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MEN'S BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

Driesell's Outfit Was a Fashion Felony

November 24, 1998|KEN DAVIS | HARTFORD COURANT

Lefty Driesell took his Georgia State team to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Wednesday night for a game against Georgetown that could have produced his 700th career victory. Somewhere along the way, he fell into a time warp. Or maybe he just wanted to remind Hoya Coach John Thompson of the good old days when the two shared the spotlight around the Washington Beltway.

Whatever the reason, there was a gasp from the crowd of 10,027 when Driesell walked onto the court before the game. It was a gasp of pure fashion horror.

Driesell, 66, wore an olive suit with a sleeveless Nehru-style jacket and matching two-tone shoes. He appeared better suited for a guest spot on "The Partridge Family" than a night on the bench.

"That looks like something the rappers would wear," said television analyst George Raveling, a former Driesell assistant at Maryland. "Next he'll come out with a CD."

Georgia State played uglier than Driesell's wardrobe in the final 11 minutes, ending up with an 83-68 loss that, hopefully, will retire that particular outfit.

But you never know what's going on inside the Old Left-hander's mind.

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The NCAA closed the book on the Lester Earl investigation last week, announcing that Louisiana State will be barred from 1999 postseason tournaments and lose six scholarships over the next three years because a booster paid Earl $5,000 to play in Baton Rouge.

The NCAA cleared retired coach Dale Brown and former assistant Johnny Jones, but the penalty drew the expected reaction from Brown. Since retiring in 1997, Brown had complained about the grant of immunity Earl received.

Earl transferred to Kansas after playing at LSU early in the 1996-97 season, then told the NCAA his end of the story.

"I took great pride in doing my best to run an honorable program at LSU, and I think our 25-year history speaks well for itself," Brown said in a statement. "However, there are many rules that need to be changed because they breed deceit and hypocrisy in college athletics."

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It was great to see Houston's Hofheinz Pavilion come back to life Tuesday night when Clyde Drexler made his coaching debut with a 71-69 victory over Texas. Drexler, who worked the bench with the enthusiasm of a player, is certain to lead the Cougars back to glory. The passion in the building brought back memories of the days when Southwest Conference games were fun to watch. . . .

North Carolina will have to wait 13 more games before enjoying the services of Vasco Evtimov. The NCAA ruled Evtimov, a former UConn recruit, must miss 16 games to match the games he played for a French team during tryouts for the French national team--even though he wasn't paid. Evtimov sat out the first three games while the eligibility issue was reviewed. The sophomore played for the Tar Heels in 1996-97 before fulfilling a 10-month requirement to the French military. . . .

Maryland (3-0) has defeated Western Carolina, Maryland-Baltimore County and Hofstra by a combined 125 points. The Terps extended their Cole Field House nonconference winning streak to 61 games with an 89-59 victory over Hofstra on Friday night. Maryland hasn't lost a nonconference home game since 1989.

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