Myron Medcalf is a college basketball reporter and radio host for ESPN and he joined the Sibling Rivalry Sports Show to discuss UNC’s upcoming game against Gonzaga and the current state of college basketball.
Medcalf traveled to Hawaii earlier this year for the Maui Invitational, where Gonzaga beat Duke to claim the trophy.
“That’s why, to me, Maui was so big for Gonzaga,” Medcalf said. “Because that’s the kind of situation you have to beat a team like Duke in probably to win a national championship and they did that in Maui.”
The Bulldogs were ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation for a while, but fell from that spot after suffering a loss to Tennessee last week. Gonzaga will be without forward Killian Tillie in this game against Carolina, but players like Brandon Clarke, Rui Hachimura and Josh Perkins are more than talented enough to pick up the slack.
If there’s one area that Gonzaga can be exploited, it’s defensively. The ‘Zags were worn down by Tennessee late in the game and this is an area where Medcalf said the Bulldogs need to improve.
“They got to be better defensively, I think that’s what you saw down the stretch against Tennessee, especially perimeter defense. But they have every piece you want in a national championship team.”
Medcalf also discussed the current state of college basketball, which is seeing more young players transfer out due to limited playing time. Earlier this week, sophomore guard Quade Green announced he would be transferring from Kentucky after seeing little playing time for the Wildcats.
“If you’re a five star kid and you’re one of the 30 or 40 best players in the league and the high school,” Medcalf said. “We expect you to be a one and done, which is just dumb.”
Some Carolina fans have been concerned with the situation surrounding five-star recruit Nassir Little, who has not been named a starter so far this season.
While Little is not at a risk of transferring, he is widely expected to be a one-and-done player and someone who may jump to the NBA without ever being a starter in Chapel Hill.
Medcalf said that the pressure is on kids like Green and Little to be immediate starters and NBA draft prospects, even though they may not be ready.
“The reality is most kids need multiple years at college before they’re ready to play at the next level, and a whole lot of kids can play four years and still not be ready.”
Listen to the complete episode of Sibling Rivalry Sports, including an interview with ESPN’s Myron Medcalf: