- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Seen and heard last night at Comcast Center:

OLIVER’S RETURN — Clemson first-year coach Oliver Purnell was back on the sideline in College Park for the first time since he was a Maryland assistant in 1988. The 50-year-old Purnell is from Berlin, Md., on the Eastern Shore. He coached two seasons under Lefty Driesell and one under Bob Wade before taking his first head coaching job at Radford. He then moved on to Old Dominion, Dayton and finally Clemson.

HELLO, BUBBLE — Maryland came into last night’s game 34th in the RPI after playing the nation’s fourth-toughest schedule. Those numbers would suggest the Terps would get an NCAA tournament bid. However, the Terps’ ACC and overall records and six straight losses to ranked opponents have put that in doubt. ESPN.com and collegerpi.com have left them out of projected brackets. CBSsportsline.com lists them as the 11th seed in the South, facing No. 6 Seton Hall.

CELLAR DWELLERS — Clemson is closing in on its fourth consecutive ACC tournament play-in game, which pits the conference’s eighth-place team against the ninth-place team. The Tigers, under former coach Larry Shyatt, finished last the past three seasons and met Florida State in the preliminary game. Ninth-place Clemson will have a hard time playing its way out of the game, considering it only has games at home against No. 18 Georgia Tech and at 16th-ranked North Carolina.

Jon Siegel

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