Staff Directory 6370602

Kent Youngblood

Reporter | Pro Sports
Phone: 612-673-4365

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
Guard Kayla McBride scored 17 points and had six rebounds in her Lynx debut.

Lynx see some positives in opening game loss

Home team made it close despite missing a key player and a late addition.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles shot the ball as Mercury center Brittney Griner defended Friday.

Taurasi's last-second three sinks Lynx in game filled with mistakes

A clock malfunction caused a 12-minute delay after the game-winning shot, but the Lynx contributed their share of errors to the opening-night loss.
Lynx guard Kayla McBride put up a jump shot against Phoenix during the second half Friday night at Target Center.

Opening Day surprise for Lynx: Here comes McBride

The team's top free-agent signing was cleared to play in the opener against Phoenix.
Damiris Dantas

Reeve issues a reminder: Don't forget about Lynx forward Dantas

During camp this season so much attention has been paid to the addition of Kayla McBride, Aerial Powers and Natalie Achonwa that Damiris Dantas kind of slipped through the cracks.
Linnae Harper

Lynx waive guard Linnae Harper; Kayla McBride headed home

McBride led her team in Turkey to the league title, and she was the playoffs MVP.
Even with more outside shooters on the roster, the Lynx offense still revolves around center Sylvia Fowles.

Even if they shoot more threes, Lynx offense still revolves around Fowles

Center Sylvia Fowles is healthy again, and coach Cheryl Reeve has surrounded her with more and better long-range shooters.
Lynx guard Rachel Banham, with Kayla McBride and Aerial Powers not available to play against the Mystics on Saturday, scored 23 points in the 79-68 vi

Winning with incomplete roster has Reeve excited about Lynx depth

On a team that added three key players as free agents, don't be surprised to see the Lynx give bench players more minutes because of a deeper roster.
Minnesota Lynx forward Damiris Dantas (12) fought to keep the ball in the second half.

Lynx top Mystics in lone preseason game even while being shorthanded

Minnesota wins despite being without three, or perhaps four, of its starters
Gophers golfer Angus Flanagan

Gophers golfer Angus Flanagan to fulfill a dream, playing in Walker Cup

The event, which matches top amateurs from both sides of the Atlantic has a history of producing star players, including 2021 Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris.
Anthony Edwards

Respect? Wolves rookie Edwards just wants to 'win and have fun'

After filling up the stat sheet on Wednesday against Memphis, 19-year-old Anthony Edwards has reached rare company but doesn't care what anybody thinks about it.
Japreece Dean was a three-year standout at UCLA.

Lynx waive rookie guard Japreece Dean

The former UCLA standout played the past two seasons in Russia.
During the 2020 WNBA season, Lynx guard Rachel Banham got more playing time and offensive freedom from coach Cheryl Reeve.

Former Gophers guard Banham's game has green light with Lynx

The offensive creativity Rachel Banham showed during her U years is encouraged by Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve.
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles

WNBA, Lynx announce national TV dates

Twenty-two of the team's 32 games will be available on a television format, with local broadcasts yet to be announced.
Minnesota Lynx forward Jessica Shepard

Jessica Shepard shows promise in return to Lynx

Jessica Shepard was a slick-passing forward who was making her mark until tearing the ACL in her right knee on June 8, 2019, against Los Angeles in her sixth WNBA game.
Aerial Powers’ versatility and maturity caught Cheryl Reeve’s attention during free agency.

New Lynx guard Powers 'lights everyone up'

Aerial Powers adds an energy to the game that is contagious.
A lighter and quicker Bridget Carleton will be playing at small forward and shooting guard this season for the Lynx.

With Lynx spot secure, Carleton wants to make her mark this season

After starting the season as a fringe player, 6-1 Bridget Carleton played 25.8 minutes per game, made 52% of her shots overall, 45.7 % of her three-pointers while averaging 6.6 points and 3.5 rebounds.
Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield was the WNBA Rookie of the Year last season, but coach Cheryl Reeve has plenty of ideas on how Dangerfield can improve

Reeve: Despite top rookie honors, Dangerfield has much to improve

Game-changing defense, teammate-enabling assists, and more rebounding despite being only 5-foot-5 are things coach Cheryl Reeve wants from Crystal Dangerfield.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve

Lynx coach Reeve bashes NCAA transfer portal: 'I don't like it at all'

Cheryl Reeve said the Lynx take a player's transfer history into account when vetting them for the WNBA Draft.
Lynx players Napheesa Collier (left) and Kayla McBride (right, who played for the Las Vegas Aces last season) might not be available for the May 14 re

Lynx could open season with Collier, McBride finishing seasons in Europe

Overseas commitments for Napheesa Collier and Kayla McBride leave status for WNBA opener up in the air.
Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic fell after making a three-pointer against the Wolves on Saturday night.

Wolves-Utah gameday preview

The Jazz, having again failed wo beat the Wolves at home, will try again at Target Center.
After playing in only seven regular-season games in the WNBA’s Bradenton, Fla., bubble in 2020, Sylvia Fowles returned to the Lynx in September for

Bye-bye bubble: Lynx star Fowles happy to put 2020 behind her

Usually durable center Sylvia Fowles had to sit most of last season because of a calf injury.
Utah guard Mike Conley defended against Wolves rookie Anthony Edwards in the first half Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Edwards energized Wolves' comeback with play at both ends of floor

The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft shined on defense, and his teammates fed off him.
Cheryl Reeve got the Lynx to the WNBA semifinals last season, but is looking for more in 2021.

Q&A: Lynx coach Reeve on diving into free agency, coming home to play

The four-time WNBA champions open training camp on Sunday with three key new players and star center Sylvia Fowles healthy again.
Timberwolves center Naz Reid

Big man Reid boosting play of Wolves bench

The Timberwolves' bench play has improved of late, thanks to D'Angelo Russell's health and Naz Reid's numbers in April backing up Karl-Anthony Towns.
Danielle O’Banion (middle) helped coordinate the Gophers’ defensive strategy.

U basketball assistant O'Banion named head coach at Loyola (Md.)

Danielle O'Banion was responsible for helping direct the Gophers defense, coaching post players and doing scouting reports. She's taking over a team that went winless last season.
Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio is defended by Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside during the first quarter

Wolves once again denied a win streak, falling 128-125 at Sacramento

For the 14th straight time this season Minnesota followed a win with a loss. "One too many mistakes,' Karl-Anthony Towns said.
Lynx GM and coach Cheryl Reeve is preparing for the WNBA season.

Lynx sign former Oregon State guard Pivec

A third-round pick by Atlanta last year, Mikayla Pivec opted out of the 2020 WNBA season.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) goes to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during the first half of an

Washington shakes off slow start to hand Wolves seventh loss in a row

Bradley Beal finished with 34 points vs. the Wolves, 17 coming in the third quarter, and Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in a 128-112 victory.
Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch

Handling workload is Finch's top challenge as Wolves coach

It's been less than a week since Chris Finch took over as Wolves coach, and it's been an unusual transition.
Gophers coaches conferred during a game against Iowa on Jan. 31.

U women's basketball home finale against Michigan canceled

There are COVID-19 issues within the Minnesota program, the school announced, and the game scheduled for Sunday won't be made up.
Gophers guard Caroline Strande shot the ball during the first half.

U women's basketball back on track after 10-point win vs. Huskers

Despite playing shorthanded yet again, the Gophers went on an 11-1 run to close vs. Nebraska and ended a two-game losing streak.
The Gophers’ Kadi Sissoko, playing vs. Drake early this season, is averaging 14.1 points and 6.5 rebounds her past eight games after being inconsist

Transfer forward Sissoko emerging as force for Gophers women

"There is no question she is physically and athletically as good as anyone in our conference," Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen said about Kari Sissoko
Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns put up a shot against the Knicks on Sunday night in New York.

Finch tells Karl-Anthony Towns he will be centerpiece of Wolves offense

The new coach called his star center, who reaffirmed his commitment to the franchise before Sunday's firing.
Chris Finch, who coached Anthony Davis, right, with New Orleans’ staff, envisions the Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Twins “at the center of everything.�

Finch taking over on the fly, but has a vision for the Wolves

Without much time to set up X's and O's, the new coach is ready to gauge players' skill sets, a process that begins tonight in Milwaukee.
Raptors guard Norman Powell shot the ball as Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley defended during the second quarter of Friday night’s game.

Beasley eclipses record held by Towns - barely

Malik Beasley hit his 100th three of the season on Wednesday, in the team's 29th game. That's the fastest any Wolves player had gotten to 100 in a season.
Gophers guard Jasmine Powell said of Rutgers’ powerful press game: “They can be a little intimidating.’

U women's basketball will be tested by Rutgers' 'intimidating' press

After consecutive wins, a unique challenge awaits the Gophers on Wednesday night on the road. The Scarlet Knights press more than any team in the Big Ten.
Odyssey Sims shot over Seattle’s Natasha Howard during a game on Sept. 27 in Bradenton, Fla.

Lynx trade Sims, rights to Fagbenle to Indiana

The team gets only a second-round pick in return for the players and two draft picks in a salary cap-clearing move.
Gophers center Klarke Sconiers (25) forced Wisconsin Badgers forward Imani Lewis to miss a shot at William Arena on Sunday. The Gophers defeated Wisco

Gophers tough out a women's basketball victory over Wisconsin

Against the taller, bigger Badgers, the Gophers' win seemed more grind-it-out than it did run-and-gun.
Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield brings the ball up the court in front of forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, right,  during a game in Bradenton, Fla., on

Lynx trade Herbert Harrigan to Seattle for draft pick

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan was taken by the Lynx out of South Carolina with the sixth pick in last year's draft.
Gophers guard Jasmine Powell jumped for a shot in the second quarter Wednesday vs. Illinois.

Superb early, just enough late; U women defeat last-place Illinois

The Gophers' 29-point lead early in third quarter shrunk to seven near the end of Wednesday night's home game, but they pulled out a win.
Minnesota guards Jasmine Powell and Gadiva Hubbard are among the players nursing injuries as the team prepares for two winnable games.

As injuries mount, U women's basketball gets thinner in backcourt

Gadiva Hubbard, Jasmine Powell and Sara Scalia are all either out or ailing with injuries.
Lindsay Whalen (shown during a game earlier this season) has tried an assortment of approaches to get her team to play better in the second half this

More second-half stumbles as U women crushed by No. 11 Ohio State

The Gophers' inability to execute coming out of halftime cost them again in a 83-59 loss to the Buckeyes on Sunday afternoon.
Wolves center Naz Reid and Oklahoma City forward Darius Bazley fought for control of the ball in the second half Saturday night.

Reid's strong night for Wolves comes up one basket short

The center shot 12-for-21 from the field, but his tying attempt in the closing seconds missed the mark.
Lindsay Whalen (shown during a game earlier this season) has tried an assortment of approaches to get her team to play better in the second half this

Gophers falter again in second half, lose to Ohio State 83-59

Minnesota was within nine points of the No. 11 ranked Buckeyes at halftime. But Ohio State dominated the third quarter and cruised to victory.
Timberwolves center Naz Reid sits on the court after the Thunder defeated the Wolves in a game full of dominating runs.

Wolves fall just short of completing monumental comeback at OKC

After tying a franchise record by giving up 83 first-half points, the Wolves lost by a basket, 120-118.
Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell have only played in the same game five times since last year’s trade that brought Russell to Minnesota.

A year after acquiring Russell, Wolves' opportunity to grow has been limited

D'Angelo Russell has played in only five games with Karl-Anthony Towns since his arrival.
Natalie Achonwa comes to the Lynx from the Indiana Fever.

Citing Reeve's passion for the game, Achonwa joins Lynx: 'This was the fit for me'

Natalie Achonwa, who will likely back up Sylvia Fowles, said she wanted to play for a coach as passionate — and vocal — as she is.
Las Vegas Aces guard Kayla McBride, left, got past Lynx guard Odyssey Sims during a game Sept. 10 in Bradenton, Fla.

McBride says decision to sign with Lynx was a 'no-brainer'

On the first day of free agency, they were already talking, across two continents: Cheryl Reeve in Minnesota, Kayla McBride in Turkey, where she was playing during the WNBA off-season.
The Wolves’ Jarred Vanderbilt, right, fouled the Cavaliers’ Jarrett Allen as Jaden McDaniels defended in the first half Monday.

Wolves bench sparks rally, but Cleveland comes back for 100-98 win

The Timberwolves fell short in their effort to sweep a two-day, back-to-back series with the Cavaliers.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t played since a Jan. 13 game against Memphis because of being in COVID-19 protocol.

Towns joins Timberwolves on road trip as his return looms

The All-Star center is on this five-game road trip that ends Feb. 8 at Dallas, so it would appear fans could see him before long.
Aeriel Powers (left), Kayla McBride (center) and Natalie Achonwa will add experience to the 2021 Lynx roster.

Reeve: New veterans help Lynx with 'real challenges' that need addressing

The Lynx officially announced the signing of free agents Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa, and a third new player — Aerial Powers — will be joining them.
Minnesota Golden Gophers center Klarke Sconiers (25) tried to get control of an offensive rebound with Iowa Hawkeyes forward Monika Czinano (25) behin

Iowa sends U women's winning streak to a crushing conclusion

The Gophers were outscored by 20 points in the third quarter in a game had a similar feel to their earlier one against Iowa.
After the Gophers started the Big Ten season 1-6 in Lindsay Whalen’s third season as coach, they have won three in a row.

Whalen upbeat about Gophers: 'I know we can be successful here'

Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen, in her third season, remains optimistic despite weathering some rocky moments.
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid waits for a pass as the Timberwolves’ Jarred Vanderbilt defends during the first half

76ers start slow before Embiid turns it on and is too much for Wolves

Early MVP candidate Joel Embiid finished with 37 points and 11 rebounds Friday night at Target Center, making 16 of 18 free throws. He, along with most of the 76ers starters, did not play in the fourth quarter.
Gophers guard Sara Scalia had a career game on Thursday in a win over Purdue.

Scalia pours in 30, U women's basketball wins third in a row

Sara Scalia connected on six three-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points vs. Purdue to lead the Gophers, who continue to be on the rise.
Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx shot over Indiana’s Natalie Achonwa during a 2018 game at Target Center.

Lynx make moves in free agency, add Natalie Achonwa and Aerial Powers

The news comes the day after the team landed three time WNBA All-Star Kayla McBride.
Las Vegas Aces guard Kayla McBride (21) moved the ball against Minnesota Lynx forward Cecilia Zandalasini (9)

Lynx will bolster backcourt in 2021 with addition of McBride

Kayla McBride is a three-time WNBA All Star – in 2015, 2018 and 2019. In college at Notre Dame, she played in four Final Fours. And now, she's joining the Lynx.
Gophers guard Jasmine Powell

Shouts and hugs: Gophers guard Powell gets rewarded, challenged by Whalen

Sophomore point guard Jasmine Powell happens to be playing for a coach who was one of women's basketball's greatest point guards.
Gophers guard Sara Scalia (shown against Indiana in a December game) scored 21 points to help the Gophers beat Penn State 85-76 on Monday.

Coach gets steamed, then Gophers get hot to beat Penn State

Gophers respond with a big fourth-quarter rally following a scolding from Lindsay Whalen.
Gadiva Hubbard can make amends for a poor shooting performance against Penn State on Jan. 10 in Monday’s rematch.

Gophers women are different team when Hubbard's shot is on

Gadiva Hubbard snapped out of a shooting slump in U's victory at Nebraska.
Wolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt (8) tried to keep the Pelicans’ Zion Williamson from getting off a shot at Target Center.

Timberwolves earn much-needed win, 120-110 over New Orleans

Playing without D'Angelo Russell, who got a planned day of rest on the back end of back to back games, the Wolves won for just the second time in 13 games by getting contributions from up and down the lineup.
Teammates rushed to congratulate Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) after he hit a three pointer over Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley that won the game.

Wolves dominate early, collapse at end, lose to Magic on three at buzzer

The Wolves led by 20 in the second quarter, but couldn't hold a 13-point lead in the game's last six minutes.
Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards has 23 free throw attempts on the season.

Saunders' message to Wolves rookie Edwards: Don't change your game

Wolves coach Ryan Saunders said he understands Anthony Edwards' frustration with not getting calls but said Edwards has to play through it — both figuratively and literally.
Cutline: Nebraska’s Sam Haiby (right) battles for possession with Minnesota’s Katie Borowicz in the first half Tuesday (Justin Wan, Lincoln Journa

Hubbard's clutch three helps U women's basketball defeat Nebraska

Gadiva Hubbard's three from the right corner broke a tie and put the Gophers women's basketball team ahead for good in a much-needed 76-71 victory.
Minnesota Gophers forward Kayla Mershon (15) will face her former team Wednesday.

Gophers' Mershon ready for mixed emotions facing former team

Kayla Mershon, a 6-3 post player, transferred from Nebraska to the Gophers. Read the story and get score updates on the game here.
The Wolves will play Atlanta on Monday without (clockwise from upper left) Juancho Hernangomez, Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio.

Minus Towns and two others, Wolves expect to play today at Atlanta

Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez are also sidelined as the Wolves expressed confidence that the team's COVID-19 outbreak has been contained.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, out with a wrist injury, watched from the bench during a game earlier this month.

'Hopefully this is the worst of it': Wolves game postponed; Towns says he has COVID-19

Because of ongoing contact tracing within the Wolves organization, the team did not have the league-required eight players available Friday night. Star center Karl-Anthony Towns shared on social media he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Maryland forward Chloe Bibby blocked a second quarter shot by Gophers guard Jasmine Powell

Maryland's depth too much for Gophers women's basketball

Up by just seven at halftime at Williams Arena, the ninth-ranked Terrapins took over the game in the third quarter en route to a 90-73 victory.
Minnesota Gophers guard Katie Borowicz (23) fouled Penn State Lady Lions guard Kelly Jekot (25) in the fourth quarter.   ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.whee

Roseau's Borowicz adjusting after getting early start with Gophers

The Class of 2021 guard graduated high school early and took advantage of a rule that said anyone playing this season wouldn't lose a year of eligibility.
Gophers forward Kayla Mershon was fouled by Penn State forward Johnasia Cash (33) in the second quarter.

'Breakdown after breakdown.' Whalen laments problems in loss to Penn St.

The Lady Lions won a Big Ten game for the first time this season after Minnesota played another poor second half.
Bridget Carleton tried to pass around Washington’s Ariel Atkins on Sept. 8 in Bradenton, Fla.

Forward Bridget Carleton re-signs with Lynx

She impressed in 22 games in the WNBA bubble last summer.
Timberwolves regain Towns but fall in overtime to Spurs

Timberwolves regain Towns but fall in overtime to Spurs

Back from injury, center Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, but it wasn't enough to avoid a seventh consecutive loss.
Guard Jasmine Powell says the Gophers “need to stay locked in” throughout games.

Gophers women's basketball team getting it half right

Inconsistency at start and end of games has led to a 2-5 mark.
Spurs guard Tre Jones on Dec. 17. The rookie from Apple Valley has seen little playing time so far, getting into three games this season.

First NBA game at Target Center brings back memories for Tre Jones

The former Apple Valley star has played and watched many games at the Timberwolves' arena.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen gave a pat on the back to guard Sara Scalia after a loss to the Indiana Hoosiers last month.

Whalen: U women need more 'mental toughness' after loss to Iowa

The Gophers led by as many as 16 points late in the second quarter before the Hawkeyes took over the game in the second half.