Georgetown tested early in non-conference
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON — Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III says he doesn’t have a core scheduling philosophy.
But he kind of does. There are only a few options from which he chooses, depending on how he feels about his team.
“Some groups need to get beat up a little bit so they can bounce back,” Thompson says. “Some groups need to feel good about themselves and need to get wins, don’t matter who it’s against. I think this group … we have a lot of questions that need to be answered. We have a lot we have to figure out.
“There are different ways to skin the cat. We have to figure out the best way for this group to skin the cat. We’re going to be tested early and often, and hopefully, we have some success.”
The Hoyas have one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation this season, starting against Florida, ranked No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports preseason coaches poll, aboard the USS Bataan in Jacksonville.
Georgetown will face No. 13 UCLA (followed by either No. 1 Indiana or Georgia) at the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.; host Tennessee in the Big East-Southeastern Conference Challenge; and play No. 24 Texas as a part of the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden — all within the first month of the season.
Such a strategy has suited Georgetown in the past.
Last season, a relatively inexperienced Hoyas team picked to finish 10th in the league by Big East coaches weathered a tough early non-conference schedule with two wins against Memphis, one at Alabama and a close loss to Kansas in Hawaii.
The Hoyas went on to win at Louisville in their first Big East game, finished 24-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve done a lot of traveling to play in those kinds of big games. To have those — not just Jacksonville, but to play at Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center, that’ll be a cool opportunity,” junior forward Nate Lubick says.
Other players aren’t focusing on the multitude of big … [For more on Georgetown put to test early in non-conference slate, click here.]