Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell signed De Matha's textbook point guard, Dutch Morley, to a letter of intent yesterday, completing an extensive overhaul of last season's troubled team.
The announcement in the high school library came as something of a surprise since no De Matha player has signed with Maryland since 1962 - although Mickey Wiles did come to Maryland as a transfer from Georgia and played for Driesell in 1969-70 - and because Morley embodies qualities that would seem to be direct opposites of those that often characterized last year's Terps. He is an unselfish offensive player, a defensive maniac and a straigth-A student. Maryland's biggest problems last year stemmed from selfish offensive play and poor defense, and six of the returning eight players were struggling academically.
Morley, 6-feet-2 and 165 pounds, said two factors swayed him toward Maryland and away from North Carolina State and Dividson. The most important enticement, he said, was location, since he is extremely close to his family.
Another factor was the revelation last Wednesday that Maryland guard Jo Jo Hunter will transfer to the Uni- versity of Nevada at Las Vegas this fall.
It appears that from the ashes of the Atlantic Coast Conference's worst overall record (15-13), Driesell has raised an excellent recruiting year, elevating the team to a level where it should be competitive with most ACC teams.
Driesell has replaced what sources say were his biggest problem players (Hunter, senior and captain Lwrence Boston, who failed to provide leadership, and Mike Davis, removed form the team at midseason) with players of an entirely different nature.
In addition to Morley, Driesell has signed All-America guard Reggie Jackson from Philadelphia's Roman Catholie High, 6-8 forward Buck Williams from Rocky Mount (N.C.) High and center Taylor Baldwin from Greenwhich (Conn.).
Morley said Maryland's well-chronicled problems did not escape his attention.
"It caused a little hesitation," said Morley, "but from what I understand, most of the problems are gone. Next year should be a lot different."
Morley probably will start next year. Much like Jackson, Morley is a bright, outgoing player who is able and willing to exert leadership. Asked if he is ready to fill that role, Morley said, "I'd love to do that. I'd glad to do that.
"I'm looking to be a leader, but I think everyone can lead and contribute in a team effort."
Morley is not a prolific scorer (5.8 points per game), shooting primarily when the defense decides not to guard him at all. But his De Matha coach, Morgan Wootten, was quick to list his [WORD ILLEGIBLE]
"He led the team with seven assists per game, he lead the team taking give charges per game, and there's no question he led the team in diving for loose balls," Wootten said. "He...has been all-tournament in every tournament he's ever played in. The four years he has quarterbacked our team our record has been 103-5. He is the purest point guard we've ever had at De Matha."
"One,' Morley volunteered.
"His style will really fit into what Maryland needs," said Wootten. "He sees it, too. He'll add a lot of class to the team. The guys at De Matha love him."
Morley is remembered by those who attended the March 30 Capital Classic as the Metro All-Star quarterback with the long, flowing blond locks. The hair, is now neatly clipped and styled, but presumably he still possesses the qualities that enabled him to lead the stunning upset of the U.S. All-Stars. Morley was voted co-MVP of the game.
He was not voted to any recognized All-America team, but his performance against the nation's best in the Capital Classic left few in doubt of his abilities.
"I think it was clearly established in the Capital Classic that he was underrated," said Wootten. "There's no doubt in my mind.
"I think there are high school guards in the country who can jump higher and run faster, but there is no bigger or better winner in high school basketball than Dutch. He'd go through a brick wall to beat you. He'll figure out some way to win."