Wake Forest almost blew it against Marquette but held on to defeat the rejuvenated - well, we have a hard time not calling them the Warriors. That was how we got to know them, and it's weird to call them anything else. But times change.
That's true for Wake, too, with a new coach and a new philosophy. Under Dave Odom, transfers were regular as clockwork. Skip Prosser now has his first, with A.W. Hamilton leaving for greener pastures. It's never a surprise when a new coach loses a player, so perhaps Wake will stop having a turnstile at the front door.
State has a big opportunity Sunday with Maryland on the schedule. Maryland is a very good but nonetheless imperfect team. State will have trouble with Juan Dixon, and likely Blake and Baxter. But in some ways they might actually match up well - and despite a solid record, we aren't convinced that Maryland is playing that well. The Illinois win is meaningless in retrospect, and Oklahoma may have exposed some serious problems for Maryland - namely guarding very quick teams. Dixon and Mouton are up to it, but we're not sure who else is.
depending on Archie Miller to come through, which could be iffy, since he's been fragile during his time at State, including now.
Now the real schedule starts - after Maryland is UVa, and it's a ride through the ACC until March. We'll know Herb's fate before long.
Needless to say, Maryland disagrees with our assessment, and given State's willingness in recent years to be a punching bag, Maryland could beat them like a rented mule.
We took a lot of heat for saying that Maryland was not as good as people thought when we did our previews, but the jury is still out. We also mused a bit on how it would affect UNC if they brought Lang and Capel off the bench. In the case of Lang, the thought has occurred to others now as well. UNC definitely looked better against St. Joe's when Lang sat, and against N.C. A&T, without Lang, UNC had their biggest winning margin of the year, winning 104-66. Perspective is useful - this is a 1-8 team - but still, UNC has won 3 straight. Perspective is again useful - Binghamton, an overrated, St. Joe's, and A&T. It's an improvement, but the difference is the bottom didn't completely fall out. At 4-5, UNC has some hope, but Duke, Maryland, UVa, and others will come at them hard.
Check this out - UNC had 31 assists vs. A&T. That's pretty cool.
Tech fans may be freaking after losing to an all-time acronym school, but it's ok. Hewitt is building a very strong program. A few losses this year aren'r that big a deal. You just wait until he gets enough of his guys in. You'll see.