Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Notebook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Notebook

Article excerpt

PERCEPTION IS REALITY

For the first time in five seasons, four Atlantic Coast Conference teams are ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll, and a fifth team is ranked in the top 15. Based on those rankings it appears the league is back at its lofty place in college basketball, after managing to get only three teams in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments.

The pack is led by No. 2 Duke, followed by No. 6 Wake Forest, No. 9 North Carolina and No. 10 Virginia, with Maryland checking in at No. 14.

"I think the league is certainly improved," third-year Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. "I thought my first two years in the league it was certainly an excellent league, but not as good as it had been."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has a different spin on the notion that league played had slipped in recent years. The dean of ACC coaches said the falloff was more a matter of perception, based on a mass exodus of a number of the league's talented underclassmen.

"I think the league's been good every year, it's just when guys left early and we had new guys . . . we didn't have the common names to talk about early on," Krzyzewski said. "There's a perception of the league that it was down rather than developing.

"It's all about perception and the perception that was placed on the league those two years was not good. This year the perception is good and the league is good."

JOINER TURNING HEADS

Since debuting with 18 points against No. 11 Florida, Florida State freshman forward Michael Joiner has been turning heads.

"I think Michael will be one of the of better players in the ACC," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "He's as good a freshman as we will probably face this year."

Joiner, who leads the rebuilding Seminoles in scoring (11.1 ppg.) and is second in rebounding (5.8 rpg.) is finally getting recognized for his contributions. On Monday he earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors, becoming the first FSU player to win the weekly award since Corey Louis in the 1994-95 season. …

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