Coach - Gary Williams (first year) 1977-78 Record: 16-12
Returning Lettermen: 6-5 Russell (Boo) Bowers, 6-5 Leon Kearney, 6-2 Stan Lamb. 6-10 Tom Pfotzer, 6-0 Mark Garlltos, 6-5 Ray Voelkel, 6-4 Mike Abner, 5-11 Rodney Adams.
Lettermen Lost: 3 (also 6-10 Steve Kearney, a transfer from Virginia Tech transferred this year to St. Joseph's.)
Top Newcomers: 6-7 Bob Harvey (transfer), 6-2 Chris Dye (transfer), 5-9 Steve Bond (freshman).
Strengths: Experience of starting five: good shooting team; perimeter depth; Bowers, one of only six freshman nationally to make an all-conference team last season.
Weakness: Rebounding is most questionable, because 6-9 Joe Mitchell flunked out, starter Howie Lassoff graduated and Kearney transferred. That leaves Pfotzer, No. 3 center last year and Harvey, who has not played much competitively in two seasons, as only players taller than 6-5; inside depth.
Evaluation: This team has won more than 16 games only once (in Kermit Washington's senior year) since becoming a Division I school a decade ago. With a new coach, a new system and 11 of first 13 games on hhe road, 14-15 victories would be a good accomplishment. Says the coach: 'The key to the season will be whether we can rebound, not dominate, but just hang in there." Bowie State
Coach: Taft Hickman
1977-78 Record: 2-19
Returning Lettermen: 6-2 Greg Moore, 5-11 Will Jones, 6-2 Gene Loudermill, 6-3 Ron Bronson, 5-10 Don Irving, 6-9 Nate Hill (did not play last year).
Lettermen Lost: Five
Top Newcomers: 6-5 Kenny Robinson (transfer), 6-4 Charles Jackson (transfer), 6-5 Edgar Middleton (freshman), 6-9 Wendel Jones (freshman), 6-3 Larry Carter (freshman).
Strengths: Backcourt in Jones and Moore.
Weaknesses: Lack of experience with 13 of 17 players underclassmen.
Evaluation: "We are going to show up and take one game at a time and hope to improve a little on last year's performance," said Hickman. Catholic University
Coach: Jack Kvancz (fourth year)
1977-78 Record: 12-14
Returning Lettermen: 6-5 Steve Dade, 6-2 Joe Colletta, 6-3 Dave Butler, 6-11 Danny Murray, 6-8 Bob Wilhelm, 5-11 Donnie Farrell, 6-1 Bob Gurney.
Lettermen Lost: 5
Top Newcomers: 6-5 Bill Dankos (transfer), 6-3 Charles Battle (JC), 6-5 Bill Dooley (freshman), 6-8 Mike Neville (freshman)> 5-9 Tom Green (JC).
Strengths: Although untested, Neville and Dooley should give Cardinals decent inside play and the Cardinals probably have more talent than at any point in Kvancz' four years. Dade and Dankos, former Good Counsel player who transferred from Penn State, are solid Division I forwards.
Weakness: Injuries have killed all continuity, Colletta, who came on strong as shooting guard at end of freshman season is out 2-3 weeks with stress fracture of right foot; Dankos has not completed a full practice with inflamed tendon in foot; Dooley has missed considerable time with strained Achilles' tendon. Inexperience and tough early schedule also negative.
Evaluation: Cardinals have been close to 500 every year, but injuries and the tough early schedule could put CU on a skid from which it will not recover. If key players recover, team will surprise later in season. District of Columbia
Coach: Will Thomas (first year)
1977-78 Record: 13-7
Returning Lettermen: 6-6 James Melbourne, 6-3 Garth Bethel, 6-7 Lloyd Smith, 6-3 Charles Roberts, 5-11 Mike Roach, 6-0 Weldon Parham, 6-2 Barry Frazier, 5-10 Ricky Hoins (did not play last season).
Lettermen Lost: Four
Top Newcomers: 6-10 George Gill (transfer), 6-2 James Grigsby (freshman), 6-1 Vincent Mason (freshman), 6-6 Kenneth Dutch (freshman), 6-2 Dwight Ellis (freshman).
Strengths: The back court will be strong with fine shooting. Rebounding is expected to be edaquate. Frazier was the second leading scoring in Division II last season.
Weaknesses: Lack of height.
Evaluation: No trouble topping 500 mark but how much better will depend on how the big men perform and whether Frazier can maintain his 31-point average of last year. Gallaudet
Coach: Hubert Anderson (second year)
1977-78 Record: 7-18
Returning Lettermen: 6-3 Dan Sellick (All-American), 6-3 Rusty Crace (All-America), 5-9 Steve Mutti.
Lettermen Lost: Two
Strengths: Well balanced with better depth than last year. The return of Sellick, Crace.
Weaknesses: Defensive play
Evaluation: Attitude and teamwork good Georgetown
Coach: John Thompson (seventh year)
1977-78 record: 23-8
Returning Lettermen: 6-3 John Duren, 6-7 Craig Shelton, 6-4 1/2 Steve Martin, 6-11 Tom Dcates, 6-1 Lonnie Durren.
Lettermen Lost: Seven (including 6-7 Al Dutch and 7-0 Mike Frazier, who have dropped out of school and may return next season).
Top Newcomers: 6-3 Eric (Sleepy) Floyd (freshman), 6-7 Jeff Bullis (freshman), 6-7 Mike Hancock (freshman), 6-9 Ed Spriggs (freshman), 6-5 Eric Smith (freshman), 6-3 Ron Blaylock (freshman), 6-2 Terry Fenlon (transfer), 6-0 John Irwin (reserve team).
Strengths: Solid four-man core, with Shelton and Duren legitimate All-America candidates, Martin a defensive whiz and catalyst and Scates a force in zone defense. Lots of talented freshmen, who have shown ability to play in Thompson's unselfish style, the best talent of which is Floyd, expected to team with Duren at guard.
Weaknesses: Lots of freshmen, which means probable inconsistency and unproven ability at this level. Offense at center, unless Scates has developed a scoring move and Spriggs, who worked last four years for U.S. Postal Service, comes along quickly.
Evaluation: Success depends on how quickly the newcomers fit in. It is unlikely Hoyas will come close to 1977-78 record, best in school's history. But Hoyas should win 16-18 regular-season games, with early schedule unfavorable, including games against Maryland, St. John's and Indiana before Dec. 10. George Mason
Coach: John Linn (ninth year)
1977-78 Record: 9-17
Lettermen Returning: 6-10 Andre Gaddy, 6-5 Dave Skaff, 6-6 Keith Lewis, 6-5 Steve Shultz, 6-3 Mark McGetrick, 6-0 James Moore, 6-2 William Johnson, 5-11 Myron Contee, 6-2 Russell Alexander.
Lettermen Lost: Three (6-7 Riley Clarida transferred to Long Island U.).
Top Newcomers: 6-5 Ellsworth Lewis (JC), 5-10 Steve Pearson (freshman), 6-7 Gary Randall (freshman), 6-1 Greg Deegan, 6-4 Kevin Jackson (JC).
Strengths: better shooting and speed than last season. Ballhandling, biggest problem last season, should improve if freshmen guards Pearson and Randall play to their ability. Center Gaddy, hampered by bad back a year ago, came to Patriots highly touted out of Brooklyn, N.Y., a year ago - may show rebounding ability.
Weaknesses - Lewis, transfer last season from Loyola Chicago, is only proven Division I player as Mason moves up into big time. But he misses first five games, academic inelligibility. Without Clarida, Patriots probably will not rebound as well.
Evaluation: Going into Division I also means a tougher schedule and Patriot fans should be ecstatic if the team is .500, or close to it. George Washington
Coach: Bob Tallent (fifth year)
1977-78 Record: 15-11
Returning Lettermen: 6-10 Mike Zagardo, 6-8 Tom Glenn, 6-5 Mike Samson, 6-4 Bob Lindsay, 6-0 Tom Tate, 6-0 Curtis Jeffries, 6-0 Daryle Charles, 6-7 Glenn Dixon.
Lettermen Lost: Two
Top Newcomers: 6-2 Brian Magid (transfer), 6-8 Dave Thornton (freshman), 6-6 Paul Gracza (freshman), 6-3 Jimmy Stepp (freshman).
Strengths: Five of top six players return: experienced depth at all positions except center; Magid and Lindsay mean few teams will be able to successfully zone the Colonials; flexibility, with possible use of a three-guard alignment and with a pressing five whose tallest player would be 6-5; Sophomore Jeffries beat out two-year starter Tate at point guard before suffering leg injury.
Weaknesses: Inside defense, which thwarted the team last year; depth at center until Thornton, a strong rebounder without much background in fundamentals, adjusts to GW system. He has raw ability to be a standout player.
Evaluation: GW boosters are talking in terms of a 20-victory season, but 17-18 regular-season wins seem more likely in view of road schedule and toughness of Eastern Eight league. Colonials have pointed too much to Maryland (two victories) and Georgetown (1-1) in past two seasons and, as a result, have faltered in other games. But this team is good: Magid cannot start and Stepp, leading high school scorer in Kentucky last year, would see a lot of playing time in most other seasons. Howard
Coach: A. B. Williamson (fourth year)
1977-78 record: 17-9
Lettermen Returning: 6-10 Dorian Dent, 6-5 Carlton Richardson, 5-9 Andre Byrd, 5-9 Gerald Gaskins, 6-3 Louis Wilson, 6-1 Nathaniel Speight.
Lettermen Lost: Three.
Top Newcomers: 6-7 Larry Spriggs (JC), 6-5 Ken Holmes (freshman), 6-8 Lawrence Norfleet (JC), 6-8 James Terry (freshman), 6-3 1/2 Mo Young (freshman), 6-10 Rodney Wilmore (JC).
Strengths: Spriggs, not highly sought-after at Northwestern High, developed into third team AP junior-college All-America at San Jacinto. He is by far best player on the team. His addition and other recruits gives team strong rebounding forwards for first time. All guards are experienced and Williamson plans to rotate them in pairs. Better passing team this year.
Weaknesses: Center Dent has history of illness and injury and Bison have least depth at this position. Dent has been hampered recently by groin injury and stomach virus. Inexperienced depth at forward.
Evaluation: Bison had some internal conflicts last season. If Willimason straightens this out and newcomers play to potential the coach thinks they can, coach's prediction of "a fantastic ball team this year or next, when (James) Rateff and (Rodney) Wright become eligible" could come true by end of season. The Bison also have a tougher schedule this year, first season of Division I play. Maryland
Coach: Lefty Driesell (10th year).
1977-78 record: 14-12
Lettermen Returning: 6-9 Larry Gibson, 6-6 Albert King, 6-4 Billy Bryant, 6-8 John Bilney, 6-1 Greg Manning, 6-7 Ernest Graham, 5-9 Eric Shrader, 6-3 Bob Hart, 6-9 David Henderson.
Lettermen Lost: Three.
Top Newcomers: 6-8 Buck Williams, 6-4 Reggie Jackson, 6-2 Dutch Morley, 6-10 Taylor Baldwin, 6-4 Jon Robinson (will be red-shirted).
Strengths: "Coaching" Driesell said. King, most highly sought nationally as high-school senior, says he will take his shots this season, after being bashful as a freshman. Better rebounding, assuming Williams comes through as expected. A bunch of talented freshmen, who seem to fit Driesell's system better than players last two years. Attitude.
Weaknesses: Inexperience of key players, as three freshmen (Williams, Morley, Jackson) rank among top seven players.
Evaluation: The potential of this team is unlimited. An early three-game road trip and later regular-season games against Notre Dame and Lousiville should prime team for ACC tournament. Terrapins may be a season and one big man away from returning to the top 10 nationally. Through past experience, this is the type of team with which Driesell excels. Montgomery-Rockville
Coach: Donald Drown (11th year)
1977-78 Record: 17-8
Returning Lettermen: 6-4 Dan Harwood, 6-3 John Johnson, 6-2 Chick Haering, 5-11 Butch Marshall.
Lettermen Lost: Four
Top Newcomers: 6-5 Gary Welch (freshman), 6-3 Kurt Zumwalt (transfer).
Strengths: Reasonably good defense and shooting and good scoring balance.
Weaknesses: Lack of height and no guaranteed high scorer.
Evaluation: Cautiously optimistic. Montgomery-Takoma
Coach: Bruce Wagner (10th year)
1977-78 Record: 7-11
Returning Letterman: 6-3 Harold Walker, 5-7 Rick Teamer, 6-2 Ken Hewitt, 5-10 Barry Edmonson, 6-0 Len Traficanti, 6-2 Pat Carden.
Lettermen Lost: Five
Top Newcomers: 5-10 Mike Dabney (freshman), 6-1 Derrick Taylor (freshman), 6-0 Rick Winbush (freshman), 6-3 Mark' Whitney (transfer), 5-7 Ray Robinson (freshman), 5-10 Ron Ross (freshman).
Strengths: Moving in to a new facility this year. The' return of JC All-America Harold Walker who was third in JC rebounding last year with 15.3 average.
Weaknesses: Lack of height.
Evaluation: With the opening of a new facility and the return of Walker a winning season is expected. Navy
Coach: Bob Hamilton (third year)
1977-78 record: 14-11
Returning Lettermen: 6-6 Kevin Sinnett, 6-8 John Geshay, 6-2 Chuck Greene, 6-1 Bruce Grooms, 6-3 Chuck Kuzma, 6-1 Vic Smith, 6-3 Jack Stumborg. Also returning but did not letter: 6-2 Bob Anston, 6-7 Brian Burlingame, 6-5 Grant Herrick.
Lettermen Lost: three.
Top Newcomers: (all freshmen) 6-5 Jan Myers, 6-5 Myron Simons, 6-0 James Ferrell, 6-8 Scott Myers, 6-3 Gerald Sherrill, 6-6 Bruce Bille.
Strengths: Sinnett, former St. John's High star who led Midshipmen in scoring the past three years. Best recruiting year in Hamilton's tenure. Better depth potentially. Better quickness. Aggressiveness.
Weaknesses: Still unproven whether returnees Stumberg and Grooms, plus newcomers J. Myers and Simons can make up for scoring gap left by graduation of forward Hank Kuzma and somewhat by guard Bob Scott. Uncertainty at point guard, which could become a strength if sophomore Greene and freshman Ferrell work out well Size against the top teams on Mids' schedule.
Evaluation: Hamilton has made the Mids most respectable in his two seasons. Despite lack of size, they out-rebound most opponents. Program still improving and how much better the results are this season depends on how quickly the Plebes get on solid ground. Prince George's
Coach: Ed Crescenze (eighth year).
1977-78 Record: 7-14.
Returning Lettermen: None.
Lettermen Lost: Seven.
Top Newcomers: (All freshmen) 6-1 Gerald Best, 6-2 Joe Meadows, 6-2 Ronnie Foye, 6-3 George Probeyahan, 6-3 Brian Manning, 6-6 Greg Brewington.
Strengths: PG has good speed at the guard spots and a shooting threat in Best, who averaged 14 points a game at Coolidge High.
Weaknesses: No experience and a severe rebounding deficit should 200-pound Brewington miss much playing time. Depth drops off after seventh man.
Evaluation: Crescenze faced much the same situation with four new starters last season, but says, "We're better prepared than we were at this point last year. The attitude, desire and hustle is there this time." The Owls should be among top, four contenders in seven-team national division of Maryland JUCO if the Starters survive first-semester grading period. Southeastern
Coach: Clayton Singleton (4th year)
1977-78 Record: 10-12
Returning Lettermen: 6-5 James Vines, 6-6 Greg Tolson, 6-3 Dexter Ravenell, 6-3 Duke Pendergast.
Lettermen Lost: Four.
Top Newcomers: 6-6 Wayne Moore (freshman), 6-4 Michael Hill (freshman).
Strengths: Relatively strong inside.
Weaknesses: Point guards and lack of depth of guard.
Evaluation: Southeastern will be competitive even with its tougher schedule depending on the status of Ravanell and Tolson who are out with injuries. Strayer
Coach: James Brown (second year)
1977-78 Record: 2-13
Lettermen Returning: 6-1 Eugene Johnson, 6-0 Tyrone Irby, 5-8 Joseph Gilchrist.
Lettermen Lost: Eight
Top Newcomers: (all freshmen) 6-6 David Cartwright, 6-6 James Brown, 6-5 Walter Love, 6-0 Kevin Steele, 6'1 1/2 Ronald Spinner, 6-3 Harry Townsend.
Strength: School has decided to join the NAIA and went recruiting basketball players this year. Top strength, according to coach, "young ballplayers who want to win. We used to have to take whoever came out." For its level, school has good size, after 1977-78 season in which tallest player was 6-2.
Weaknesses: "Don't see a whole lot," said the coach, "other than their youth."
Evaluation: If the team plays as well as Brown talks about it, Strayer will not lose a game. Realistically, this outfit should be on the plus side of .500. Virginia
Coach: Terry Holland (fifth year)
1977-78 record: 20-8
Returning Lettermen: 6-9 Steve Castellan, 6-10 Otis Fulton (did not play last season), 6-6 Mike Owens, 6-5 Lee Raker, 6-6 Jeff Lamp, 6-2 Tommy Hicks, 5-11 Bobby Stokes, 6-3 Garland Jefferson, 6-5 Jeff Klein.
Lettermen Lost: Two.
Top newcomers: 6-4 Jeff Jones (freshman), 6-8 Terry Gates (transfer), 6-9 Peter MacBeth (freshman), 6-9 Dean Carpenter (freshman).
Strength: team balance with a good player at each position and quality depth so opponents cannot concentrate on any one player. Ability to use big lineup (with both Castellan and Fulton, center of 1976 ACC championship team who sat out last season) when occasion merits.
Weaknesses: For its league, Virginia is not overwhelmingly big or quick at any position, although Cavs have good overall size and quickness.
Evaluation: Romanticists recall "Cinderella" outcome of 1976 Cavs winning ACC tourney. This team will be no surprise. Cavs will be in fiveway dogfight behind nationally top-ranked Duke for second place in ACC. Lamp is healthy after playing on two bad ankles last season. Fulton will start season as reserve because Holland sees no way of keeping Owens and Raker out of starting five. Jones, one of top guard recruits in nation last year, will press Hicks as starter at point guard.