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ACC Roundup

You have to give it up for Florida State for showing enormous heart at Georgia Tech. Playing with only six scholarship players and basically no frontcourt, FSU beat Tech 66-64.

ACC Standings
Boston College 1-0 1.000 9-2 .818
Wake Forest 1-0 1.000 9-3 .750
Florida State 1-0 1.000 11-4 .733
North Carolina 0-0 .000 13-0 1.000
Miami 0-0 .000 12-1 .923
Clemson 0-0 .000 11-1 .917
Duke 0-0 .000 10-1 .909
Virginia 0-0 .000 10-2 .833
NC State 0-0 .000 9-3 .750
Virginia Tech 0-1 .000 8-5 .615
Maryland 0-1 .000 7-6 .538
Georgia Tech 0-1 .000 6-6 .500

Leonard Hamilton had to improvise a bit - he said he'd never played a triangle and two zone before - but it worked.

The big question is what's happened to Tech? Even Paul Hewitt is starting to publicly wonder about his team, saying that "[a]s I told the guys in the locker room, time's running out for this team to put together some consistent basketball."

It's still early, but so far, Tech and Maryland have to be the league's biggest disappointments.

Conversely, Wake Forest has to be one of the more pleasant surprises. Dino Gaudio has done a fine job in the preseason, not simply because he has a young and unproven team but also because they're going through a tough adjustment. Losing Skip Prosser must have been terribly traumatic for the team, but then they have to adjust to a new guy. And even though they know him, going from the second seat to the first is very tough. You go from a confidant and someone who is responsible for charming kids and convincing them to come to your school to the guy who has to tell them they're not starting or that they're in trouble for skipping a class. Even Dean Smith, who had a very successful move to the head coaching position, had a lot of adjustments to make.

Gaudio has his guys off to a 9-3 start, and has a possible star in freshman James Johnson, who is playing very well. He scored 22 against Air Force, a team which has given Wake fits for a couple of years now. The Deacs won this time, 78-67.

Freshman Jeff Teague had six steals to lead an improving Wake Forest defense.

Wake has two more games before getting back into conference play, one piece of cake and one tough one, but both at home: Presbyterian and BYU. For Wake, after the last couple of years, if they can head into conference play (Virginia Tech aside) at 11-3, that would be very impressive.

In a bit of surprise, Wake's Chas McFarland was booted for picking up two technicals - in the first half no less.

We can't get a good grip on UVa, least of all from games against teams like Hartford. You'd think UVa would beat them by more than a score of 78-70. Hartford is not exactly a powerhouse team - at 5-9 and out of the America East Conference.

What have they got to show for the season so far? A win over Arizona with the Lute Mystery was still pretty helpful. But otherwise, Vermont? Howard? Drexel? Penn? Northwestern? Longwood? Hampton? Elon? The only other decent opponents they've had so far, other than Arizona, are Seton Hall and Syracuse, and they lost both of those. They get one more non-con shot with a trip to Xavier on Wednesday, and then their hopes lie with the ACC. And frankly, their schedule doesn't appear to have prepared them for it.

In the night's other ACC action, UNC ran out to a big early lead on Valparaiso, only to see the Crusaders rush back and make it a tight game at halftime.

It was an impressive comeback, but it didn't last. After halftime, UNC just put it into overdrive and ran them out of town, 90-58.

Danny Green had 20 points for the Heels, and he has built a cult following for his dancing before the game. Apparently even Ol' Roy is into it, which shows how much UNC has changed/loosened up since El Deano moved on to full-time golfing, because he would never, ever have allowed it.

The blowout gave UNC time to experiment, and in Bobby Frazor's absence, they tried Marcus Ginyard at point. Green said he wasn't impressed: "I think it's kind of funny, if you ask me. Marcus is a big guy; he's not really comfortable running the point. You can see he's a little tentative out there, a little passive. Even when he's calling out the plays, he's not as loud as Ty."

Imagine again that a Smith-coached player had said this. Never would have happened. Dean Smith had nearly total control over his program.