- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2004

Seen and heard last night at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.:

GILCHRIST TARDY — Maryland point guard John Gilchrist did not start against N.C. State because he was late for a team function yesterday.

Freshman D.J. Strawberry was named as a starter in Gilchrist’s spot. Gilchrist did come in with 14:51 left in the first half.

It was the second time Gilchrist has been punished. The sophomore was late for a shootaround for the Nov. 25 game against George Mason and was penalized the start.

SHERRILL SIDELINED — N.C. State guard Scooter Sherrill missed the game with a sprained left ankle.

The senior injured himself in Sunday’s loss to North Carolina and did not finish that game. Sherrill, who is third on the team in scoring at 10.5 points, did get introduced on Senior Night.

He was one of three seniors at their final home game, along with center Marcus Melvin and walk-on guard Will Roach, who made the ceremonial start and made his first 3-pointer of the season to give the Wolfpack a 3-2 lead.

SEEDS OF SUCCESS — N.C. State will earn an NCAA tournament invitation for a third consecutive season and the 16th-ranked Wolfpack are now playing for a high seed. RBC Center is playing host to first- and second-round tournament games, so N.C. State can’t play in its home arena because of NCAA rules.

PEACHES WITH HERB — N.C. State coach Herb Sendek was routinely vilified as the Wolfpack failed to reach the NCAA tournament in his first five seasons. There was even an active “firesendek.com” Web site.

That site has been taken down as Sendek is likely to be named ACC Coach of the Year. The Wolfpack are in second place after winning seven of their last 10 before last night’s loss. But the understated coach hasn’t taken success for granted.

“I don’t know that we ever had the luxury of reaching the point where we said, ‘Boy, we know this thing is on cruise,’ ” said Sendek, whose team was the first conference team to beat first-place Duke. “We just had to roll up our sleeves as quickly as one game ended and get to the next game.”

Jon Siegel

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