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ACC Roundup

A lot of years, Littlejohn may as well be a graveyard for State
basketball. It's where the season goes, if not to die, then to bloat with
discontent and could-have-beens.

Atlantic Coast Conference
<!a href="" target=_top>Duke 7-0 19-1
<!a href="" target=_top>N.C.
5-2 16-4
<!a href="" target=_top>Maryland 4-2 14-5
<!a href="" target=_top>Boston
4-3 16-4
<!a href="" target=_top>Miami 4-3 12-8
<!a href="" target=_top>Virginia 4-3 10-7
<!a href="" target=_top>North
3-3 12-5
<!a href="" target=_top>Florida
3-4 12-5
<!a href="" target=_top>Clemson 3-4 14-6
<!a href="" target=_top>Georgia
2-5 9-9
<!a href="" target=_top>Wake
1-6 12-8
<!a href="" target=_top>Virginia
1-6 11-9

Not this time, though it was a close shave: State had to go to double OT to
get the win, but get it they did, though Clemson showed a lot of moxy.
Obviously Clemson has had some bad games this year, but when we talk about the
impact of Oliver Purnell, this is the sort of thing we mean. His teams
play tough defense, are smart offensively, and you can't say that about all
Clemson teams.

On the other hand, there is foul shooting. For Clemson, this is truly
foul, and has been all season. They could have probably put the game away
with 9.9 seconds and a two point lead, but Cliff Hammonds only hit one of two,
and State tied on a Cam Bennerman 3.

But they'll get that straightened out, next year if not this year.
Clemson is 14-6 and floating near .500 in conference play and showing lots of
guts. Hard not to admire them.

In the Florida State-Miami tilt, FSU could have won in regulation, but Todd
Galloway made a bad mental error and didn't realize the shot clock was running
down and the score tied. Miami scored on a tip-in with five seconds
left. After four - count 'em, four - full timeouts and a clock reset,
Alexander Johnson got loose for an alley-oop and the game was tied. Miami
got it done in OT, though,

Boston College just barely nipped 9-9 Georgia Tech (and better get them while
the getting is good because Tech is reloading in a big way next season), and the
fans immediately started calling for Duke, as the Devils come in on Wednesday.

You have to be careful with that sort of thing. Cleveland started
calling for Larry Bird one year, and he said: "you want me? You got me -
both barrels."

There's a bit of that in J.J. Redick as well. Incidentally, think the
Pacers would like him? He'd fit right into that Chris Mullin/Reggie Miller

Greg "Don't Call Me Popeye" Doyel has been one of the guys who keep
the idea of Skip
Prosser to Cincinnati alive.
Will Wake be a bigger mess than
Cincinnati? Hard to see it, honestly.

Sure, he's losing Justin Gray, Trent Strickland, and Eric
Williams. But Gray can shoot you out as well as shoot you in, and while
Williams has become a solid player, he's a power player in a system based on
speed. And Strickland has been a disaster at times for Wake.

Sure, he's getting beat on some big-name recruits, but that happens to
everyone at some point. He's done some good things too. And he'll
have an extremely quick point guard next year in Ishmael Smith, who may be able
to run his fast break offense as well as anyone, a promising big man in Chas
McFarland, who, it is said, can run for a big guy and who has some
better-than-average skills too. His big problem is that he's skinny, but
frankly, the upside on a 17-year-old kid who is skinny but who can run and who
has skills - what's not to like? If he meets his goal of getting to Wake
at about 230, and makes it to about 250 as a soph, Wake could have a nice find.

And if you surround a jet with a center who can move, Kevin Swinton and
Cameron Stanley, Harvey Hale, and maybe Kyle Visser if he ever pulls it
together, and you have a pretty reasonable lineup. Swinton and Stanley
haven't made big contributions yet, but both are pretty athletic, and with a
really fast point guard, they'll be valuable.

Also, we haven't heard anything about David Weaver and we assume he's
redshirting. He's another big kid who could turn out to be an asset.
He was a four year letterman in track as well.

Our understanding also is that Harvey Hale is a kid who busts his ass to

Just a guess, but like Georgia Tech, Wake could have a down year and then
have the athletes - and the ballhandler - to plug into Prosser's system.

But on the other hand, if he does go back to Cincinnati, he'll face a school
with some restrictions from above and a supposedly impossible conference to play
in. Decisions, decisions.

Here's a little update on Maryland
refugee John Gilchrist,
who is playing in Israel. Maryland is missing a
point guard, just not that point guard. And their
NCAA future is still shaky.

By the way, for every ACC team which might be on the bubble, Duke is an
attractive target, because beating a likely one seed means an awful lot to a
bubble team.