Coach Charles G. Driesell has three fewer worries to occupy the back of his mind as he begins the basketball season after an early signing coup in which Maryland bested Indiana and Georgetown.
At a news conference yesterday to discuss Maryland's 1985-86 season opener with Northeastern Saturday (8 p.m.) at Cole Field House, Driesell introduced the three high school seniors in his future as of 1986-87. Foremost among them is Andre Reyes, a 6-foot-11 center from Manning (S.C.) High School who could be the Terrapins' first bona fide big man in recent years.
Reyes was pursued by Georgetown, Tennessee, North Carolina State and Clemson before narrowing his decision to Georgetown and Maryland, then signing a letter of intent this week to play for the Terrapins. Although he did not have impressive junior-year statistics because of limited playing time, he stood out in summer camps.
"He's a sleeper," Driesell said. "By the time the year is over he might be one of the top three high school players in the country. I know John Thompson wanted him, and John doesn't go after anybody unless he's good."
Driesell has lost some memorable recruits to Georgetown in the past, including Reggie Williams, David Wingate and Bill Martin.
"I think the reason we beat them this year," Driesell said, "is that we got in there early."
Maryland signed a top local prospect in Steve Hood, the No. 2 scorer (13.4) and rebounder (6.6) for DeMatha High School last season.
The third signee is Teyon McCoy, a 6-1 point guard at Hammond, Ind., who averaged 18 points last season and is a contender for the "Mr. Basketball in Indiana" award. Driesell said Maryland lured him from Indiana largely because two of his sisters attend Howard University here. "I don't think we've ever had someone from Indiana," Driesell said. "I know (Bob) Knight wanted him bad."
Reyes' signing would seem to help Maryland in its pursuit of J.R. Reid, the 6-9 Virginia Beach forward who is perhaps the most desired prospect in the nation. Reid is not expected to decide until April, and apparently has reduced his choices to Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, UCLA and Iowa.
"I'm elated with the recruiting," Driesell said. "It means we don't have to worry and we can concentrate on another very good player. I think (signing Reyes) will definitely help. But only the good Lord and J.R. know that."