A loud cheer went up at Cole Field House when Maryland senior Chuck Driesell was announced as a starter for last night's game with Maryland-Eastern Shore. After all, the coach's son had never started in college before, and the crowd of 5,890 wouldn't have to wait until the final minutes to see him play.
It took only four minutes for Driesell to make his first basket, a layup after a nice pass from Keith Gatlin. Driesell had three more points during an 11-2 run that helped the Terrapins take a 21-point halftime lead, en route to an 87-48 victory.
The Terrapins, coming off back-to-back, three-point victories, improved to 7-1. Maryland-Eastern Shore, which has no seniors, is 1-6.
Driesell, who finished with five points, said Lefty Driesell mentioned something about his son starting. Nevertheless, he was surprised to hear his name called.
"I think he's worked hard for four years and deserved a start," said Lefty Driesell. "I thought he played okay, but he missed some shots he usually makes in practices."
All the Terrapins who played scored, including walk-on Ed Woods. The one who didn't play and wasn't happy was freshman guard Wally Lancaster. Driesell said he and Lancaster have a "small problem" and Driesell decided not to let him play.
"He's okay. He'll be ready for the Loyola game (Dec. 22)," Driesell said.
Lancaster, a two-time all-Met selection from Coolidge High School, said he wasn't sure why he wasn't playing more (20 minutes total in the first seven games) and had talked to Driesell about it.
Driesell was pleased with his team's effort, its final game before meeting Loyola.
"I thought everyone played pretty well," he said. "We have six or seven days off now and we were able to relax a little and play some of the subs who haven't gotten much time."
The subs probably could have played all game. Outscored by an average of 18 points in its previous losses, Maryland-Eastern Shore worked hard but didn't have the talent to stick with the Terrapins.
Guard Donnell Boney, who scored 10 points for the Hawks, had nine and four assists at the half, accounting for 17 of his team's 24 points.
Meanwhile, Maryland was seldom pressed. Adrian Branch (16 points), Jeff Baxter (14), Speedy Jones (12) and Gatlin (eight) scored inside or outside with little effort.
Controlling the boards and hitting the open shots enabled the Terrapins to take an early lead. Baxter made two long jumpers and two free throws, Branch scored twice inside the lane and Jeff Adkins made two layups to give them a 33-14 advantage with 4:30 left in the half.