Snow plows have replaced picks as several ACC basketball teams search for safe routes to game sites.
Maryland, No. 21 North Carolina State and Florida State have road games tonight but their travel plans have been affected by the blizzard that hit the east coast this week. N.C. State's (13-3, 4-2 ACC) game with Clemson has been postponed to Thursday at 7 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum. The game was scheduled for today at 9 p.m.
The closing of roads and Raleigh-Durham International airport made it impossible for State to leave Tuesday. North Carolina State coach Herb Sendek prefers to play the game this week because rescheduling is difficult.
"It's to everybody's advantage to play the game even if you bump it back to Thursday," Sendek said. "(The schedule) is pretty log-jammed as it is."
"As important as basketball is, we have to make sure we don't put anybody in harm's way in terms of travel."
No. 22 Maryland (13-5, 2-3) had a 7 p.m. date at North Carolina (11-8, 2-3), but with 15 inches of snow on the ground, the games was pushed back to Thursday night. Despite the inconveniences associated with last-minute travel hassles, Terrapins coach Gary Williams said he won't alter his game preparation.
"You don't like to change anything, (you) keep your travel plans the same," Williams said. "You can't make excuses."
Snow also disrupted Florida State's (8-8, 3-2) itinerary for tonight's game at Virginia (12-5, 3-2). Charlottesville's airport was closed Tuesday and the Seminoles were looking for alternate paths.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski favors a face-lift of Cameron Indoor Stadium instead of a entirely new complex.
Losing the unique atmosphere of college basketball's most frenzied home court would be tragic to the No. 3 Blue Devils' coach. Krzyzewski said Duke is exploring different avenues of expanding the 9,314 seat, 60-year-old facility and adding luxury suites.
"I think Cameron needs to be enhanced, but the intimacy not changed," Krzyzewski said. "I'd like to take a look at our seating. I think (students) should always get those (floor) seats.
"It's a place that has a soul. I don't want to mess with that."
While North Carolina has dropped out of the Top 25 with four consecutive losses, freshman forward Julius Peppers has provided coach Bill Guthridge a powerful presence in the paint.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound redshirt freshman is averaging 4.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 16 minutes in the Tar Heels' last for games. Peppers also started all eleven games for the Tar Heels football team last fall.
After registering 58 tackles and one sack, Peppers is using his aggression to block out the opposition on the hard court. Guthridge is hoping Peppers' exuberance spreads to the rest of his team.
"He certainly has been a God-send," Guthridge said. "He has a basketball mentality out there.
"Losing is contagious. We have to make sure we don't get down. They're ready to bounce back."
Reach Jimmy DeButts at (706) 823-3221.
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