Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell called for the abolition of the three-point field goal from Atlantic Coast Conference basketball games yesterday and said he regretted encouraging the adoption of the new rule last spring.
"It's ridiculous," Driesell said. "I don't think the rule will stay in. I shouldn't have voted for it in the first place.
"It's too easy a shot (19 feet from the backboard) to give a man three points for. I'm opposed to it. I must have had a sunstroke down there in (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) when I voted for it.
"I think we should get rid of the idea of a three-point shot altogether," he continued. "Maybe we should have a 45-second clock, which would give you more time to work the ball around."
Maryland will not be using the three-point field goal or the shot clock this at 2 o'clock this afternoon when Notre Dame visits the Terrapins in Cole Field House. But the three-pointer was still the major topic of discussion at Driesell's weekly luncheon yesterday.
Driesell, before the season, offered to play Notre Dame with the new rules, but Irish Coach Digger Phelps exercised his option to refuse. Now, Driesell is glad Phelps said no.
"I don't know why Digger didn't want to play with the new rules," Driesell said, "because John Paxson (Notre Dame's senior guard) doesn't shoot from less than 19 feet."
Part of Driesell's problem with the three-point shot is that Maryland is making 30 percent of its three-pointers while its opponents make 38 percent. Maryland rarely shoots three-pointers until the team is desperately behind, and Driesell has not had his team alter its game to take advantage of the new rule.
For example, Maryland outscored North Carolina, 60-30, from two-point range two weeks ago, but Carolina held a 24-6 margin in three-pointers and won.
"You can say it's my fault," Driesell said. "Part of it's my coaching philosophy. I've always say punch the ball inside.
"We (Maryland) never have done a lot of outside shooting--just enough to keep defenses honest. Maybe we're not looking enough for the three-point shots. It's not that far (only 17 feet 6 inches from the front rim). We really haven't taken advantage of it.
"Maybe it's our personnel (that's the problem)," Driesell continued.
"But Adrian Branch and Steve Rivers can shoot it from out there consistently. I've told the guys we gotta look for the three-point shot more."
Driesell's strategy of getting the ball inside should help against Notre Dame, as long as Ben Coleman, Maryland's 6-foot-9 center, stays out of foul trouble.
"The games we've lost are the games he's gotten in foul trouble," Driesell said. "I'm not blaming Ben, but that's the pattern so far."
Driesell also apologized for calling Fred Barakat, the ACC supervisor of officials, a liar last week when com-menting on controversial officiating in a game against Virginia.
" 'Liar' was a poor choice of words," Driesell said. "My mother taught me better than to say that word. I should have said, 'He and I had a 'violent disagreement.' I apologize. I'm not very good at choosing words anyway.
"I don't blame losses on officials; never have. I've lost a lot of games because of officiating but I never blame them on officiating."
Driesell was asked to give his opinion on today's Redskins-Cowboys game.
"Well, the Redskins playing Dallas is about like us playing North Carolina. Sometimes, I think we can't beat North Carolina because we dislike them so much. And the Redskins dislike Dallas so much that sometimes, they lose because they want to beat them so bad. You can want something so bad sometimes that you can't get your act together. I hope the Redskins win.
"It'll be just like our game against Notre Dame. Our game might be a little bit better, though."