The University of Maryland probably could fill up Cole Field House for tonight's Terrapin-Duke confrontation just by selling tickets to all the college coaches and alumni who tried to recruit those two super freshmen, Albert King and Eugene Banks.
Many of these baskethall types are sure to be on hand for the first college meeting of Maryland's King and Duke's Banks, two of the most highly sought prospects in the country.
Although Lefty Driesell says King won't be guarding Banks, at least at the start of the 9 p.m. game (WJLA-TV-7) they surely will find themselves paired at times during the contest. And then the expected sellout crowd should be in for a treat.
Despite their talents and similiar height (both are 6-foot-7), their styles different as their hometowns, New York (King) and Philadelphia (Banks).
"Banks is a physical player, a power forward," said Driesell, "while Albert is a finesse player. Banks weighs more and that makes a difference." King darts and twirls and uses a marvelous spinning jump shot to burn opponents; Banks is the intelligent bull who outmuscles and outhustles foes.
While King has had some problems adjusting to the pressure and to Maryland offense, Banks has played well enough to average 16 points a game (three more than King) while coach Bill Foster breaks in what is by far his best team in four years at Duke.
The King-Banks battle overshadows what should be another fine matchup in the 6:30 p.m. attraction at Cole: the UCLA and Maryland women's teams, both nationally ranked and loaded with outstanding players. This game will not be televised.
UCLA, which suffered its first loss over the weekend to Delta State in Madison Square Garden, is led by Olympian Ann Meyers (16 points a game, 62 per cent shooting) and Denise Curry (23 points a game, 72 per cent shooting). The Bruins like to run and gun and have gone over 100 points in four of their six games.
Maryland has a fine mixture of youth and experience, including freshmen Betsy Bailey (12.3, 50 per cent) and Kris Kirchner (10.3 points, 10 rebounds) and senior guard Tara Heiss. The Terrapins (3-0) also have a deep bench, including rebounding forwards Debbie Jones and Debbie Stewart.
This will be the first ACC regular-season game for both the Maryland and Duke men's teams. The two squads are similar, as both are trying to blend talented newcomers with a nucleus of returning veterans.
"They've got three maybe four guys who can play with anyone in the country," said Driesell about Duke and he wasn't exaggerating. Center Mike Gminski (19.0), Banks and Jim Spanarkel (20.0) are the Devil stars.
Kenny Dennard, a 6-7 freshmen will start with Banks at forward in spite of a broken nose, and John Harrell will replace turnover-plagued Steve Gray at point guard. Indiana transfer Bob Bender, expected to handle the point guard slot eventually, will not be eligible until next Monday.
Duke is 8-2 after handing Virginia Tech its first loss Monday night in Roanoke. Maryland brings in a 9-1 record and a team Driesell says "is starting to play better together, although we really aren't pretty at times.
"This is a good test for us, something we haven't had before. I think we are ready for it, even though I'd like to see us smoother." Duke will be even a better test in Durham, when transfer Bob Bender (from Indiana) is eligible.
Duke lost to Maryland twice last year and struglged the last part of the season after guard Tate Armstrong (now with the Chicago Bulls) was hurt. Spanarkel and Gminski, who averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds as a freshman, had to all but carry the club into the ACC tournament.
The Terrapins have been inconsistent in the precorference schedule, losing to George Washington and having rough moments in other games while breaking in King and freshman point guard Greg Manning.
In other games involving area teams, Howard takes a four-game winning streak to St. Bonaventure, which already has knocked off nationally ranked Georgetown on its home court.
Howard, which hasn't lost since its opener against Catholic, is getting 31 points a game from forwards Gerald Glover and Michael Nettles and then look for help from the 10 other players coach A. B. Williamson normally plays in a contest.
Catholic, which also has been playing well of late, travels to Wagner, American visits Drexel and Navy hosts Muhlenberg.