The contrast was apparent even as they sat behind a bank of microphones listening to Bullet Abe Pollin talking about what a great day this was now that the team had signed both of its No. 1 draft choices.

One of this players, Greg Ballard, was dressed in a sport coat, slacks and conservative tie. The other, Bo Ellis, wore an open-neck shirt and casual pants.

"They are similar in some ways," general manager Bob Ferry later remarked," but they are different in more ways.But we think that both of them will help us."

Ellis, the pencil-thin, 6-foot-9 forward from Marquette, is a familiar figure to many basketball fans after four years of play under a controversial coach who attracted constant national exposure for his club.

Ballard, the 6-7, 215-pound strongman from Oregon, didn't play on national television once during his career. Nor was he even the best-known player on his own team until his senior season - and even then the bulk of West Coast publicity went to UCLA's Marques Johnson.

Although both played for coaches who stressed defense and considered the fast break as upsetting as a technical foul, Ellis emerged from his college career as a finesse player whose main job at Marquette was to rebound and keep Al McGuire somewhat under controL. Ballard is much more physical, the result of four years of kamikaze practices under Dick Harter, whose philophy of coaching is directly opposite to McGuire's hand-off attitude.

The Bullet's choice of Ballard had many fans wondering, "Greg Who?" For Ballard, such anonymity is a familiar story.

"I've played in a shadow my whole career," he said. "Ron Lee (a former teammate) was better known and then Lonnie Shelton (from Oregon State) and then finally Marques.

"Every once in a while I'd think about it and why it worked out that way, but I guess I finally got used to it. I'm going to have to get used to pro basketball and to Washington, and I guess everyone here is going to have to get to know me."

When the fans do, they probably will like what they see. Ballard is a pleasant, intelligent man with strong religious feelings and a friendly manner. He is so team-oriented that he was even glad the Bullets signed Bob Dandridge last week, a move that should cost him a starting job this season.

"No, I was not disappointed at all," he said. "Instead, I was relived. This will give me more time to learn the system, and more time to find out what they expect. I hope Bob can teach me things. I want to learn from him."

Ballard attended high school in Pomona, Calif., a city near Los Angeles. He was recruited by all the Pac-Eight schools, but decided that getting away from home would "help me grow up a lot faster than going to UCLA or USC."

The University of Oregon seemed like the right place for him, even though it meant playing under Harter, who thinks nothing of 3 1/2-hour practices.

"I never talked to Harter until I signed," said Ballard. "The assistant who recruited me told me it would be rough, aggressive work but you can't imagine what it was really like.

"Just visualize pushing your body to its farthest extent to its capacity. That's what we had to do everyday, just to make it through practice."

Some of the goodies Harter dished out at practices included a rope climb in which the players were asked to ascend a 20-foot rope four times once the workouts ended. If they could do it without using their legs, so much the better.

"The first time, I did it without help from my legs and then I saw everyone else was using them, so I did, too," said Ballard, obviously nobody's fool.

The rope climb came after the players held bricks in both hands and ran through a defensive suffle drill for seven minutes.

"We also did these things called bounces, which he picked up from Vince Lombardi," said Ballard. "It's a football drill where you run in place, drop to the floor and then push off the floor. We'd do 100 of those a day for one week straight.

"Then we had this drill called '17'. If we were making too many mistakes, he'd stop practice and we had to run the width of the court 17 times in less than a minute. Then after practice, we'd have to do that again.

"After a while, games were very, very easy."

Once in a while, they also were fun, especially going against Johnson and UCLA, Oregon won the last three meetings between the teams and Ballard outscored his rival on each occasion. But he only made one All-America team while Johnson was chosen college basketball's player of the year.

"I'm not going to say that I'm better than he is or that he's better than me," said Ballard. "I was disappointed I didn't get more recognition but at least by getting drafted so high (fourth player chosen), I know that the pros realize I can play.

"It made it easier that Marques is a nice person. If he was an egotist it would have been different. Then I would have resented it."

Unlike Johnson, a flashy player with springs for legs, Ballard is not noted for his one-on-one moves. He says he "Passes really well for someone my size, my shot selection is really good and my defense is adequste.

"But I want to work on that defense in camp. It can get better."

Before rookie camp starts Sept. 17, however, he and Ellis and the rest of the rookies will go through a team conditioning program supervised by trainer John Lalley. Not that Ballard needs a conditioning program to stay in shape.

"After four years with Harter, you don't get out of shape," ter four years with Harter, you don't get out of shape," ion in the first place."