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Unusual exhibition game temporarily lures Lefty Driesell out of retirement

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Lefty Driesell (Getty Images)

Ten years after he last stomped on the sideline, berated a ref or flashed his trademark "V" for victory sign before a game, colorful former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell is going to coach again.

Driesell, 81, told the Washington Post he is temporarily coming out of retirement Saturday night to coach a team of ex-college players with Maryland ties in the Basketball Alumni Legends League pro basketball series. His team will face the Washington D.C. team in an exhibition game held at George Washington.

It's safe to assume Saturday's game won't be like any Driesell has coached before.

There will be a 4-point line 25 feet from the center of the basket. Substitutions can be made on the fly hockey-style without a stoppage in play. Players cannot foul out no matter how many they commit. Zone defense and on-ball screens at the top of the key are strictly prohibited. And fouls on a 2-point, 3-point or 4-point attempt result in one all-or-nothing free throw worth two, three or four points respectively.

If the rules are entirely unfamiliar, at least many of the players will be more recognizable. Among the players scheduled to play for the Maryland team are ex-Terps John Gilchrist, James Gist, Sean Mosley, Landon Milbourne, Adrian Bowie and James Padgett. The Washington D.C. team features a trio of ex-Georgetown stars -- Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Henry Sims -- perhaps making this game the closest anyone will come to seeing a long-awaited Maryland-Georgetown showdown anytime soon.

"These guys are good players, just not good enough right now to play in the NBA," Driesell told the Post. "If they do well in these leagues, some team might pick them up. I played my best basketball when I was out of Duke, playing semi-pro ball. I think it’s a good opportunity for them."

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