This could be a crucial weekend for the Maryland basketball team. The reason: Charles Pittman is visiting the campus.
Pittman is 6-foot-8, 220 pounds and strong. He could probably play center in the ACC tomorrow. And if he decides to attend Maryland, Coach Lefty Driesell can move Buck Williams back to his natural position, power forward. d
Pittman, from New York City, is attending junior college in California. He is being recruited by UCLA and by East Carolina, which has a shot at landing him because Coach Dave Odom is close to the youngster's family.
This weekend, Driesell and his assistant coaches will try to convince him that he should come to Maryland and play on a front line with Williams and all-America Albert King.
If Pittman opts for Maryland, Driesell could bring Ernest Graham off the bench and use him to provide offensive sparks when needed. He also will have another great shooter coming off the bench, 6-6 Pete Holbert from W. T. Woodson, already committed to Maryland.
The Terrapins are also heavily recruiting 6-6 swingman James Banks from Atlanta, who could play big guard or small forward. Finally, they would love another point guard. The candidates are 6-3 Steve Rivers from New York and 6-1 Karl Hill from Princeton, N.J. Hill is ready to come to Maryland. The Terps are fighting several schools, including Virginia and Syracuse, for Rivers.
The Terps have not yet given up on Spingarn's 6-10 Earl Jones or 6-10 Sam Perkins from Latham, N.Y.But the big man they are working hardest on now is Pittman.
At Georgetown, John Thompson has all three centers returning. But he loses a top forward and his point guard. Fred Bronw, 6-5 from New York City, will probably step in and start at the point. "He's as good as any guard in the country," said one ACC assistant coach.
Thompson is strongly in the hunt for 6-7 forward Arnie Russell from T. C. Williams, who some say is the second-best prospect in the area behind Jones. Thompson is also recruiting 6-10 Tony Costner from Overbrook in Philadelphia for the future.
Virginia has one commitment, from 5-10 Ricky Stokes of Richmond.
George Washington Coach Bob Tallent; American's Gary Williams and Howard's A. B. Williamson are all shooting for several good players but won't know until April 14, national signing day, how successful they have been.