Adrian Branch's hip bruise should not keep him out of Maryland's basketball season opener Friday night, according to team doctor Stan Lavine, who examined Branch yesterday.

Although the 6-foot-8 high school all-America from De Matha has not practiced since falling heavily in a scrimmage last Saturday, Branch is expected to start at small forward against visiting St. Peter's.

If not, Driesell most likely will go with either senior Taylor Baldwin at center or sophomore Pete Holbert at small forward, alongside senior Charles Pittman and sophomore Herman Veal.

Yesterday, at his weekly press conference, Driesell admitted he had been "very concerned about Branch." With the loss of his top four scorers from last season Driesell is counting heavily on the slender freshman, whom he calls his only potentially great one-on-one offensive player.

Driesell announced another possible change in the starting five, but didn't say when it might occur.

"I'm going to start Reggie Jackson and Dutch Morley at guard because they're seniors . . . for (their) experience mostly," Driesell said. "But the last three or four scrimmages (freshman Jeff) Adkins has played better than both of them. He may be a starter before the season gets too old. I've been playing him at point guard a lot in practice because I like the way he runs the break."