George Washington, the basketball team with bad ankles on key players, opens tonight with an Eastern Eight Game against Duquesne. There is a question whether point guard Curtis Jeffries will make the 8 p.m. tipoff at Smith Center because of an ankle he resprained in practice Thursday night.

"He didn't practice today and I'd say it's questionable whether he'll be able to play." Coach Bob Tallent said last night. "If this wasn't a league game, I know he and (Mike) Zagardo wouldn't play."

Zagardo, a 6-foot-10 senior center, is the foundation of the Colonials. He is rusty, having practiced only the past two weeks after suffering an ankle injury in a pickup game in September.

Freshman Randy Davis will start if Jeffries is unavailable.

GW will be playing a big team that likely will start a 6-9, 6-9, 6-8 front line with 7-foot freshman Ricky Tunstall coming off the bench.

Elsewhere tonight, George Mason visits Howard in a matchup of area Division I teams unable to schedule other area Division I clubs; Georgetown, ranked as high as 16th nationally in preseason polls, opens at home against a traditional patsy, Bowie State, in an 8 p.m. game. Star forward Craig Shelton will sit out following minor oral surgery. American U. also opens its season at Towson State.

In other games, Southeastern is at James Madison and Montgomery-Rockville at Howard Community College.