Tuesday: NBA & NC State

Four quick NC State Basketball items related to the NBA to share:

(1) Nate McMillan has already earned NBA Coach of the Year honors for what he did in Seattle this season.

Tonight, the Sonics have a chance to take a 3-2 series lead against heavily favored San Antonio. On Sunday, the Sonics amazingly found a way to beat the Spurs despite the absence of their best player, All-Star guard/forward, Rashard Lewis.

(2) Oddly enough, one of the ways in which the Sonics pulled the upset was through some great play by Damien Wilkins (15 points, 7-11 shooting, 32 minutes). As you remember, Wilkins was not invited back to the NC State program after exploring his NBA options after his sophomore season. Ironically, he went on to make the Sonics roster (coached by a Wolfpacker) as Herb Sendek still waits to place his first player from NC State into the NBA.

(3) Although State & Sendek can’t lay claim to Wilkins as a “Wolfpacker” in the pros, perhaps we will be able to claim Julius Hodge after this year’s draft. Hodge worked out for the Los Angeles Clippers.

(4) Speaking of the NBA draft, NBA.net lists Josh Powell as one of the biggest early declaration mistakes in NBA Draft history.

“Powell was actually projected by some scouts as a late first round pick early in the draft process. However, he quickly slipped in scouts minds once workouts began. He was projected by most scouts as a second rounder, but chose to remain in the draft anyway. Apparently Powell wasn’t a big fan of coach Sendek or college in general and decided a leap of faith to the NBA was better than having to sit out an entire season if he’d transferred. Powell is a rising star in Italy and could end up in the NBA before too long.”