Hear ye, hear ye. Court is now in session, and itÂs time to wrap up 2001 and look ahead to 2002. This week, I offer my New YearÂs wishes for the ACC.
For Duke, more opponents like Kentucky that can make the Blue Devils dig deep and find the highest level of play.
For Maryland, the opportunity to either defeat Duke in the post-season or avoid them entirely. Gary Williams doesnÂt deserve to deal with another year of Âhow can you beat DukeÂ questions. He should have the opportunity (and develop the ability) to enjoy his success.
For the small minority of Maryland fans that like to throw objects and set fire to things, a large dose of common sense.
For the majority of well-behaved Maryland fans, the above wish to come true so their name does not get dragged through the mud.
For NC State, either a very good season to break the drought of NCAA tournament appearances, or a bad enough year to bring in a new coach. Another mediocre season with an NIT bid will only thicken the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the program.
For Clemson and Florida State, enough wins to give the fans and school administration sufficient hope to keep their coaches another season.
For Larry Shyatt and Steve Robinson, the opportunity to be successful at another school if the above does not come true.
For North Carolina and Matt Doherty, the ability to fast-forward through this season, like removing a bandage quickly so the sting is brief rather than peeling it off slowly allowing the pain to linger.
For North Carolina fans, an extra dose of patience. One bad year out of every 35 isnÂt really anything to complain about.
For the ABCers (Anybody But Carolina), the ability to enjoy the Tar HeelsÂ misery while they can--it is not likely to last very long.
For Skip Prosser at Wake Forest, a successful enough season to get him through what promises to be a bumpy ride next year. Wake loses five key seniors after this season.
For Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech, more games like their victory over Syracuse and less like the dismal loss to Tulane. That would enable him to keep the momentum going he generated with last seasonÂs surprising NCAA bid.
For Pete Gillen at Virginia, a healthy point guard to allow him to move Roger Mason back to the wing. This would keep the Cavaliers near the top of the rankings next season even with losing seniors Chris Williams and Adam Hall.
For Jason Williams at Duke, the opportunity to be drafted by an NBA team that will not expect him to carry them from day one. He should be an outstanding pro, but it would be nice if he had time to learn at that level rather than having it shoved down his throat by a desperate losing team. In other words, stay out of Chicago!
To Michael Isenhour at Georgia Tech, a swift and complete victory in his battle with leukemia.
To Majestic Mapp at Virginia, a completely healthy knee and a return to the court next season.
To Juan Dixon at Maryland, an NBA team that will give him a shot at playing the wing rather than the point. Despite his size, I think his toughness and quickness would make him effective in the pros at that position.
To Nigel Dixon at Florida State, the discipline to continue living a healthy lifestyle.
To Dick Vitale, Billy Packer, and all of the network broadcasters that work Duke games, the ability to not mention Shane BattierÂs name every five minutes. He doesnÂt play there anymore!
To all ACC fans out there, a prosperous, healthy, and safe New Year.
ThatÂs what I think. Let me know what you think on the message board or by e-mail at email@example.com.
IÂll be back after New YearÂs. Until then, court is adjourned.