Maryland basketball coach Lefty Driesell admits to being as baffled as everyone concerning just what kind of team he'll unveil at 8 tonight against Bucknell at Cole Field House.
"We could be sorry," said Driesell glumly. "Or, we could be great."
Driesell was noncommittal about his starting lineup, which figures to change with his mood throughout the year.
Nine players will be the nucleus of the Terps this season, and at least two of the three freshmen figure to play prominent roles.
Famous freshman Albert King is almost certain to start at small forward, where Driesell will alternate him with another first-year man, Ernest Graham.
Freshman Greg Manning, who led all shooters in preseason scrimmages by shooting 68 per cent, probably will start at the point-guard spot left empty by hardship case Brad Davis, now with the Los Angels Lakers.
The other starting candidate at point guard is Billy Bryant, moved to that spot just last week as an experiment. Bryant may also help the freshmen at small forward, or JoJO Hunter at the other guard.
John Bliney, who Driessell says "is probably our most-improved player," should start at the big froward, but share time almost equally with Lawrence Boston, depending on what is needed most in a particular game - offense (Boston) or defense (Bilney).
"At the beginning of the year," said Bliney, "coach told me the only thing that would hold me back from starting is my temper. I disagree, you know, on little things. He wants to blend Lawrence and me together as a power forward. He's confident in Lawrence's offense, my defense and both our rebounding."
Larry Gibson has been the most consistent player in the preseason and he figures and the figures to start at center, with Mike Davis in reserve.
Manning, King, Gibson, Bryant and Boston all shot better than 60 per cent in the preseason.
"That's both envouraging and discouraging," waid Driesell. "Don't forget - they were also guarding each other."
Defense continues to be the enigma, one that may not be answered tonight against outmanned Bucknell. The Terps beat Bucknell last season, 106-72, and since then the Bison have lost three starts. Two took off early to study in England. Bob Barry, a 6-foot-7 center who was the leading scorer (17.6) and rebounder (10), returns.
"I didn't go over the films of that game," said Driesell. "We beat'em too bad to look at it."