Maybe Lefty Driesell's days of politicking for a game against Georgetown are done, or perhaps he's just temporarily exhausted from crisscrossing the continent for the past month with his James Madison University basketball team.

Whatever the reason, the Dukes' usually irascible coach seems uncustomarily subdued, and he apparently will settle quietly tonight for being on the same court -- although at a different time -- as the Hoyas.

A busy day of local college basketball will culminate this evening at Capital Centre with a doubleheader featuring James Madison against 13th-ranked Oklahoma at 6:30, followed by No. 15 Georgetown's Big East Conference opener vs. Seton Hall. Maryland also is at home, facing Clemson at 1 in an Atlantic Coast Conference duel at Cole Field House.

Navy hosts East Carolina to begin its final season in the Colonial Athletic Association; George Washington visits Boston University in a homecoming for first-year Colonials Coach Mike Jarvis; No. 18 Virginia starts ACC action against eighth-ranked Duke in Charlottesville; American squares off with North Carolina-Wilmington at Bender Arena; and Howard is at North Carolina A&T.

But the day's most intriguing development is the second twin-bill pairing of Driesell and Georgetown (Madison-South Alabama and Georgetown-Providence attracted more than 15,000 fans last season). Driesell said yesterday that he would rather have faced the Sooners as a single game in Washington but promoter Russ Potts (an assistant athletic director while Driesell coached at Maryland) convinced him that a doubleheader alongside the Hoyas would be a better draw.

The setup apparently is not any kind of precursor to a future Dukes-Hoyas game. Barring some sort of tournament encounter, Driesell and Georgetown Coach John Thompson might never share a sideline again, and -- after years of alternately resisting and clamoring for such a showdown -- Driesell says that, although he never would turn down the game, it's probably just as well.

"I just don't want to get into all that," he said yesterday. "John's got his scheduling to do and I've got mine. . . . All that stuff's in the past."

And a tumultuous past it was. Driesell's 17-year tenure with the Terrapins was marked by an uneasy relationship with his nearby rival. During the 1980s, each school took turns resisting games against the other.

They met eight times -- with Maryland winning the first five games and Georgetown the final three -- but never after the 1980 NCAA tournament; the regular season series came to a close earlier that season with a shouting match between the coaches. For his part, Thompson has said that not playing Maryland and Driesell wasn't personal and that he simply preferred not to face local teams. But it remains a fairly sore subject with each man.

Both will face stern tests tonight. James Madison (5-5) is coming off Wednesday's 24-point loss to top-ranked Nevada-Las Vegas -- which Driesell called "the best team I've seen in 34 years of coaching." The Dukes are concluding a month on the road that has featured trips to Provo, Utah; Mobile, Ala.; Richmond, and Las Vegas.

Now the Dukes get Oklahoma, which is 10-2 and averaging 113 points per game. "There's no rest for us," said Driesell, whose club fell to the Sooners, 142-109, last year in Norman, Okla.

Georgetown (8-2) also is likely to be pushed. The Hoyas will be up against a Pirates club off to a 9-1 beginning (2-0 in the Big East), and the Hoyas have mounting injury problems. Forward Alonzo Mourning will be sidelined for the sixth time in seven games by a sprained arch in his left foot, and his recent replacement, Brian Kelly, is slowed by a twisted left ankle.

Said Thompson: "Seton Hall, I think, is a much better basketball team than they were last year {when the Pirates finished 12-16}. I think that we have to play extremely well, and it's an opportunity for the younger kids to gain some experience and see what Big East basketball is like."

Maryland (6-4, 0-1 ACC) will try to get back on the winning track against Clemson (8-3, 0-1 ACC) following Wednesday's disappointing, 74-62 loss at Wake Forest. The Terrapins maintained the intense effort that has characterized their play recently but misfired on offense; in the second half they shot 26 percent.

The Tigers might be bolstered by the return of forward Sean Tyson. The Baltimore native was suspended early in the season but worked out at Cole Field House yesterday. He has averaged 10 points and four rebounds in eight games.

"He obviously gives them another good player. But what can you do? We've already done our preparation. You just have to go out and play," said Maryland Coach Gary Williams.

Cedric Lewis, the nation's third-leading shot blocker, picked up four fouls in the opening 25 minutes of play against the Demon Deacons. If Clemson is able to isolate inside muscleman Dale Davis (20 points, 13 rebounds per game) against Lewis, the Maryland center could be in for another tough game.

"If he gets the ball within five feet of the basket, it's an almost automatic two points. Hopefully I'll be able to prevent that from happening," Lewis said. "I usually don't know how I'm going to play a guy until after the game begins. I may let him take couple of shots, see if he's on or not, then I'll get a more specific idea."