Maryland basketball coach Lefty Driesell said yesterday that the four Terrapin players now on academic probation are in no danger of flunking out of school.
Final examinations were completed Monday and grades are not to be released for another week or so. Friesell said that he had not seen the players grades, but he indicated that he was fairly sure they will be academically safe.
"As far as I know they've already got enough quality points to be off probation," Driesell replied to an inquiry after the team's last practice for tonight's 8 p.m. game against Army of Cole Field House.
"I don't know for sure, though, because I haven't seen the official grades. 'I'm pretty sure everybody's safe. But I don't know positively."
Theour players are junior center Larry Gibson, sophomore forward John Bilney, sophomore forward guard Billy Bryant and sophomore guard Jo Jo Hunter.
Quality points are awarded on the basis of grades. Other than first-semester freshmen, all students must earn 24 quality points per semester to remain in good academic standing. Grades have a point value - four for an A, three for a B, etc - and quality points are ascertained by multiplying credit hours by grade points.
The normal academic load at Maryland is 12 to 15 hours per semester.
Quality points of another nature will be on the Terrapins' minds tonight - stopping the inside scoring of Army forward Gary Winton, whose 23.7 scoring average has led the Cadets to a 7-2 record this season.
In th recent Sun Bowl Classic, Army nipped previously undefeated Kansas State, 57-55, and then lost an overtime final to Memphis State, 77-76. The Cadets play the type of disciplined, physical basketball that has given Maryland fits the past couple seasons.
People who have seen Army play say it is like watching Navy, with better talent and more physical players. In addition to Winton, Army starts a front line of 6-foot-7, 220-pound Scott Easton, a 59 per cent shooter, and Clennie Brundidge, 6-4, 220-pound forward who made UPI's All-America football second team at tight end this year.
Driesell switched his starting lineup after the Terps suffered a 101-90 loss to George Washington two games ago. The Terps were beaten badly inside in that game, prompting Driesell to bench Gibson and Bilney in favor of seniors Mike Davis and Lawrence Boston.
But defense is not Driesell's biggest concern for this game.
He said his priorities are keeping the Cadets from getting into a deliberate, passing game and trying to impress on his players the importance of being ready to play games that they do not consider big.
Maryland, currently 6-1, has not lost two games in December since the 1970-71 season, Driesell's second at College Park.