Buck Williams will be Maryland's starting center Friday night when the Terrapins play Yugoslavia's national basketball team in an exhibition game at Cole Field House.
"I thought about going with Taylor Baldwin (the 6-foot-10 sophomore) but I think our best team right now has Buck at center," Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell Said yesterday. "I think Buck may be the best rebounder in the country and with him in the middle we're an extremely quick team. I like the quickness."
Williams, a 6-8 sophomore from Rocky Mount, N.C., was the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year last season, teaming with center Larry Gibson to control the boards for Maryland. But with Gibson graduated and Maryland having failed to recruit a top center, Driesell will go with Williams in the middle.
Joining him up front in Driesell's new single post offense will be juniors Albert King and Ernest Graham. While toying with the idea of playing the bigger, less mobile Baldwin at center, Driesell also talked about bringing Graham, a streak shooter who played guard last season, off the bench. With Williams at center, however, Graham will start.
Driesell will use four guards extensively, Dutch Morely and John Robinson on the point and Greg Manning and Reggie Jackson at the wings. Morley and Jackson are the probable starters now, although Jackson and Manning have been waging a close battle for the wing spot.
"We've worked a lot on defense in our two weeks of practice," Driesell said. "I think we'll be more mature. I'm going to try to play people but I'm not going to screw around with this game."
Driesell was in midseason form talking to reporters yesterday: blunt, blunter and bluntest.
Talking about backup forward John Bilney, the only senior on the team, Driesell said, "John's playing like he always does. Rebounding and hustling real hard but he can't put the ball in the hole. If he would ever learn to shoot a layup or a free throw he could help us."
Driesell scrimmaged his team for a full 40 minutes Monday and was pleased with the play of King, who scored 34 points after sitting out two days of practice last week with a sprained ankle.
"Albert looks better than he ever has since he got here three years ago," Driesell said.
Driesell on Maryland's contract with Yugoslavia for Friday night's game: "I thought Communist believed in sharing. We're not getting shared with much in that contract. Maybe they're the capitalists and we're the communists."