Guard J. J. Hunter practiced with the Maryland basketball team yesterday and will be in uniform for tonight's Atlantic Coast Conference game against Clemson at Cole Field House.
Hunter, a sophomore from Mackin High School, was suspended "indefinitely" from the team Saturday by coach Lefty Driesell for missing a curfew Friday night and mandatory morning and pregame meals Saturday before the Air Force game. Hunter also failed to show up for the game.
While reinstating Hunter to the squad yesterday. Driesell said Hunter "probably won't start" against Clemson.
"He's all righ," the coach said. "He was kind of discouraged about the was he was playing so he went home and stayed home," Driesell said. "I told him he couldn't do that and told him not to do it again."
Hunter has been a part-time starter this season, but has not been as consistent as Driesell had hoped he would be.
Driesell was particularly unhappy at Hunter's performance in the loss to North Carolina State last week, especially his defense, ans was planning to replace him in the starting lineup for the Air Force game.
Hunter ran with the second team in all of Friday's practice and that apparently did not sit well with him.
The Terrapins, who have shown signs of being on the brink of falling apart, know that a great deal hinges on tonight's game with Clemson. Both teams are 0-3 in the conference.
Putting even more pressure on Maryland is the fact that its next conference game is at nationally second-ranked North Carolina, Saturday.
Maryland was not impressive in Saturday's 74-73 victory over Air Force and Driesell admitted his team times turning the ball over too many times and was playing scared and without confidence.
With Hunter not present, Driesell started Greg Manning and Billy Bryant at guards, Albert King and Lawrence Boston at forwards and Larry Gibson at center.
That lineup is expected to start against Clemson tonight.
"All ACC games are important, but i guess this one is especially so," Driesell said after yesterday's practice. "The key will be intensity. We'll just have to want it more.
"Is our team in the right frame of mind?
"You never really know."
While Maryland was squeaking past Air Force Saturday, Clemson was falling to Wake Forest, 91-90.
In addition to Maryland, Georgetown, George Washington, Navy, Catholic and Howard were all winners Saturday, with the Hoyas winning for the 10th straight time.
They overcame South Carolina's slowdown tactics for a 47-43 victory at McDonough Gym. The Hoyas are now 12-2.
GW raced past Penn State at Smith Center, 84-68, and Howard beat Morgan State for the first time in four years, 93-74, at Burr Gymnasium.
Kevin Sinnett made all 10 of his field goal tries and was a perfect eight-for-eight from the foul line to lead Navy to a 69-60 victory over St. Francis of Loretto, Pa.
Catholic downed Colgate, 74-67.
No. 1-ranked Kentucky remained undefeated as Rick Robey scored 23 points to lead the Wildcats to a 96-76 victory over LSU.
No. 3-ranked Arkansas, one of only three undefeated major-college teams going into weekend's games, was not so lucky. The Razorbacks, who hadn't lost a Southwest Conference game in two seasons, were upended by Texas, 75-69. A crowd of 16,288 in Austin, the largest in Southwest Conference history, saw Texas take first place in the conference with a 4-0 record. The Longhorns are 12-2 overall. Arkansas is 2-1 in the conference and 14-1 over all.
Indiana State, behind Larry Bird's 45 points, improved its record to 12-0 with a 92-80 victory over Drake.