Is it too early to start talking about ACC Coach of the Year? No, not really,
and there are only three candidates at this point. You can rule out Gary
Williams, barring a massive self-discovery on the part of his Terps, Pete
Gillen's team seems to be dying a slow death, Herb Sendek and Steve Robinson are
seeing their careers pass before his eyes, Larry Shyatt is still growing
his team, and Odom's not dead yet, which leaves our Big three: Coach K, Doherty,
and Paul Hewitt.
On the premise that you can't keep giving the award to the same guy, rule K
out. Doherty is doing an excellent job, but he was expected to finish in
the top three or four, at the worst. Paul Hewitt's Tech team was certainly
not expected to do anything.
So far they have knocked off Kentucky, UCLA, Virginia, and
now Wake Forest. This with a group which led Bobby Cremins to
apologize for screwing the next coach over. If anyone has missed the
point, there is a hell of a coach in Atlanta, and that changes things
considerably. With Maryland a solid recruiting and media presence in
the DC/Baltimore area, and Tech resurgent in Atlanta, the ACC stands to mine the
recruiting fields accordingly. In fact, we'll go so far as to say that
Hewitt's taking the job in Atlanta may prove to be the most important hire in
the ACC since Coach K. Tech is in fourth place in the conference now, and
has a solid shot at the tournament. That's absolutely spectacular.
Matt Doherty will probably also be a strong candidate for coach of the year
after bringing his team together following a tough road. Yesterday
continued the trend, as
the Heels rubbed Marquette's nose in it. One of the more interesting
been UNC's defense. After lamenting depth and a lack of athleticism for
several years, the Heels finally are just doing it.
Meanwhile, State continues a slide south,
losing at Clemson in a game they
could have won had they shot a little better. The Pack can start
ordering their NIT watches if things don't change fast, and Herb Sendek is
rapidly running out of time. Just as food for thought, what would Paul Hewitt be
doing with this bunch? Our guess, sadly, is an awful lot more.