Wilcox waiting for draft answers

In meantime, sophomore ponders his Terps future

ACC tournament notebook College Basketball

March 08, 2002|By Gary Lambrecht and Christian Ewell | Gary Lambrecht and Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The questions already are starting to bug Chris Wilcox, who could be playing his final month in a Maryland Terrapins uniform.

Are you staying? Are you leaving? Think you need one more year of college basketball before you're ready for the pros?

Then again, Wilcox acknowledged the growing speculation as valid. And should he solidify his place as a lottery pick in the NBA draft in June with a strong showing in the postseason, Maryland likely has seen the last of its 6-foot-10 sophomore forward.

"I really want to come back to school, but if you get a chance to go [in the NBA draft] as a lottery pick, you've got to go," said Wilcox, who cited the decision by former Terp Terence Morris to stay at Maryland for four years.

Widely considered a lottery pick after his sophomore season, Morris was drafted early in the second round by Atlanta, then traded to the Houston Rockets in June.

"I think that's where Terence messed up. He stayed around too long," Wilcox said. "I don't want to be the one to stay around too long."

Wilcox, 19, has started 18 games this season and ranks second on the team in rebounding (7.6) and is tied for third in scoring (11.9). He also has played exceptionally well in high-profile wins over Duke and Illinois, while providing a steady stream of highlight-reel dunks, rebounds and blocked shots. He is among the nation's best leapers.

Maryland coach Gary Williams, who is believed to want Wilcox to play the collegiate game one more season, said he has not spoken to Wilcox about his future.

"I talk to all of the players after the season about what to work on in the off-season," Williams said. "Chris and I will talk."

Cavs' postseason blues

Fifth-seed Virginia, which plays North Carolina State at 2:30 p.m. today, needs a win, but history shows poor postseason results for the Cavaliers, who have gone without victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament since 1995.

An upset win over Duke last week notwithstanding, Virginia needs to end that streak if it intends to play in the NCAA tournament.

The team's coach, Pete Gillen, said he couldn't speculate on whether his 17-10 team (7-9 ACC) could reach the NCAAs without winning another game. "It depends on what others do, but we can't be concerned about that," he said. "... Hopefully we're one game better, but maybe we're not."

Grundy moves up

Of the five players who made the All-ACC team this week, only one would have surprised you when the season began in November.

North Carolina State point guard Anthony Grundy, a solid, though not spectacular, player throughout the first three years of his career in Raleigh, did it by sustaining the mere flashes he displayed in his first three years. He's averaging 17.4 points and 5.5 rebounds this season.

"The coaches stressed being at your best for all of the season, not just for part of the season," the senior said. "Once I paid attention to it, I've tried to keep it up."

A Duke-UNC first

For the first time in the 49-year history of the tournament, the quarterfinals feature a Duke-North Carolina matchup at 7:30 tonight, because the Blue Devils uncharacteristically lost three regular-season games and because the Tar Heels' bottom fell out.

"It's very strange, said Duke forward Mike Dunleavy, whose team beat Carolina handily in both regular-season meetings. "But the main thing is that we have to win."

Injury update

Adam Hall -- the hero in Virginia's win over Duke -- sprained a thumb during open practice yesterday, but he should play today against N.C. State.

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