There are so many could-haves in Chris Weller's life these days.
She could have resigned her position as Maryland's women's basketball coach in the wake of a university review of her program following the 1985-86 season, could have left the school completely. Some of Maryland's other embattled athletic coaches and administrators did one or both.
She could have decided to stay and lower her standards, lower her expectations. That, too, has happened with some of Maryland's other embattled teams. People have understood.
No. For Chris Weller, those alternatives did not compute.
Tell her it's okay to leave and she becomes immovable. Tell her it's okay to be tolerant of less and she wants it all.
"I'd like to win a national championship," said Weller, who received a vote of confidence from the university after the investigation. "But I don't want to win it anywhere. I only want to win it here at Maryland.
"I've thought of perhaps, maybe not continuing because maybe I couldn't do that given what has happened," she said. "But sometimes I coach because there's not enough support. I know that I'm one of the real die-hards. I really believe in things and I'll work at something when somebody tells me, 'No.' If I believe in it, I'll continue to work on it.
"Sometimes I'm afraid that other people might not really have that concern. They might just say, 'Oh, forget it,' or 'Let's not really care.' That's pretty much why I've stayed."
Which brings up the biggest could-have in Chris Weller's life these days. She could have a really good team this season. The Terrapins' only potential pitfalls are numbers and height.
First, Atlantic Coast Conference 1986-87 rookie of the year Beth Hunt, a 6-foot forward from Myrtle Beach, S.C., who led Maryland last season in scoring (16.1 points per game), rebounding (9.1 per game) and field-goal percentage (.553), decided last spring to transfer to South Carolina. Then Subrena Rivers, a 5-10 junior forward, became academically ineligible and Brenda Mason, 6-0 junior forward, chose not to return.
That leaves Maryland with just nine players and only two true front court players who have had significant playing time -- 6-3 junior Vicky Bullett (15.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and 6-2 sophomore Christy Winters (9.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg), the 1985-86 Washington area high school player of the year from South Lakes High School in Reston.
"We are a little small," Weller said, "and if we have injury problems, we are going to be in trouble."
On the other hand, if Weller is going to have to use a three-guard offense -- and she probably will most of the time -- she probably couldn't do much better than senior captain Lisa Brown, sophomore Edna Campbell and junior Deanna Tate.
Tate, returning after a year of academic ineligibility, averaged 16.7 points per game as a freshman and was the MVP of that season's ACC tournament, which Maryland won despite being seeded sixth.
Campbell, the Terrapins' top returning scorer (16.1 ppg), last summer played on the U.S. junior national team. She and Brown, who last season led Maryland in assists (3.8 per game) and was its fourth-leading scorer (14.1 ppg), are sure to take advantage of the three-point goal, implemented nationally this season at 19 feet 9 inches.
"Our starting five can play with any of the starting fives in the league and maybe even beyond the league," Weller said.
However, the part Weller said she likes the most about this year's team is that "the people who are here are pretty much like me."
Asked for a one-word description of herself, Weller replied, "Loyal. Loyal to my beliefs."
"I'm still here because I want to be here and they're still here because they really want to be here," Weller said. "It could have been real easy for a couple of other people to leave."
"Why did I stick it out?" Brown said. "Because I feel this is a good program . . . Maybe I could have helped somebody else somewhere else, but this is just the place I wanted to be." Maryland Schedule
November: 28, George Washington, 7:30.
December: 1, at Temple, 7; 5, American, 7:30; 9, Howard, 7:30; 12, at Old Dominion, 7; 15, Georgia, 7:30; 28-30, at Miami Tournament, tba.
January: 3, Georgia Tech, 4; 6, at North Carolina, 1:30; 9, Duke, 4:30; 12, at Virginia, 7:30; 14, at Clemson, tba; 20, at UMBC, 7:30; 23, at N.C. State, tba.; 27, at Rutgers, 7:30; 30, Wake Forest, 7:30.
February: 3, Virginia, 7:30; 6, North Carolina, 7:30; 8, Clemson, 6; 13, at Duke, 3; 16, at Georgia Tech, 5:15; 20, N.C. State, 7:30; 24, Penn State, 7:30; 27, at Wake Forest, 7:30.
March: 5-7, at ACC Tournament in Fayetteville, N.C., tba.