George Washington University opens its Atlantic 10 Conference basketball schedule with a home game tonight at 9 against Temple, one of three new members in the realigned league formerly known as the Eastern Eight.

The game will mark the debut of the league's 40-second shot clock and 19-foot, 9-inch three-point line that intersects the top of the key. It also is the first game for John Chaney as Temple coach after a successful tenure at Division II Cheyney State.

Both teams are picked second by the league's other coaches in their respective divisions. GW, in the West Division, opened with three freshmen in its starting lineup in an 80-77 victory over Towson State Saturday night. Coach Gerry Gimelstob said he was upset by his team's mistakes and inability twice to hold big leads.

The key to the game likely is how well freshman forward Darryl Webster, from Coolidge High School, can help sophomore center Mike Brown with GW's rebounding. Brown, the league's rookie of the year last season, had 24 points and 16 rebounds in the opener.

Temple, 19-8 and 11-0 in the East Coast Conference East last season, will be without two would-be regulars, 6-5 forward Charles Rayne and 6-3 guard Ed Coe, who are injured and could be out for the season. Granger Hall, a 6-8 forward, and 6-5 guard Terence Stansbury return.