This Week in ACC Basketball

Each week, the staff provides an in-depth breakdown of every team in the Atlantic Coast Conference ...



As the brawl in the South Carolina-Clemson football game made all too clear, the battle for Palmetto State supremacy is a bitter one. But in recent years, the Gamecocks had dominated the series on the hardwood.

Just three days after getting a contract extension and defeating Ohio State, Clemson second-year coach Oliver Purnell took his Tigers on the road and walked out of Columbia, S.C., with a stirring 63-62 win.

With seniors Sharrod Ford and Olu Babalola fouled out of the game, the Tigers found an unlikely hero in freshman Cheyenne Moore.

Moore, who was a meager 2-of-15 from 3-point range on the season prior to the game winner, drilled a 3-pointer to give the Tigers their first road win of the Purnell era. That the win came against their archrival and a 2004 NCAA Tournament team made the victory all the sweeter for the improving Tigers.


The win against South Carolina snapped a four-game losing streak to the Gamecocks. Clemson shot a season-worst 28 percent from the field in Columbia.

Freshman guard Cliff Hammonds played a career-high 39 minutes in the overtime win against South Carolina and produced a career-best 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Clemson won't play its next true road game until a Jan. 2 trip to Duke, but the team will play in the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Vernon Hamilton, shooting guard Shawan Robinson, center Akin Akingbala, forward Cliff Hammonds, forward Sharrod Ford.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I knew I was like 0-for-80. But coach told me to keep shooting. He was like you've got to put one down one of these times." Clemson freshman Cheyenne Moore, who was 2-of-15 on the season before drilling the game-winning trey against South Carolina.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Charleston Southern, Saturday, Dec. 11; vs. Norfolk State, Tuesday, Dec. 14; vs. The Citadel, Friday, Dec. 17.

KEYS: After playing power conference foes Boston College, Ohio State and South Carolina in succession, the Tigers get a breather this week. Coach Oliver Purnell should have the opportunity to empty the bench early and often against Charleston Southern, Norfolk State and The Citadel, none of whom are ranked higher than 278 in the RPI.

ROSTER REPORT: Cliff Hammonds has made eight of his last 11 3-point attempts. No Clemson starter scored more than seven points against South Carolina, but the bench contributed 39 of the team's 63 points.



The Blue Devils earned one of their biggest victories of the young season off the court when Greg Paulus of Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, N.Y.) announced he had followed through on plans to sign a letter of intent to play for the Blue Devils.

Paulus, who in addition to being one of the nation's top high school point guards is also considered an elite quarterback prospect, verbally committed to Duke prior to his junior year.

But when it appeared that he didn't sign his letter in the November early signing period, speculation mounted that he was considering football as his primary collegiate sport. With Daniel Ewing's eligibility expiring at the end of this season and Sean Dockery having just one year left, Duke desperately needed Paulus on board.

"Although I love football, and am flattered by all the positive attention and compliments that I have received during my career, basketball is my passion," Paulus said at a Dec. 6 press conference announcing his signing with Duke.

He actually had signed the letter a few weeks earlier, but didn't want to make any announcement so that he and his football team could concentrate on football until their season was over.


Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will be gunning for his 700th career victory when the Blue Devils host Toledo on Dec. 12. Krzyzewski, who has won 26 games in each of the last six seasons at Duke, has been a head coach for 30 years, the last 24 at Duke. He's 699-240 overall.

Duke hounded Valparaiso into 21 turnovers, including 18 in the first half, in a 93-61 win against the Crusaders.

The Blue Devils have shot at 51 percent from the field in each of their last three games. On the other end of the court, Duke hasn't allowed an opponent shoot better than 44.2 percent.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Sean Dockery, shooting guard Daniel Ewing, shooting guard J.J. Redick, center Shelden Williams, forward Shavlik Randolph.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It makes me feel lucky because I can remember coaching at Army where if we got one we felt really good about it. So I will appreciate each game and hopefully a number of them will be victories. I still have the passion to do that." Coach Mike Krzyzewski on coaching as he approaches his 700th win.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Toledo, Sunday, Dec. 12; vs. Illinois-Chicago, Tuesday, Dec. 14; vs. Oklahoma, Saturday, Dec. 18.

KEYS: Illinois-Chicago is dangerous, as it proved in a 60-59 season-opening loss to Georgia Tech, but the Blue Devils seem to be immune to the kind of let downs that afflict many programs when they play mid-majors. Toledo comes into Cameron off a big win against Nevada but the Rockets are 0-3 on the road this season, and barring an upset of Biblical proportions, Duke won't provide them with their first road win.

ROSTER REPORT: Freshman DeMarcus Nelson made 6-of-7 shots en route to a career-high 17 points in the win against Valpo. ... After getting off to a slow start by his standards (7-of-25), J.J. Redick has drained eight his last 14 3-point attempts. ... Shavlik Randolph has scored just eight points and played 35 minutes in the past two games combined.



Highly touted freshman Jason Rich enjoyed a memorable coming-out party in the final minutes of Florida State's 69-64 win at Mississippi.

Rich, who finish with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, scored seven of the Seminoles' final eight points to secure the victory.

"What he did in the final eight minutes doesn't surprise me because that's the type of player he is. Obviously, he made the big play when we needed it," coach Leonard Hamilton said.

A consensus Top 50 player coming out of Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School, Rich has played more than 17 minutes in just one game this season. The fact that he was in the game in closing minutes at Ole Miss speaks volumes about his ability and Hamilton's growing confidence in him.


The Seminoles have won two consecutive true road games for the first time since opening the 1997-98 season with four consecutive victories on their opponents' home courts.

Florida State has won eight of its last nine non-conference hone games and 13 of their last 17 overall games during the month of December.

The Seminoles were 7-1 in December 2003 and, with its victory over Ole Miss, have won nine of their last 10 games during the month in the past two years.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Todd Galloway, shooting guard Von Wafer, shooting guard Andrew Wilson, center Alexander Johnson, forward Diego Romero.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I thought the first half was the best half we've played this year. We lost our focus in the second half, but that had more to do with Mississippi and their defense, plus their shooting on the perimeter. This is one of the tough places in America to get a road win and we're fortunate to get one." Coach Leonard Hamilton on his team's win at Ole Miss.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Florida International, Sunday, Dec. 12; vs. South Alabama, Thursday, Dec. 16; at Maryland, Sunday, Dec. 19.

KEYS: With a loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi already on the ledger, the Seminoles obviously can't afford to take anything for granted, but they are playing much better. If the Seminoles play hard and take advantage of Alexander Johnson's size advantage in the paint, they should post a pair of victories.

ROSTER REPORT: Florida State has 11 players averaging at least 14.4 minutes. Von Wafer, the only Seminole averaging double figures in scoring (10.0 ppg), is playing a team-leading 25 minutes per game. ... The reason for Florida State's two-game winning streak: hot shooting. The Seminoles shot nearly 54 percent from the floor in wins against Minnesota and Mississippi.



Last year Georgia Tech entered its annual showdown with Georgia 12-0 and ranked No. 3 in the nation. The Yellow Jackets exited the game with a shocking 83-80 double overtime loss. Paul Hewitt's squad made sure history wouldn't repeat itself this year.

Georgia Tech clobbered their in-state rival 87-49 to claim a measure of revenge and to remind the college hoops world they are capable of matching last year's magical NCAA Tournament run.

The Jackets haven't faced an extremely challenging non-conference schedule though a neutral site contest with Gonzaga and a trip to Kansas loom but they have defeated Michigan and Georgia by an average of 34.5 points in their past two games.

Other than a one-point win at Illinois-Chicago, the team's only road game, the Yellow Jackets haven't played a game that was decided by less than 25 points.


Georgia Tech is out rebounding opponents by 11.4 by game. The Jackets enjoyed a rebound advantage of 19 in their win against Georgia.

The 38-point margin of victory was Tech's largest in its series with Georgia.

The Yellow Jackets have shot 46 percent from beyond the arc in their last three games.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Jarrett Jack, shooting guard Will Bynum, shooting guard B.J. Elder, center Luke Schenscher, forward Anthony McHenry.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We definitely felt we owed them." Tech center Luke Schenscher, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, on the win against Georgia.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Air Force, Saturday, Dec. 11 (Philips Arena, Atlanta); vs. James Madison, Wednesday, Dec. 15; vs. Gonzaga, Sunday, Dec. 19.

KEYS: A disciplined Air Force team, with its Princeton-like offense, could provide the Yellow Jackets with a test in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Classic. If Georgia Tech is patient on the both ends of the court, it ultimately has too much talent and athleticism for the defending Mountain West Conference champions.

ROSTER REPORT: Freshman Jeremis Smith got some good news when an MRI confirmed that he did no additional damage when he dislocated his right kneecap in the team's win against Arkansas-Little Rock. Smith will likely be out for 6 to 12 weeks. ... Will Bynum is shooting 59 percent from the field in the past three games, while Jarrett Jack has dished out 22 assists and turned the ball over only four times during the same time.



Are the Terps one of the nation's elite teams, capable of living up to the preseason top 10 ranking some bestowed upon them? Or are they very similar to last year's squad that struggled to play with consistency before salvaging the season with a run to the ACC Tournament title?

So far this season, the reviews are mixed.

Maryland looked capable of beating any team in the country when it steamrolled Memphis in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, but the problems that haunted the team last year have started to resurface. Maryland's perimeter defense was atrocious in a 101-92 loss to George Washington, which made 10-of-14 three-point attempts, in the championship game of the BB&T Classic.

The two teams that have handled Maryland's pressure on the perimeter Wisconsin and George Washington have beaten the Terps. In the backcourt-rich ACC, the Terps aren't going to be able to count on easy baskets off turnovers

Maryland, which struggled from the free throw line last season, made just 14-of-28 free throws against the Colonials. In their two losses this season, the Terps are a combined 21-of-41 from the charity stripe. With the ACC as strong as ever, the Terps can't afford to rank near the bottom of the league in free throw percentage.


Maryland's 101-92 loss to George Washington marked the first time since 2000 that the Terps have surrendered 100 points.

The Terps jumped out to an 18-2 lead and cruised to a 78-54 win against George Mason in the opening round of the BB&T Classic. Maryland held the Patriots to four field goals and 14.8 percent shooting in the first half.

Maryland has made just 9 of 39 3-point attempts in its two losses. The team is 25-of-59 from beyond the arc in its four wins.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard John Gilchrist, shooting guard Chris McCray, center Ekene Ibekwe, forward Travis Garrison, forward Nik Caner-Medley.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We can't be a three-point shooting team first. We have to go inside out with our offense. We haven't learned that yet and it hurts us in big games like [against] a Wisconsin or a George Washington." Maryland coach Gary Williams


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. UNC Asheville, Sunday, Dec. 12; vs. Florida State, Sunday, Dec. 19.

KEYS: Coach Eddie Biedenbach does a great job at UNC Asheville but the Bulldogs don't have the athletes to withstand the Terps' perimeter pressure. The game should give players like Mike Jones, Hassan Fofana and Will Bowers, who are looking for more playing time, one more chance to impress Gary Williams before the Terps open ACC play the following week.

ROSTER REPORT: Nik Caner-Medley scored a season-high 20 points in the win against George Mason. ... Point guard Sterling Ledbetter, who was expected to be the primary backup at point guard, continues to struggle with a calf injury. Ledbetter has resumed practicing but apparently hasn't proven to Williams that he is ready for game conditions.



The Hurricanes might not be the pushover everyone expects. At least that is the optimistic view after Miami shocked then-No. 19 Florida, 72-65, in Gainesville.

Led by guards Guillermo Diaz, Robert Hite and Anthony Harris, the Hurricanes hope to have a chance to beat an ACC foe other than Virginia Tech.

"Those three guards are as good as any in the country," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We had no answer for those three on the defensive end of the floor at all. We tried to go zone and they knocked down 3s. We tried to play man-to-man and had no chance to contain them on the dribble."

Diaz, Hite and Harris aren't likely to finish the season as one of the nation's best guard trios but there are encouraging signs out of Coral Gables. After struggling by Wofford and losing by 10 to South Carolina State, the Hurricanes have improved under first-year coach Frank Haith.

A soft schedule could allow Miami to close out the calendar year on a seven-game winning streak, but once ACC play begins, victories will be hard to come by.


The Hurricanes made a season high 12 3-pointers in 25 attempts in their 80-67 win at Florida International. The Hurricanes are 2-0 on the road and 2-2 at home.

Anthony King is averaging an ACC-leading 10.0 rpg.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Anthony Harris, shooting guard Guillermo Diaz, shooting guard Robert Hite, center Anthony King, forward Gary Hamilton.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "After the South Carolina State [loss] we went after our guys very hard. We pushed them, made them compete and really did some tough things in practice. It's important to have a big win to say, 'hard work does pay off, this does work. I've noticed our kids are starting to get a bit more confidence in what we're doing." Miami coach Frank Haith to the Sun Sentinel.


UPCOMING GAMES: at Massachusetts, Sunday, Dec. 12; vs. Stetson, Saturday, Dec. 18.

KEYS: If Anthony Harris and Robert Hite continue their red-hot shooting, the Hurricanes will be difficult to beat. Miami will travel to UMass riding a wave of confidence and a three-game winning streak.

ROSTER REPORT: Anthony Harris has established a new career high in each of his past two outings. After scoring 23 points, 18 of which came in the second half, Harris poured in 25 in an 80-67 win against Florida International. Robert Hite scored a career-high 29 points and drained 7-of-10 3-pointers against FIU.



With the season-opening loss to Santa Clara a distant memory, North Carolina has shown the nation why many people think it will be cutting down the nets in St. Louis in the first weekend in April.

The Tar Heels completed a stretch of seven games in 16 days with a resounding 91-78 win against Kentucky.

With a plethora of NBA-caliber players and coach Roy Williams at the helm, the high-octane Tar Heels are feared for their speed and ability to score points in a hurry. Against Kentucky, North Carolina displayed the grit and defense all great teams must possess.

The Tar Heels out rebounded the Wildcats 50-28 and limited them to 42.9 percent shooting, beating Kentucky at its own game toughness and effort. If the Heels continue to play with the passion on both ends of the court they displayed against Kentucky, they will be a very dangerous team.


Kentucky, which committed 14 turnovers, was the first UNC opponent to cough the ball up less than 19 times. The win against the Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak to Kentucky.

The Tar Heels shot an impressive 49 percent from the field against Kentucky's always tough defense and were credited with assists on 18 of 29 baskets.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Raymond Felton, shooting guard Rashad McCants, center Sean May, forward Jawad Williams, forward Jackie Manuel.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think there's hope for us defensively. I think a lot of times last year I thought we had no hope." Coach Roy Williams on his team's defense.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Loyola (Chicago), Sunday, Dec. 12; at Virginia Tech, Sunday, Dec. 19.

KEYS: After playing seven games in 16 days, North Carolina will be looking to sustain the momentum it has built, particularly on the defensive end. Loyola shouldn't offer much resistance.

ROSTER REPORT: Sean May pulled down 19 rebounds against Kentucky. ... While their numbers aren't spectacular, Jawad Williams (7 rebounds) and David Noel (5 rebounds) deserve a lot of credit for North Carolina's 50-29 rebounding advantage against the Wildcats. The duo's primary responsibility was to block out Kentucky Chuck Hayes, who entered the game averaging 11 rebounds, and they did so very effectively, limiting him to six boards.



It's at the height of irony that one of the ACC's flashiest players continues to fly under the radar.

Chris Paul, Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton and J.J. Redick are national media darlings ... but nobody seems to remember that N.C. State's Julius Hodge is the reigning ACC Player of the Year.

The New York City native took a lot of grief early in his career for his loquacious nature, but his old-school game somehow seems to get overlooked. The ultimate stat-stuffer, Hodge is averaging 18.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists while shooting 57.5 percent from the field.

The competition hasn't been stellar but the senior has never backed down from a fight and isn't going to start.

Like its star, the Wolfpack is quietly 6-0. Despite finishing second in the ACC last season, N.C. State isn't typically talked about as threat to win the conference title. Be warned, the rest of the league and country should overlook State at their own peril.


After shooting a season-worst 33 percent from the field against Purdue, N.C. State made 50.8 percent of its shots in a 76-60 win against Manhattan. The Wolfpack has shot better than 50 percent from the field five times in six games and is shooting 52.1 percent overall.

On the defensive end, opponents are shooting just 35.3 percent from the field. Nobody has shot better than 39.1 percent against the Wolfpack defense.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Tony Bethel, shooting guard Engin Atsur, center Jordan Collins, forward Levi Watkins, forward Julius Hodge.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's just that one great player who lifts you up a half-level. He can beat you in so many ways. He's very shrewd, he's got a lot of savvy, and you can tell he's a New York kid." Manhattan coach Bobby Gonzalez on Julius Hodge.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Liberty, Saturday, Dec. 11; vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Wednesday, Dec. 15; at Washington, Sunday, Dec. 19.

KEYS: N.C. State faces a pair of 2004 NCAA Tournament teams this week. The Pack shouldn't have much trouble with Liberty, which was depleted by graduation, but Louisiana-Lafayette could prove to be a bit more challenging. N.C. State must contain ULL's high-scoring Tiras Wade, who is averaging 18.7 ppg and shooting 50 percent from the field.

ROSTER REPORT: Julius Hodge started the Manhattan game on the bench because he was a few minutes late for practice. Hodge entered the game after the first media timeout and finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks.



Virginia's 81-79 loss to Iowa State was a stinging defeat, but it doesn't change the fact that Pete Gillen's club has played like an NCAA Tournament team against an upgraded non-conference schedule.

With wins against Arizona, Richmond, Auburn and even at Northwestern, Virginia is building a respectable postseason portfolio ... and the Cavs will need it given that it won't be easy to reach .500 in league play.

The Cavaliers also have a date at Providence in early February. If UVa fails to make the Big Dance this year, critics won't be able to blame the schedule.

Obscured by the heartbreaking loss to Iowa State was Devin Smith's 40-point outburst. Smith became just the eighth player in school history to reach the 40-point plateau and the first to do it since Donald Hand hung 41 on N.C. State in 1999.


Coach Pete Gillen, who has often been criticized for his usage of timeouts, burned the Cavaliers last timeout against Iowa State with 8:10 remaining, forcing UVa to improvise in the closing seconds of the two-point loss.

Virginia's 79-67 win against Furman marked the team's fifth game in 11 days.

One source of concern for Virginia is its perimeter defense, which allowed Iowa State and Furman to make 18 of 37 3-pointers.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Sean Singletary, shooting guard J.R. Reynolds, center Elton Brown, forward Devin Smith, forward Jason Clark.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "What was he on 3-pointers coming into the game, 3-for-14? That's your story." Coach Pete Gillen on Iowa State's Curtis Stinson, who made 5 of 6 3-pointers, including the game-winner, and scored 30 points against the Cavs.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. Loyola Marymount, Thursday, Dec. 23.

KEYS: The Cavaliers will focus this week on final exams and have a big break until their next game. In fact, the game against Loyola Marymount is the only one left before the ACC opener ... and it's a huge one, vs. Wake Forest on Jan. 2.

ROSTER REPORT: Gary Forbes came off the bench to score a game and career high 21 points against Furman. ... UVa had four players in double figures against the Paladins. ... Freshman sensation Sean Singletary was held scoreless for the first time in his collegiate career against Furman.



Virginia Tech's 4-0 start, even against lightly regarded opposition, provided a glimmer of hope for what will surely be a long season on the hardwood for the Hokies. Consider that hope gone.

Tech followed its 4-0 start with losses to Virginia Military Institute and St. John's, a team that has already lost to Niagara, St. Francis and Illinois State at home.

Coming off an embarrassing 72-68 loss to the Keydets, coach Seth Greenberg hoped for a better effort against a St. John's program that won six games last year and is picked to finish in the Big East cellar this season. The Hokies didn't lead in the second half of either game.

Tech has been solid defensively this season but has been horrible on the boards. The Hokies were out rebounded 42-29 against St. John's and that was the third time in four games they've been out rebounded by double figures.


Tech's loss to VMI was its 17th loss to a team from a less prestigious league in the last eight years, including four losses to Big South Conference schools, the home of VMI.

The loss was Tech's first at VMI since 1959.

The Hokies limited VMI to 39.3 percent shooting but the Keydets made their shots count, drilling 13 3-pointers.

St. John's (47 percent) became the first team to shoot better than 42 percent from the field against the Hokies.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Jamon Gordon, shooting guard Zabian Dowdell, center Coleman Collins, forward Carlos Dixon, forward Deron Washington.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They outworked us. They out-prepared us. They outplayed us. It's a disappointing loss for us. Our team is very immature and needs to learn how to grow up and doesn't understand how to compete at a consistent level. I'm upset that some guys didn't play at the level I expected them to play." Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg on the loss to VMI.


UPCOMING GAMES: vs. James Madison, Saturday, Dec. 11; vs. North Carolina, Sunday, Dec. 19.

KEYS: The Hokies are accustomed to overcoming December losses to supposed lesser teams but with the start of a brutal ACC schedule just days away, they need to regain confidence against JMU. Virginia Tech doesn't have the personnel to be a great rebounding team, but shouldn't be getting routinely beaten on the boards by schools from the MAAC, et al. The Hokies need to produce a solid effort in the paint against the Dukes, who are coached by former Hokie assistant Dean Keener.

ROSTER REPORT: Senior Markus Sailes, who is scheduled to undergo knee surgery and miss the rest of the season, played two minutes in the first half against St. John's. Seth Greenberg apparently inserted him into the lineup for the experience. Sailes is still scheduled to have the operation and won't play again this season. ... Senior Carlos Dixon broke out of a 5-for-23 shooting slump by drilling 9 of 17 shots and scoring 22 points against St. John's.



Sophomore Chris Paul, everybody's cover boy heading into the season, hasn't been the best player on his own team, much less the nation, seven games into the season.

In fairness to Paul, he's never claimed to be the world-beater he's been portrayed to be. But when a player as charismatic as Paul has NBA scouts drooling and leaves opponents dazzled as freshman, out-of-control hype can't be far behind.

Paul, who averaged 14.8 points and 5.9 assists last season while shooting 49.6 percent from the floor and 46.5 percent from behind the arc, has struggled this season. His numbers are down across the board, and he's is shooting just 37.1 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

He's just 10-for-34 from the field in the past four games and has made as many as half his shots in just one contest.

But it's not time to hit the panic button.

Paul has led Wake to a 6-1 record (yes, that Illinois loss, bad as it was, only counts once) against a very difficult schedule, and his shot will resurface. He has still run the team with efficiency (2.7 to 1 assist-to-turnover ratio) and it would seem to be only a matter of time before the Chris Paul on the cover of the national magazines resurfaces.

"I don't sleep much now," coach Skip Prosser told the Winston Salem Journal. "But if I had to worry about Chris Paul I would really sleep less then. As I said last year, I wouldn't trade him for any point guard in the country, and his struggles as it's been put haven't shaken my belief in him one bit."


The Demon Deacons bounced back from a wretched defensive performance against Illinois by limiting Richmond to 39 percent shooting in a 90-73 victory. Wake Forest had 19 assists on 30 baskets against the Spiders as well.

Trent Strickland, who is averaging 15.5 minutes, didn't play in Wake's win against Richmond. Strickland apparently drew Skip Prosser's ire with his reaction to a first-half foul call in the loss to Illinois. He played just three minutes against the Illini.

Prosser didn't suspend Strickland for the Richmond game, he just opted not to play him.

PROBABLE LINEUP: Point guard Chris Paul, shooting guard Justin Gray, center Eric Williams, forward Vytas Danelius, forward Jamaal Levy.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "When you have a game like this you're hoping the guys say, 'Coach may be right for a change if we keep them under 40 percent we have a better chance of wining the game.'" Coach Skip Prosser after his team's 90-73 win against Richmond.


UPCOMING GAMES: at Temple, Monday, Dec. 13; vs. Elon, Wednesday, Dec. 15; vs. Texas, Saturday, Dec. 18.

KEYS: Temple is always a tough match-up but the Deacons have the perimeter firepower to overwhelm John Chaney's vaunted zone if they are patient. The Demon Deacons will have to avoid a post-exams letdown. Wake should have little trouble with Elon before welcoming Texas to Winston Salem in what should be a great game.

ROSTER REPORT: Justin Gray scored 18 of his 22 game-high points in the first half against Richmond. ... Eric Williams scored a season-high 21 points against the Spiders and pulled down seven boards. ... Jamaal Levy equaled the school record with 10 offensive rebounds and dished a team-high six assists.

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