Hodge Follows DT’s Path; Will Wear Light Blue

Tuesday’s Houston Chronicle teased me with an NBA draft projection that predicted NC State’s Julius Hodge would be drafted #27 by the Houston Rockets. Instead, all of Hodge’s hard work and strong pre-draft performances boosted him up the first round to #20, where he was selected by the up-and-coming Denver Nuggets.

===> “The Jules from Harlem will achieve NBA stardom” wearing “powder blue” with the Nuggets, the same franchise that made David Thompson the #1 pick and the highest paid professional athlete in history in 1975’s ABA draft.

===> While wearing Denver’s “powder blue”, Hodge will be coached by former Carolina player George Karl.

===> The Nuggets followed Hodge’s selection with ACC-bretheren Jarrett Jack, but then traded Jack for Linas Kleiza, who was very close to playing with Hodge in college. Kleiza played college ball at Missouri, whom he ultimately over NC State and Maryland.

===> Hodge became NC State Head Coach, Herb Sendek’s first NBA draft selection in 9 years of coaching the Wolfpack. No other ACC school has experienced such a drought over the last 9 years.

===> In addition to the aforementioned Kleiza, both Shavlik Randolph and John Gilchrist passed State over at the 11th hour of their recruiting cycles for Duke and Maryland, respectively. Both players declared for this years NBA draft early. Neither were selected last night.

===> Former NC State player, Mike Bell also declared early for the last’s draft and was passed over. Some in the media think that he still has a chance to catch on with a team.

The following links serve as resources for Hodge & ACC-related stories:

===> Denver Post.com: Hodge Pick and Nuggets Draft

===> Hodge Fills Nuggets Need

===> Rocky Mountain News: Hodge Confident

===> ACC Basketblog: Wednesday Round-Up

===> ACC Sports Journal: Wednesday’s Cyberwire

===> CBSportsline Analysis: Julius Hodge

===> Pack Pride: Wednesday Webrun

===> 850 Buzz Blog: Your UNC-Charlotte Bobcats

===> YocoHoops: As always, Lots of BBall Nuggets

===> DBR: has some great Draft Notes
* Al Featherston discusses the history of the draft
* Barry Jacob’s looks at the ACC’s history of early entries

===> Just because Duke Basketball Report is perhaps the best indepedent website on the internet doesn’t mean that the Blue Devils get a pass on some jabbin. Let’s finish up with some fun from the Maryland Message Board with scenes from almost-Wolfpacker, Shavlik Randolph’s draft day party.