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Sportswriter. Medill graduate student. Host of the Slept On Sports podcast. Relentlessly curious. My book:

An introduction to Connor Groel’s sports writing.

Welcome! This page was designed to allow me to introduce myself, as well as to provide a home base for work that I am especially proud of and that I feel best conveys my interests and writing styles. It is divided into sections and will be updated as necessary over time.

Who is Connor Groel?

I’m a 22-year-old writer, podcaster, and content creator from The Woodlands, Texas, currently pursuing a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University with a specialization in sports media. In May 2020, I graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management.

I’ve been…

Image from the Deseret News

Here is the latest episode of my podcast, Slept On Sports. I don’t usually share these episodes on Medium, but I thought I would this time around for the incredible story of Adrian Dantley.

You can listen to the episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or read a transcript below.

Six players in NBA history have averaged at least 30 points per game in a season four times. Four players have done so four years in a row. Their names are Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Adrian Dantley. Today, we’ll take a look at that last guy.


Image from AP Photo/Nick Wass

Critics of Russell Westbrook often accuse him of “stat-padding”, a selfish playstyle focused on stuffing the box score rather than team success. However, Westbrook’s style of play isn’t just for show. The Wizards are at their best when Westbrook is recording triple-doubles, and his recent performance has catapulted Washington into the play-in tournament.

On May 10, Westbrook became the NBA’s new all-time leader in triple-doubles, recording his 182nd to pass Oscar Robertson. Since then, Westbrook added two more in the Wizards’ final three games of the regular season. In total, Westbrook’s teams are 138–46 when he records a triple-double, winning…

Image from AP Photo/John Bazemore

In each of the last two NBA seasons, the Milwaukee Bucks finished the regular season with the league’s best record, with their star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo winning both MVP awards. Yet, after failing to reach the NBA Finals either year and dropping to third place in the Eastern Conference this season, the Bucks have become one of the most underrated teams in the league.

On Saturday, Milwaukee dismantled a Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons-less 76ers team 132–94, completing a 3–0 season series sweep of a team that held the top seed in the East for a good portion of the…

Go deep into the mind of rap sensation and NBA star Lonzo Ball.

Music. We all listen to it, but at times it can be difficult to decipher what exactly our favorite artists are talking about in their lyrics.

Particularly when a legend of the rap scene like Lonzo “Zo” Ball drops a new project, millions of fans across the globe will listen intently to glean every ounce of profundity hidden within his words.

Have no fear! I have intently studied every line of Zo’s critically acclaimed masterpiece debut record, “Born 2 Ball”, and will now present you with the undisputed meanings to the hottest bars from the rap sensation (and basketball player).

Image from AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

On paper, the Lakers hosting the Jazz on Saturday should have been one of the most exciting games of the regular season. It was the defending champions against the team with the best record in the NBA, a matchup featuring five of this year’s Western Conference All-Stars: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley.

There was only one problem — none of those All-Stars played. James, Davis, and Mitchell sat due to injury while Gobert and Conley were out for rest. …

Image from AP Photo/David Zalubowski

It has been over 20 years since Shaquille O’Neal became the most recent NBA center to win MVP. However, if the voters for this year’s award are smart, that streak will come to an end. Nikola Jokic is the league’s MVP.

To become the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, one must contribute heavily to a successful team, and that can’t happen from the bench. …

Image from AP Photo/Michael Conroy

It may have taken longer than expected, but we got the match we wanted.

On Dec. 5, the AP #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs and #2 Baylor Bears were scheduled to play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the most anticipated game of the nonconference season. But just hours before tip-off, that game was canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Bulldogs program.

Exactly four months later, the two teams will finally meet, just under different circumstances. Still in Indianapolis, this time the game is at Lucas Oil Stadium. And instead of determining the early-season title favorite, a national champion will be…

And now we wait…

Here is my final bracket of the season! Bid thieves Georgetown and Oregon State take Utah State and Colorado State out of the field. Drake and Wichita State barely hold on. Or, at least, I think they do. We’ll see!

Connor Groel is a graduate student at Northwestern’s Medill School. He is the editor of the Top Level Sports publication on Medium and host of the Slept On Sports podcast. His debut collection is available on Amazon.

One. Day. To. Go.

Utah State’s run to the Mountain West Championship Game has them in the field, and I don’t think a loss to San Diego State would change that. There are no other true bubble teams still playing, meaning only bid thieves can change the state of the bubble.

Those thieves are…
AMERICAN: Memphis, Cincinnati
BIG EAST: Georgetown
PAC-12: Oregon State

As always, feel free to ask any questions about my projections. You can also follow me on Twitter for more college basketball updates! (I post the bracketology there, too!)

Connor Groel

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