ACC Notes

According to the News & Observer, Julius Hodge is set to make an announcement about whether he’ll leave early for the NBA or return for his senior season. If Hodge is smart, he’ll decide to stay. The smartest choice may be to declare that he wants to test the waters without signing an agent. Then, he can go play in some of the predraft camps, where he’ll find out that the NBA isn’t very interested in him.
update – Hodge announced today that he is staying for his senior year. It’s amazing how much this guy has matured in his years in college. Coming out of high school, you know he never thought he’d play more than a year or two of college ball.
In other NC State news, Mike O’Donnell has decided to transfer. Herb’s merry-go-round continues to spin. O’Donnell was likely never going to be an impact player, but he was a fan favorite and a good guy to go out and hustle, setting a tone for the other players.
Over in Chapel Hill, all of the Big Three have decided to return. That’s probably wise for all of them and certainly great news for UNC. The question now is about their two star recruits, JR Smith and Marvin Williams. According to nbadraft.net, both would be drafted in the first round. Williams has been mentioned as a high draft pick for a while now and Smith got everyone’s attention with some sensational play in recent all-star games. If both decide to go to UNC (and both should as neither looks like he’s quite ready), there will be an awful lot of talent there, even by UNC standards. They could have five sure-fire NBA first-rounders plus a likely second round pick in Jawad Williams. Scary.
Lastly, it looks like the ACC’s disgusting expansion might actually reap new TV money. There were legitimate fears that with TV ratings for sports on the decline and with dividing the money 11 (and then 12) ways, that there would be no windfall. But, according to this article, each team will likely make an extra $700K or so. It’s not clear if that extra money will come in 2004 or not until 2005 when Boston College joins and there is a championship game. Also, ESPN will be showing twice as many games (18) as before. Count on all of those extra games featuring new teams Virginia Tech and Miami.

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