Georgetown vs. Florida International

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Georgetown vs. Florida International

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Verizon Center. RADIO: 570 AM.

MENTAL RESOLVE: The Hoyas were never seriously challenged in their last outing, cruising to a 69-58 victory over Mount St. Mary's. With it, they extended their record to 8-1 and continued their march up the Associated Press rankings to 12th. But that's not to say Coach John Thompson III was pleased, characterizing the squad as mentally flat. Freshman center Greg Monroe failed to score in double figures for the first time this season (eight points), and the Hoyas shot a season-low 38 percent. Florida International, which has lost seven of its last eight games, isn't likely to push the Hoyas on offense. But Thompson's displeasure surely will.

FINAL TUNEUP: Tuesday's game is the Hoyas' last before Big East play begins. When they return from the holiday break, they'll travel to Hartford for a conference-opener against No. 2 Connecticut. That's followed by No. 3 Pittsburgh at home and a road game against No. 8 Notre Dame. Georgetown started the season with more questions than answers, having lost two key starters from last year's Big East regular-season championship team, but has outperformed prognosticators so far. Picked to finished seventh in the Big East, they're now fourth among conference rivals in the latest AP poll.

INTERNATIONAL INDEED: The Golden Panthers' Web site asks that the team be referred to as FIU rather than Florida International University. But the "I" is apt. Miami's public research university boasts basketball players from Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Senegal and Serbia. And its coach, Sergio Rouco, was born in Cuba and moved to Miami at age 3. Hit hard by injuries, the team has elevated one of its six walk-ons to the starting lineup. It has the Sun Belt's least productive offense (56.2 ppg) but is among its better defensive teams, holding opponents to 63.1 points per game.

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