Staff Directory 10645421

Myron Medcalf

Columnist | Local

A longtime Minnesota resident, Myron Medcalf has previously worked as a news and sports reporter for the Star Tribune, and is now a national writer for ESPN. His column will appear in print on Sundays twice a month and also online. 


Medcalf is currently a senior college basketball reporter and nationally syndicated radio host with ESPN. He's a former Star Tribune news and sports reporter.
Recent content from Myron Medcalf
Myron Medcalf

Medcalf: To be Black in Minnesota is to constantly barter for acceptance

Value often feels like something you have to earn here when you're not white. Value seems conditional.

Summer of Reckoning: Tyus Jones in 2011

An occasional series following 15-year-old Tyus Jones' summer of basketball on a national stage.
Ralph Sampson III

Sampson doesn't regret decision to forgo NBA

The Gophers center considered leaving for the pros but decided his education came first.
Tubby Smith, shown at media day, watched last year’s Gophers tumble from the top 15 to not even making the NIT. He’s hoping for better things with

Tubby Smith putting on his bravest face

After a nightmarish end to last season, Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith enters this season with a squad short on experience but long on potential.

Five things the U men's basketball team must do to win now

1 FIND A POINT GUARD Last year the Gophers fell from the national rankings and ultimately missed out on the NIT as they struggled to…

Six-time winner McGregor finishes 10 Mile in 4th place

As race officials offered commentary on the USA Women's 10 Mile Championship over loudspeakers near the finish line Sunday, many spectators sighed when they learned that Minnesota's Katie McGregor, a six-time winner of the event, had dropped to sixth in the field.
Leane Guerrero

She found running, and left troubles in the dust

Leane Guerrero's first marathon epitomizes her triumph over addiction.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambled out of the pocket as Kansas City outside linebacker Tamba Hali tried to sack him last week. Hali didn’t

Lions' passing weapons are a secondary concern

The Vikings defensive backs are more worried about their own performance, especially the part that happens in the second half.
North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl, center, celebrated with assistants after the Bison defeated the Gophers in 2007. The teams meet again Saturday ni

Thundering herd coming down I-94 for Gophers-Bison game

As many as 20,000 North Dakota State fans are expected to descend on the Twin Cities on Saturday when their Bison take on the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium.
Miami's Jeff Tanner (74) congratulated Gophers coach Jerry Kill on the field after Saturday's game.

Gophers coach gets a reward for fortitude

After spending five nights in the hospital this week, Jerry Kill got his first victory as Gophers coach.
Sans helmet, Vikings defensive tackle Keith Millard went after Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak at Soldier Field in 1988.

Former Vikings star revels in memories, coaching

Keith Millard, a standout defensive tackle in the 1980s, has found new life teaching his style of intense football.
University of Minnesota vs. New Mexico State football. New Mexico State won 28-21. Medical personnel administered to Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill a

U coach suffers seizure on sidelines

Jerry Kill collapsed in the closing seconds of a home-opening loss to New Mexico State.
Then-Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson set an NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards against San Diego in 2007. Four years later, the two teams me

Chargers have 296 reasons to remember No. 28

The last time Adrian Peterson faced San Diego, he ran for a record 296 yards, which should be fresh on the Chargers' minds.
Former Gopher DeWayne Walker has a 5-21 record since taking the New Mexico State coaching job in 2008.

Walker down Memory Lane as ex-Gopher, now coach

New Mexico State's leader has a warm spot in his heart for his old teammates, but Saturday, it's all business.
Vikings strong safety Jamarca Sanford, shown wrapping up the Bengals’ Cedric Benson in a 2009 game, never forgets he was a seventh-round draft choic

Sanford ahead at strong safety

The Vikings have yet to declare him the starter over Tyrell Johnson, but his preseason play has been sure and decisive.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Christian Ballard

Lineman Ballard on the rise following his big fall

A report of a positive test for marijuana likely hurt Christian Ballard's draft stock, but the versatile rookie is making a mark.
Gophers wide receiver Da'Jon McKnight (6) wanted to be the next Michael Jordan in a Dallas high school, but football coaches convinced him to return t

Gophers receiver McKnight brings hoops skills to football

Da'Jon McKnight was chasing hoop dreams in high school before some football coaches made him an offer he couldn't refuse. And now, he's glad he switched.
Gophers running back Lamonte Edwards (left)

Gophers banged up, but Kill knows things could be worse

During Wednesday afternoon's Gophers football practice, redshirt freshman running back Lamonte Edwards stood on the sideline in shorts and a jersey after tweaking his hamstring.
Max Shortell (11, shown playing quarterback last season at Bishop Miege (Kan.) High School, has been impressive as a freshman for the Gophers in prese

U freshman QB Shortell keeps making strides

Max Shortell has put together a string of impressive performances,
Tyus Jones 15, worked on his jump shot during tryouts at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co.

Part II: A 'feel for the game'

With his selection to the USA's 16-and-under team, Apple Valley's Tyus Jones is living up to his rank atop the national list of class of 2014 point guards.
Tyus Jones, 15, and his mother, Debbie Jones, already have a shoe box full of letters from colleges interested in his basketball exploits. Minnesota a

Part I: Summer of reckoning

The next few months will be critical in the development of the 15-year-old basketball phenom.
Jason Litzau jumped rope during his training session. He jumps over the rope twice with each jump and did 140 without stopping and celebrated with a b

Boxer Litzau fights against the odds

Jason Litzau knew tough times growing up in St. Paul. But now, he is on the verge of winning a world title, going up against undefeated prospect Adrien Broner in Mexico on Saturday.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany

Indianapolis to play host to Big Ten football title game

The Big Ten Conference decided to keep its football championship game in Indianapolis from 2012 to '15.
Linda Ambard, who is running in the Minneapolis Marathon Sunday. Her husband was killed in Afghanistan.

Minneapolis Marathon runner fulfilling husband's wishes

Colorado gym teacher Linda Ambard will run this weekend in honor of her husband, a serviceman killed in April in the Afghan war.
Caleb Truax, left, and Andy Kolle weighed in Thursday in Coon Rapids before Friday’s fight.

Local middleweights dream big

Duluth's Andy Kolle and Caleb Truax of St. Paul battle for a shot at the big-time fights outside Minnesota.
Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi

U's academic performance scores drop, but no penalties assessed

Soccer, with another perfect score, remains the academic standard for Gophers sports teams.
Referee Joe Cortez held up the arm of Ray Edwards after he was declared the winner of his professional debut Friday night.

Ray Edwards wins debut fight, but it was hardly a crowd-pleaser

The four-round unanimous decision notwithstanding, Ray Edwards was the first to admit, after his pro boxing debut, that he has a lot of work ahead.
Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith

Tubby Smith: Cancer's gone

Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith said Wednesday he recently learned he had early stage prostate cancer and underwent an April 21 procedure at the Mayo Clinic.
Ralph Sampson III

Sampson will return to Gophers

The 6-11 junior center withdrew from the NBA draft and was welcomed back in a statement by coach Tubby Smith.
Ralph Sampson III, left, hit the floor against Cornell as a sophomore, along with Blake Hoffarber and Lawrence Westbrook.

Signs pointing to Sampson's departure from U

As the deadline passed for underclassmen to remove themselves from the NBA draft, it didn't appear as though Ralph Sampson III was planning on returning to school.
Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith has had his name linked to, among other schools, Oregon, Virginia, Arkansas and Georgia Tech; add Maryland

Could this rumor be right one for Tubby?

Maryland is the latest school that could have an interest in the Gophers coach, who does nothing to quash the speculation.
Minnesota's Ralph Sampson III was happy with his successful dunk against Wisconsin at Williams Arena this season.

Sampson opts for draft

Despite not appearing on many -- if any -- lists of top college prospects, the Gophers' junior center will at least consider turning pro.
Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith

Q&A with Tubby Smith: ''I'm sure there's something we could have done differently'

The Gophers coach discussed the challenges he faced during the frustrating 2010-11 season.
Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith.

Practice facility tops list as Smith lobbies for resources

The Gophers coach said the true gauge of the university's commitment to men's basketball will come down to dollars and cents, an issue he's carried to school officials.
Gophers junior forward Trevor Mbakwe tried to find an open man against a Michigan double team.

Mbakwe leans on staying in school

The junior forward acknowledges that his "last incidents haven't really been good for me."
Colton Iverson, at right, is leaving the Gophers men's basketball team.

Iverson is U's latest departure under Smith

The center will play his senior season elsewhere, after he was granted a release from his scholarship.
Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor (11), Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil (52) reacted on the bench near the end of the Badgers' Sweet 16 loss to Butler.

Badgers are Butler's latest victim

Cold-shooting Wisconsin couldn't stay with last year's NCAA tournament darlings, who are a victory away from an improbable return to the Final Four.
Minnesota native Jordan Taylor has led Wisconsin to its fifth Sweet 16 since 2000.

Taylor discovers a tougher inner shell

The Wisconsin junior shed that skin of insecurity to become one of the best -- and most fearless -- point guards in the country.
In happier times, Jordan Taylor celebrated with fans after beating then-undefeated No. 1 Ohio State 71-67 in February.

Blushing Badgers look to avoid another red-faced NCAA

Ever-steady Wisconsin, with its Minnesota connection, has suffered back-to-back embarrassing losses heading into the NCAA tournament.
Julian Welch, a junior college combo guard, said Saturday he will play for the Gophers.

U awaits NIT bid but also gains guard for future

As the Gophers pondered what will become of the rest of the season, they received good news about next season.
Northwestern guard Michael Thompson (22) was fouled by Gophers center Colton Iverson. Thompson scored 35 points, a Big Ten tournament record, in the W

Gophers are on bubble -- for NIT

Minnesota is hoping for at least one more game of any kind after a crushing first-round loss to Northwestern.
As Michigan’s Zack Novak can attest to last month, Trevor Mbakwe can be a beast underneath the Gophers’ basket.

Big Ten tournament a tryout for Gophers' Mbakwe

The Gophers forward was frustrated by legal troubles that forced him to sit out a season of basketball; his return has affirmed his talent for the game.

Big Ten tournament: Five story lines

big ten tournament: five story lines 1 This year's deep run: The Gophers shocked all when they stormed to the conference title game last year.…

Mbakwe's college career: a timeline

2007-08: Mbakwe plays in only 11 games as a freshman at Marquette due to a knee injury suffered prior to the start of the regular…
Trevor Mbakwe

State players well-represented in Big Ten honors

Jordan Taylor, Jon Leuer and Trevor Mbakwe were all honored; Purdue's JaJuan Johnson took home Player of the Year.
Blake Hoffarber was fouled by Tim Frazier on his way to a go-ahead three-point play, but the Gophers' lead wouldn’t last long.

So much for a high note to end season

The Gophers' Big Ten finale went as most of the games before it did -- with them unable to pull out a victory late.
Gophers guard Al Nolen, top.

Nolen still sees postseason play as a possibility

Al Nolen said he wants to return for the Big Ten tournament, but added he hasn't been cleared to run.
New Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon .

New U volleyball coach says 'hello' and 'see you later'

During Sunday's men's basketball game between Penn State and the Gophers, new Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon will greet fans for the first time. And probably the last time for the next 18 months.
Both Gophers basketball teams practice and play at Williams Arena.

What would practice facility mean to Williams Arena?

The Gophers don't yet have the funds for a facility, but they realize they have to look at what the future holds for their 83-year-old home.
Northwestern's Alex Marcotullio, left, celebrated in the air with Reggie Hearn after Marcotullio's basket put the Wildcats in the lead during their 68

Another late-game failure for the Gophers

Minnesota blew a 10-point lead and the frustration reached a boil when coach Tubby Smith and guard Blake Hoffarber yelled at each other during a time out.
Gophers freshman point guard Maverick Ahanmisi (front) is expected to get his third start of the season Wednesday against Northwestern, enabling Blake

Change at the point; freshman Ahanmisi likely to start

Coach Tubby Smith will likely start freshman Maverick Ahanmisi at point guard Wednesday at Northwestern and move Blake Hoffarber back to shooting guard.
Gophers sophomore Rodney Williams reacted after being elbowed in the face in the second half.

Another U flat finish sees hopes all but die

With their seventh loss in eight games, the Gophers' chances of an NCAA tournament invitation seem to have vanished.
Trevor Mbakwe in front of Tubby Smith at Michigan State in December.

Watch what U tweet cuz itll get U in trubl

As Gophers players know all too well, the practice of taking to social media to say -- well, anything -- can produce unintended results.
Michigan State’s Keith Appling went after a loose ball as the Gophers’ Colton Iverson grabbed his foot during the Spartans’ 53-48 victory over t

U's grasp slips on game, NCAAs

The game went down to the final minute, when the Spartans made all the right plays and the Gophers frittered away a much-needed win.
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith

Nolen's absence hurts U's NCAA bid

The Gophers have missed their injured point guard on the court, but he also might be a factor when the selection committee votes.
Bill Carmody just signed a contract extension, but Northwestern doesn’t appear to be NCAA-bound this season.

For some, seats heat up as season winds down

A look at seven major conference coaches who might or might not be back next season.
Penn State senior Talor Battle went past the Gophers' Maverick Ahanmisi for a layup on his way to 28 points Thursday night.

Closing minutes spoil U's evening

Missed shots and turnovers ruined the Gophers' chances of winning. And Penn State's star Talor Battle called them 'a totally different team' than what he's seen in the past.
Iowa’s Bryce Cartwright tried to knock the ball away from Gophers freshman Austin Hollins during Sunday’s game at Iowa City.

U says so long to losing skid by blowing out Iowa

By performing at a level not visible during their slide, the Gophers proved they still are a capable group -- at least, when they execute.
The Gophers' Ralph Sampson III tried to defend Ohio State standout Jared Sullinger last week at Williams Arena.

Smith seeking formula that ends the struggles

Tubby Smith challenged his team with pointed comments following a fourth consecutive loss. Against the Hawkeyes, he will see if the motivation works.
Ohio State guard William Buford (44) and forward Jared Sullinger.

Why no love for Buckeyes' quest for perfection?

The talk about Ohio State seems to be when its first loss will come; we should enjoy the prospects of an undefeated season while they still exist.

Myron P. Medcalf's short takes: Feb. 12

Arizona's surge can be attributed to the performance of 6-8, 241-pound forward Derrick Williams. The sophomore is averaging 19.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.…
Gophers guard Blake Hoffarber looked for an opening as Illinois’ Brandon Paul defended in the first half of Thursday night’s game at Williams Aren

Smith calls out players after Gophers lose fourth straight

After losing to Illinois, the Gophers coach was unhappy with his players -- and was especially distressed with Blake Hoffarber and Rodney Williams.
Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger worked his way around Gophers big man Ralph Sampson III for a layup, on his way to an 18-point, 13-rebound afternoon.

Gophers undone by No. 1 Ohio State

As the second half wore on, the discrepancies between the nation's top-ranked team and the one in maroon and gold became apparent.
Freshman sensation Jared Sullinger has come up with one big play after another this season for top-ranked Ohio State, ­winners of its first 23 games.

Buckeyes not worried about when first loss will arrive

Heading into Sunday's game at Williams Arena, Ohio State remains perfect in 23 games despite many close calls.
Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe wound up on his back as he battled Purdue guard Ryne Smith in pursuit of a loose basketball in the first half of the Boi

Bump goes U's winning streak

Purdue jostled Blake Hoffarber nonstop and ended the Gophers' four-game roll.
Rodney Williams has the tools to become a Damian Johnson-type defender, Blake Hoffarber says.

U wants more than dunks by Williams

Rodney Williams certainly is a gifted dunker, but better shooting is needed from the 6-7 sophomore in the Gophers' reconfigured lineup.
Forward Trevor Mbakwe swatted the shot of Northwestern’s Nick Fruendt, asserting the Gophers’ strength inside.

U welcomes Northwestern to the bigs

The Gophers let their imposing front line hammer away vs. the perimeter-oriented Wildcats.
Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe (32) dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Ja

Nolen goes down, but U steps up

The Gophers senior co-captain sat out the second half vs. the Wolverines, but his teammates prevailed without him.
The Gophers’ Ralph Sampson III (50) and Austin Hollins are sons of former NBA All-Stars in Ralph Sampson Jr. and Lionel Hollins, respectively.

Basketball lineage is only part of their background

For Ralph Sampson III, Austin Hollins and Saul Smith, their famous fathers might have passed along basketball genes, but all three found their own identities on the floor.
Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. tried to drive past Wisconsin's Keaton Nankivil on Jan. 5.

Hardaway learned to give son space

The All-Star guard realized he was putting a strain on his family by putting his son's play under constant scrutiny.
The Gophers' Trevor Mbakwe and Iowa's Melsahn Basabe battled for a rebound during Minnesota's 69-59 victory at Williams Arena on Sunday.

U big men play big after lead vanishes

An 11-point halftime bulge went kaput in a hurry, but the Gophers still prevailed thanks in large part to their post players.
Gophers coach Tubby Smith watched as Blake Hoffarber hit a three-pointer in second half against Purdue on Thursday night.

Senior co-captains have stabilized U

Blake Hoffarber and Al Nolen have taken it upon themselves to get their team ready through all its troubles.

Myron P. Medcalf's short takes: Jan. 15

• Minneapolis architectural firm Ellerbe Becket designed Oregon’s new Matthew Knight Arena, a $227 million facility that the school opened Thursday. The Ducks’ new home floor,…
Gophers head coach Tubby Smith, right watched as Blake Hoffarber hit a three point shot in second half play to lead the Gophers with 26 points.

U passes Top 10 test behind Hoffarber, defense

Blake Hoffarber's 26 points and a defensive stand over the final three minutes sealed an upset at the Barn that sent the crowd home happy.
Trevor Mbakwe

After Mbakwe's apology, U ready to move on

Trevor Mbakwe said he was sorry his arrest caused a distraction as the team prepared to play the Boilermakers.