in the Class 4A title game. Then Tyus' college team, Duke, lost to Kansas for a chance to go to the Final Four.
Eric Staal.

Wild milestones: Boudreau nears 500 victories, Staal approaching 40 goals

Eric Staal hasn't reached the 40-goal mark since 2008-09.
"Every game is crucial," Andrew Wiggins said of the final 10 games on the Wolves' schedule.

Jammed up: Final 10-game stretch will decide Wolves' playoff fate

It should help the Wolves that In their final 10 games they play just four games against teams with winning records.
Jeff Teague has kicked his game into another gear to help the Wolves stay afloat in the absence of Jimmy Butler.

Teague shifts game into high to help fill void left by Butler

Point guard Jeff Teague has been at his freelancing best recently. Will he keep that up when Jimmy Butler returns from his knee injury?
Injured Wolves star Jimmy Butler spoke to the media for the first time since having surgery Sunday.

Wolves' Jimmy Butler antsy to return from injured right knee

Back with the team, the All-Star guard continues to rehab as the Wolves pursue a playoff spot.
Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson (right, with director of player development Brad Bombardir) in 2010.

Wild gives Hendrickson a break to watch son win state hockey title

The assistant coach got home from Vancouver in time to watch son Mason play for Minnetonka, which defeated Duluth East for the Class 2A boys' hockey title Saturday.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve

After so much winning, Reeve working her general manager game

Cheryl Reeve has pushed to expand the way the Lynx prepares, both for April's draft and for the upcoming season when the Lynx will try to win their fifth WNBA title in eight years.
The Wolves’ Nemanja Bjelica found success attacking Utah’s Rudy Gobert inside last week and also made six three-pointers Thursday against Boston.

With Butler down, Bjelica has stepped up for Wolves

His minutes having spiked since Jimmy Butler's knee injury, Nemanja Bjelica continues to get more aggressive. Thursday he scored a career-high 30 points and had 12 rebounds. He also played 40 or more minutes for the second consecutive game.
Minnesota Wild left wing Marcus Foligno (17) takes a shot in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Xcel Energy

Wild aims not to let games on the road get away this time

After poor play on the road last week, the Wild hopes to this time keep games under control against Vancouver and Edmonton.
Andrew Wiggins put up a shot against the Rockets' Clint Capela last month.

Survive and advance: Tough stretch to make or break Wolves playoff hope

With 16 games left the Wolves are 38-28. They are in a virtual tie with San Antonio and New Orleans for fourth in the West, one game behind Portland, but just two games from being out of the playoff picture.
The Jazz's Jae Crowder (99) and Joe Ingles defended as Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague looked to pass during the first half Friday.

Teague on Rubio hit: 'I didn't think I hit him that hard'

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague admitted to losing their cool at Utah, where both were ejected during a game the Wolves went on to lose.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) needed help to get off the floor Friday in Houston.

Back for the playoffs? Wolves' Butler has surgery on knee

The team said he will be out indefinitely, but Jimmy Butler has been telling people he intends to return for the playoffs after hurting his knee in Houston.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (22) drives against Chicago Bulls’ David Nwaba during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Saturd

Wolves shake off adversity to beat Chicago 122-104

Playing their first game without the injured Jimmy Butler and just hours after arriving back to Minnesota after team plane issues, the Timberwolves hunkered down for a win.
The Target Center crowd reacted after Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford made a three-pointer during the second half against the Lakers earlier this mo

Wolves players recharged after welcome breather

No team played more games in January than the Wolves, so the week-long All-Star break was a chance to gear up for a final 21-game push.
Jessie Diggins, of the United States, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the during women's team sprint freestyle cross-country skiing final a

'Classic Jessie.' Hometown friends celebrate Diggins' Olympic gold

Coaches and training partners predict future Olympic success.
Jamal Crawford, right, is encouraged by the Wolves’ standing at the All-Star break, but Jimmy Butler wants and expects much more.

Wolves happy but not satisfied as All-Star break hits

The team is third in the West but needs to work harder to survive a tough post-All-Star-break stretch.
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