It isn't turnovers, young players or defensive shortcomings that have plagued the up-again, down-again Maryland basketball team, according to Coach Lefty Driesell. It's merely the schedule.
"I blame it on poor scheduling," Driesell said yesterday. "Look who Notre Dame (upset by Maryland last week) had for its next three opponents after we played them (Brown, Xavier of Ohio and Dayton)."
"Meanwhile we played Virginia and Duke, who I'm going to vote No. 1 this week. Plus, we've played a very difficult schedule. I didn't have to play Nevada-Las Vegas, Notre Dame, Louisville and Georgetown. We could be 17-3 instead of 14-7. We've got five losses to teams ranked in the top 20 when we lost to them."
Driesell also said that he did not believe freshman guard Reggie Jackson was quoted accurately after the loss to Duke Saturday. Jackson reportedly was miffed when he was removed in the second half while "playing the best I had during the game." Jackson did not get back in.
"I intend to speak to Reggie about that," Driesell said. "I doubt he said those things in that exact way. If he did I'm not happy about it."
Jackson was not available for comment.
Georgetown duplicated Maryland's 0-2 week with losses to Oral Roberts at home and by 20 points Saturday at Detroit. The Hoyas, who last week were voted ninth and 10th by the Associated Press and UPI, respectively, likely will drop several spots.
Georgetown, ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense at the beginning of the week, yielding only 61.7 points per game. Oral Roberts scored 75 against them and Detroit blistered the squad for 91 points; ORU and Detroit both shot well over 50 percent compared to Georgetown's average yield of 43 percent from the field.
Hoya Coach John Thompson blamed the team's defensive problems on its recent failures at the offensive end. Against Detroit, Georgetown missed many wide-open shots and made only nine of 22 from the free-throw line. Freshman guard Eric Floyd remained in a mini slump, missing eight of 11 shots.
Floyd had scored in double figures in every game this season prior to the two losses last week. He scored nine and eight points, respectively, failing to score in the second half of either game and hitting only six of 25 fieldgoal attempts. He began the week shooting better than 50 percent.
"We're getting the shots we want, but we're not making them," said Thompson. "That has an effect on your defense. All aspects of the game are interrelated."
Thompson plans no changes in playing time or game tactics. "If we lose five more games, I wouldn't change things," he said. "You only see those things working miracles in the movies. Making any drastic adjustments only runs you into difficulty."
George Washington and Catholic fared better Saturday night. The Colonials defeated visiting Rutgers, 74-71, and host Catholic nipped Canisius, 82-80.
GW held a 53-28 advantage before Rutgers closed the gap to 57-54 6 1/2 minutes later. The playmaking of Tom Tate helped GW break a four-game losing streak. Rutgers star center, James Bailey, scored 20 points in 18 minutes before fouling out.
Catholic got free throws in the final 34 seconds from reserve center Bob Wilhelm and forward Bill Dooley to end a five-game losing streak. Cardinal playmaker Donnie Farrell stole an inbounds pass with one second remaining to assure the victory.
In other area action, La Salle blasted American, 123-103, William and Mary beat Navy, 68-63. George Mason whipped Towson State, 66-59, and Howard defeated North Carolina Central, 66-57.
LaSalle made 67 percent of its shots and ran American ragged with its fast break. Michael Brooks scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the winners; AU's Bob Bowers scored 28 and Bob Harvey added 19.
William and Mary hit 12 of 14 second-half shots and held Navy to a 14 of 30 over the same span. Navy's Kevin Sinnett scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Dave Skaff scored eight points in the final five minutes to guide George Mason to its third straight victory. Mason's Andre Gaddy led all scorers with 25 points.
Louis Wilson scored his only points on a three-point play with 4:30 left, giving Howard a 56-49 lead.Bison forward Carlton Richardson totaled 24 points and forward Larry Spriggs added 18, plus 13 rebounds.
In national action, top-ranked Notre Dame defeated Dayton, 86-71, secondranked Indiana State stopped Tulsa, 66-56; No. 4 North Carolina knocked off Virginia Tech in overtime, 92-80; sixth-ranked Louisville beat Cincinnati, 88-85, and 10th-ranked Louisiana State bested Kentucky, 70-61.
Sophomore Kelly Tripucka scored a career-high 37 points, including 16 straight in the closing minutes, to lead the Irish.
All-American forward Larry Bird was held to 22 points -- eight below his nation-leading average -- but the 6-foot-9 senior grabbed a season-high 22 rebounds to lead Indiana State to victory in the Missouri Valley Conference contest.
Al Wood scored 33 points, the last six in overtime, to lead the Tar Heels. Tech's Dale Solomon hit a free throw with two seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. UNC canned 10 of 11 free throws in the extra period while Tech managed only one field goal.
Darrell Griffith's 25 points helped carry Louisville to its 11th straight victory. Griffith and Bobby Turner, who finished with 21 points, each made two free throws in the final nine seconds to clinch the victory.
Al Green scored 20 points to lead the Tigers over Kentucky.
In the second 10, Jim Krivacs (20) and Ron Baxter (19) combined for 39 points to spark No. 11 Texas to a 73-60 victory over Texas Christian; Temple raised its East Coast Conference record to 7-0 as the 18th-ranked Owls defeated Drexel, 95-73, and Sidney Moncrief pumped in 23 points as No. 19 Arkansas whipped Rice, 68-50.