First-year coach Les Robinson, lured from East Tennessee State in April to clean up the mess at N.C. State left by former coach Jim Valvano, found a couple of old friends on campus in starting guards Chris Corchiani and Rodney Monroe. In the summer of 1989, Robinson was an assistant coach for the U.S. team that competed in the world championships. Among the players on the roster were Corchiani and Monroe. "I guess we were together for 20 practices and a dozen or so games, so I knew about their ability," Robinson says. "They've been a big help to me."
Monroe, the sweet shooter who averaged 23.2 points a game last season, should thrive under Robinson's less-structured motion offense and could surpass David Thompson as the Wolfpack's alltime career scorer. "We're a little more up-tempo," Robinson says. "We believe in using the three-point shot liberally. Chris and Rodney seem to like it."
Wake Forest has a trio of players who will give the school its strongest front-court in years: Chris King and Anthony Tucker, both of whom are 6'8", and 6'7" newcomer Rodney Rogers, the North Carolina High School Player of the Year last season.
Clemson won its first-ever regular-season ACC title in 1989-90 and made a strong showing in the NCAA tournament. But coach Cliff Ellis lost three starters.
The conference cellar should be occupied by Maryland. Coach Gary Williams is in his second year of struggling with a program that has been a fishbowl since the 1986 death of Len Bias. At least Williams still has Walt Williams, one of the nation's better point guards.