Maryland will try to rely on an old standby -- Cole Field House -- and a new starter -- forward Evers Burns -- to get back on the winning track in the ACC today against No. 14 Duke.

The Terrapins (8-5, 1-2) suffered a 105-73 loss at North Carolina Wednesday, their worst defeat during Gary Williams's season-and-a-half tenure as coach. With today's game being the first contest since the debacle, the Maryland players have not been able to escape their coach's wrath, coming in for assorted tongue lashings during a workout yesterday.

"I think he knows that we're ready to play," said Burns, who had averaged 11 points and five rebounds in his previous three games before slumping to two and three respectively against the Tar Heels. "We would like to be undefeated at home; I don't think we're going to fold because we're playing a nationally ranked team. We have to play hard whomever we play."

In other local action, Georgetown hosts Boston College, Virginia meets North Carolina, Howard takes on Delaware State, Navy is at William and Mary, American is at Richmond and George Mason is at North Carolina-Wilmington.

Garfield Smith, who has started 12 of the previous 13 games at power forward for Maryland, has been in a sustained funk, scoring just 22 points in the last four games.

"Garfield needs a different look and maybe coming off the bench will help," said Williams. "George Lynch {who scored 18 points with 11 rebounds Wednesday for North Carolina} is a good player but Garfield needed to be more aggressive. He's going to play but maybe watching the game at the start will help."

The entire Maryland team will be helped by returning home. In the aftermath of the sanctions banning the Terrapins from the NCAA and ACC tournaments, one of the team's goals was to be undefeated at Cole. They've met that challenge six straight times and while none of the previous opponents has been as talented as the Blue Devils (11-3, 1-1), Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski conceded yesterday that "we may play very well and still lose to anyone in the conference."

Over the previous five seasons, Duke amassed a record of 146-30 and made four trips to the NCAA Final Four. The sustained excellence created an often-blurring montage of talent: Was that Tommy Amaker passing to Phil Henderson or David Henderson? Could Johnny Dawkins have played with Danny Ferry and Alaa Abdelnaby?

That has changed in 1990-91. Although Christian Laettner averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds last season and point guard Bobby Hurley started in the national championship game against UNLV, they did so as a sophomore and freshman. The seniors on this season's team, Greg Koubek and Clay Buckley, averaged just 6.5 points combined last season.

"This is a good young team and good young teams in this league are prone to get beat," said Krzyzewski. "What helped us over the last five years was having that older leadership, showing the others how to act on the road and carry themselves. What we're working on isn't offense or defense as much as finding what our identity is, what's our character."

The Blue Devils' only losses have been to nationally ranked Arkansas, Georgetown and Virginia.

As might be expected, that 81-64 pasting by the Cavaliers a week ago led to some very spirited practices in Durham earlier this week. The coaching staff's unhappiness with the performance at Virginia obviously got through; while Maryland was losing to North Carolina, the Blue Devils were routing Georgia Tech 98-57.

One of the casualties of that intensity for Duke was do-everything freshman Grant Hill, who suffered a broken nose after getting hit while driving to the basket during a scrimmage last weekend. The former South Lakes High star, who is averaging 12 points and 5.7 rebounds a game, is expected to miss at least the next two games.

Duke isn't the only team with a young core. Georgetown (9-3, 1-1 in the Big East) probably will start four freshmen against Boston College as the absence of Alonzo Mourning continues, but the 15th-ranked Hoyas at least will be on the court with a team in the same predicament. The Eagles (9-5, 1-2), who have lost six straight games to Georgetown, probably will go with three first-year starters.

The most talented of the Eagles' freshmen is 6-foot-10 center Bill Curley, a heralded newcomer who has struggled somewhat in his first exposure to Big East play. Now he must face the Hoyas' 7-2 senior, Dikembe Mutombo, as Boston College tries for its first-ever Capital Centre victory over Georgetown.

In another development, former Hoyas guard Antoine Stoudamire has transferred to the University of Oregon, Ducks Coach Don Monson said. According to Monson, Stoudamire -- a native of Portland -- arrived at the school on Thursday and is enrolled for winter term classes. He must sit out one academic year and will be eligible to play for Oregon in January 1992.

Also Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo confirmed that Michael Sabol "is no longer a student at the university and therefore can no longer participate" on the team. Sabol, a 6-7, 210-pound sophomore forward, played in just two games this season.