The Countdown: 24 days until the ACC

USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's ACC "birthday" is nearing. Here is a look at a former ACC Player of the Year who made a name for himself at NC State.

24. No, we're not talking about Jack Bauer. I don't believe he had any ties to the Wolfpack. Instead, for a few reasons, we're going to focus on Julius Hodge who wore the number "24" as he guided the Wolfpack to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2005. First, the Wolfpack haven't received as much love as they deserve in this countdown. Secondly, Hodge was a pretty darn good player.

Hailing from the Bronx, Hodge made an immediate impact in Raleigh. Hodge averaged 10.7 points as a freshman, leading the ACC. As a sophomore, Hodge earned first team All-ACC honors and was named to the first-team All-ACC tournament team. He finished third in the ACC in scoring, recorded the programs first ever triple-double, and helped his team beat UNC and Duke back-to-back.

During Hodge's junior year, the nation took notice. He was named the 2004 ACC Player of the Year and again was named first-team All-ACC. He was a second-team All-American. As a senior, Hodge averaged 17 points per game and led the Pack on their deepest NCAA tournament run since 1989.

Hodge was drafted in the first round by the Denver Nuggets, but his NBA career got off to a rocky after being shot. Hodge bounced around in the NBA for a few years before heading overseas to play professionally. Since then, Hodge has played in Italy, Australia, China, Belarus, Iran, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and France.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlogfor our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow me on Twitter @The_Incline.

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