As an epilogue to his team's 86-85 overtime victory over Maryland on Saturday, Wake Forest coach Carl Tacy said: "In time, Maryland will be as good as any Maryland team there's been."
For the first 25 minutes on Super Sunday, Maryland played that way against North Caroline State in what Wolfpack coach Norman Sloan characterized as a game between two teams with unlimited potential for the future.
Sparked by Brian Magid and led by Brad Davis, the Terps opened a 25-point lead on the way to an 87-80 victory before 14,277 at Cole Field House.
Maryland is 11-2 overall and 1-1 in the ACC following 13 straight home games. They rebounded from Saturday's disappointing ACC-opening loss and got superb play from Davis and Steve Sheppard, the two veterans who messed up so badly in the first half against Wake.
Davis scored a career-high 26 points and Sheppard had 20. They combined for 36 in the surge that carried Maryland to a 59-34 lead.
So how is the ACC shaping up?
"We and Maryland have unlimited potential," said Sloan. "Wake is playing now as good as they can. I'm not ready to say North Carolina's going to dominate the league. But teams like Maryland and N.C. State will have to get better if we're going to do something about them dominating the league."
Maryland coach Lefty Driesell was more specific.
"I'm still concerned why we get 25 points ahead and let people knock it down," Driesell said. "Anytime you get 25 points ahead, you should get a blowout. We don't play again until Saturday (against Navy at Capital Centre), but we've got plenty to work on.
"We've still got some rough spots to work on. We've got six days until our next game. We could use 14 days to work. We need to work on bringing the ball upcourt against the press, our half-court offense and our inside defense."
As Driesell usually does, the Terp coach altered his starting five following a loss. He benched Mike Davis in favor of Larence Boston, moving Larry Gibson from the inside forward slot to center and also helping David avoid early foul trouble, according to Driesell.
Davis played well coming off the bench (eight rebounds in 15 minutes.) But what hurt State was its inability to stop Brad Davis, and the rebounding and offense that sultered once 7-foot-2 center Glenn Sudhop left the game with three fouls in the first seven minutes.
Without Sudhop, State all-America Kenny Carr could not get the ball inside and his three-for-14 shooting in the first half dommed the Wolfpack. Sudhop played only seven minutes and highly touted freshman guard Clyde Austin only a minute in the half because of fouls.
Besides his personal-record 26 points, collected seven rebounds and dished out five assists. Wake stopped the 6-foot-3 junior with a trapping, zone press in Saturday's first half.
"Yes', Davis hurt us badly by penetrating" Sloan said. "It was no surprise. We just did a bad job of stopping him. You're going to say why didn't we press him like Wake did. We couldn't stop him when we got back and set up. Why didn't Maryland play (badly) against us the first half like they did against Wake? That's the question."
And that is the inconsistency. Maryland's worst half of the season, in the Wake game, was followed the next day by 25 minutes of what Brad Davis called "the way I hope we can play the rest of the year - just like that."
It was 18-16, Maryland, when Austin joined Sudhop on the bench with three fouls each. Sloan went to a zone defense. Driesell looked down his talented bench and summoned Brian Magid, the deadeye shooter whose 30-footer sent the Wake game to overtime.
Cole field House came alive. If the Terps needed a lift, Magid gave it to them. "Yes, he did it today," said Driesell. "When he came in that stadium went wild."
And it stayed wild when Magid hit his first two shots, a 15-foot baseline jumper and a 20-footer from the side of the key. That brought State out of out the zone and, with Brad Davis pushing the pace and Gibson, Boston and Mike Davis limiting the Wolfpack to two offensive rebounds for the next 30 possession, the Terps went on a 41-18 surge.
The criticism of Magid is that he is a defensive liability because of his lack of quickness. But he was not one yesterday, and when he made his fourth field goal of the first half, with 2:11 left, starter Billy Bryant put his warmup pants on.