Driesell got yeoman duty from his capable new assistant coaches last year, Tom Abatemarco, Sherman Dillard and John Kochan. They helped the Terrapins, who had been picked to finish sixth in the ACC, win their second regular-season title. Maryland at last has outstanding coaching to go with its talent.
The team locker room has the usual slogan—THE HARDER YOU WORK THE LUCKIER YOU GET. For Maryland, intangibles have special significance. "It comes down to wanting to win more than the other guys," says Graham. "We won't be outmanned by anyone."
Adolph Rupp's longtime assistant, Harry Lancaster, agreed to come out of retirement at the age of 69 and serve this season as a volunteer aide to Kentucky Coach Joe B. Hall. The other day while watching 7'1" Sam Bowie soar high to stuff a rebound, Lancaster sighed and said, "Adolph would have given all the gold in his teeth for one like him."
It's not Rupp's gold, but his silver, that has been a topic of conversation around Lexington of late. Shortly after last season, 13 sterling silver trophies, including those awarded for the 1948, '49, '51 and '58 NCAA basketball championships, were stolen from the school's trophy cases. In Kentucky, that was like stealing the crown jewels. The crime hasn't been fully solved, and it's now suspected that the trophies were melted into ingots.
The only appropriate response to such a heinous deed is, of course, to win additional trophies, and that's exactly what Kentucky could do, beginning immediately. Hall has more talent on hand than he did in 1977-78 when he won the only NCAA championship trophy that remains.
For two straight years, Kentucky has done the best recruiting job in the country. This means that the Wildcats are young—only two upperclassmen are among the top 10 players—but so what? They also are extraordinarly deep, proficient and versatile. Hall's only concern is replacing the leadership that Kyle Macy, who graduated, provided in the backcourt.
In sophomore Dirk Minniefield and 5'11" freshman Dicky Beal, Kentucky has one of the quickest pairs of guards in the country. Minniefield started last season and did an excellent job of getting the ball up the floor and penetrating zones. Beal has the same ability and may be a better passer. If Hall doesn't want to put their similar styles together, he can use one of them with freshman Jim Master, UK's best outside shooter, or sophomore Derrick Hord, who will swing between guard and forward.
Hord is one of several 'Cats who could play a lot at forward with Fred Cowan, Kentucky's only senior. Hall might also use Bowie at forward. At 7'1"? That's right. Now that Kentucky has a true center in 6'11" freshman Melvin Turpin, Hall has the option of letting Bowie roam outside and take the 20-foot jumpers he dearly loves—and can make. Turpin is back home in Lexington after spending last season improving his grades at a military academy.
During his freshman season, Bowie at times looked weak and timid. However, by March, he was vastly improved. And in the off-season he made the U.S. Olympic team and more than held his own in the exhibitions against NBA players. Now, at 235, 17 pounds heavier and much stronger than he was a year ago, he appears to be the kind of dominant shot blocker that a team trying to replenish its stock of silverware needs.