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Men's Basketball Squad Goes to Work on Saturday
Wolfpack has high hopes for upcoming season.

Oct. 10, 2002

Coach Yow's Women's Squad Eager to get Started

Men's Basketball Squad Goes to Work on Saturday

By Tony Haynes

Raleigh, N.C.-They remember the thrill of a late season run that included a stunning win over eventual national champion Maryland in the ACC Tournament. Also fresh on their minds was an NCAA Tournament bid that landed NC State in the big dance for the first time in 11 years. And there's something else the Wolfpack's returning basketball players remember: the disappointing way an otherwise thrilling season ended in a three-point loss to Connecticut.

Motivation will be plentiful when coach Herb Sendek's 7th NC State basketball team gathers for its first full squad practice on Saturday morning.

"Everybody is excited about opening day," said Sendek, who guided the Pack to a 23-11 record last season. "Each college basketball season brings with it a sense of rebirth. You come together as a new group and really the first six weeks or so of practice before we start playing games is, in many respects, a coaches favorite time because you're just working together and your teaching a game that you love so much."

And Sendek has every reason to be excited about a team that returns nine players that saw significant playing time in 2001-2002. Gone, of course, are the two players who perhaps set a new standard of leadership in Sendek's program. Guards Anthony Grundy and Archie Miller produced on and off the court a year ago. This season, the baton will be passed on to a group of players that expect to carry on the Grundy-Miller legacy.

"I like what I've seen in the preseason," Sendek said. "I don't know if we have at this time any one single guy or a dynamic duo like Anthony and Arch were last year. But I think we have any number of guys who have really shown that they have the disposition to lead."

Junior forward Marcus Melvin (10.4 pts, 5.4 rb) and sophomore swingman Julius Hodge (10.7, 4.8 rb.) appear to have what it takes to contend for all-conference honors this season. The Wolfpack will also benefit from the return of sophomore forward Levi Watkins, who has made a strong recovery from knee surgery.

NC State's returning players will know exactly what to expect when Sendek blow his whistle on Saturday morning. The Pack's four-man freshman class, however, will have a lot of catching up to do as the rookies attempt to learn an offensive system that often baffled opponents last season.

"There may be a little greater gap between the returning players and the freshman because they do have a head start from last year with the system," Sendek said. "But they should be in a position to help them come along."

NC State Men's Basketball

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It's should be another great season for the men's bball team. We have solid guards coming back in Anthony Grundy and Archie Miller. Also Julius Hodge is back after having a stellar freshman season campaign. Expect the Wolfpack to compete for the ACC title.
Hoops!! I can't wait!! I love college basketball!! Go Pack..
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Julius Hodge and the Pack are ready to spring their unconventional brand of basketball on the ACC this season.

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