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ACC Roundup

Here's a question worth pondering: where does Julius Hodge
stand in the N.C. State pantheon of greats? He can't supplant David
Thompson, who is a key figure in the history of collegiate basketball. He
probably can't surpass Ronnie Shavlik. After that? Arguably, those two
aside, he's the most important player in the history of State.

School Conference Overall
North Carolina 1-0 10-1
Maryland 1-0 8-2
Duke 0-0 8-0
Wake Forest 0-0 10-1
NC State 0-0 10-1
Georgia Tech 0-0 9-1
Virginia 0-0 8-1
Miami 0-0 7-2
Clemson 0-0 8-3
Virginia Tech 0-1 6-4
Florida State 0-1 7-5

It seems hard to remember now, but not too long ago, State was
absolutely in the crapper. The collapse of the Valvano era, the
well-meaning but ultimately failed tenure of Les Robinson (we should say that he
failed on the court - what he did off the court was incredibly important to
State's future success), and the struggles of the early Sendek years.

Sendek finished his first season at State with one of the most
brilliant tournament performances in ACC history, going from the play-in game to
the conference finals with no great players and no bench at all. It was
brilliant coaching.

But after that, State fans got impatient, and despite the
lingering damage from the Valvano era and the aimless recruiting of Robinson
(again, caveat: he wasn't in position to recruit great players, but still, he
could have done better), Sendek didn't get much patience from fans.

When the tussle over State's future grew the loudest, when
Sendek was supposedly being considered for the Nebraska job, when he seemed on
the verge of being run out of town, that's when Julius Hodge showed up.
And while Sendek may never be a big hit with some State fans, things have not
been the same since.

First, he's given them star quality. And second, State
has become a regular - and expected - NCAA participant. Indeed the
argument has shifted from why can't State make the tournament to why can't State
make a deep run in the tournament. A lot of the credit for that should go
to Hodge.

State still has to make a credible tournament drive, and it
would help if they scheduled a few more Washingtons and a few less Campbells.
But all things considered, the program has come back to life, and there's no
reason why success can't be sustained. No matter what happens with the
Pack this post-season, that's a pretty great legacy for anyone to have.

In the garden Tuesday night, State struggled with Columbia,

only winning by 10 points, which is not what one would expect, frankly, and is
precisely the sort of performance which enrages the anti-Sendek crowd.

In other ACC action Tuesday night, Maryland
crushed a Liberty team which had given State a good game not too long ago
(Washington Post, reg. required). Stupid us - we should have
known better than to think Liberty was tough rather than State playing down to
the level of the competition.

Georgia Tech trounced Lafayette, 92-58, and UNC knocked
off UNC-W96-75.

Apparently, Roy
Williams was not a happy camper.
After a
super UNC start,
Sean May, Melvin Scott, and Marvin Williams all got
technicals. Here's
more
from the Fayetteville Observer.