For the first time in its basketball history, Georgetown is ranked in the top 10 in both the AP and UPI polls. The Hoyas have moved up to ninth in the AP and 10th in the UPI rankings.
In College Park, folks must be wondering what Maryland has to do to convince the UPI voters (a panel of coaches) it belongs in the top 20. UPI left the Terrapins, fresh from a 67-66 win over still No. 1 Notre Dame, out of the top 20. The Terrapins did move into the AP rankings, taking over No. 17 spot.
Neither Georgetown nor Maryland has much time to think about the polls since both take on tough opponents tonight.
The Terrapins, 3-2 in ACC play and 14-5 overall, host Virginia, 3-3 and 12-6, at Cole Field House (WJLA-TV 7) at 9 p.m.
Georgetown (16-2), riding a sevengame winning streak, hopes to victimize Oral Roberts (10-9) at friendly McDonough Arena at 8 tonight (WTTG-TV-5).
Thompson refused to become overly enthusiastic about his team's high ranking.
"The rankings are nice for recognition. They're good for the fans and the alumni," said Thompson. "But, the final ranking will be determined on the court at the end of the season. Everyone has his own opinionof which teams should be in the top 10 in the country."
The Hoyas, shooting 52.4 percent from the floor, are off to their best start in the school's history, including victories over Maryland, St. John's, and Penn. Freshman Eric Floyd is GU's leading scorer, averaging 17.2 points per contest. Craig Shelton has shot 71 percent from the floor the last six games and is ranked 14th nationally in field-goal percentage (62.2) among Division I players. The 6-foot-7 junior is scoring at a 15.8 clip.
Point guard John Duren, who recently went over the 1,000-point mark, is averaging 13.8 points and six assists per game. The Hoyas' 6-11 center, Tom (Mount) Scates, has blocked 22 shots in his last three games to give him a season total of 44.
In other games tonight, American (6-1 in ECC play and 11-8 overall) plays St. Joseph's (5-1 and 10-7) in Philadelphia, George Washington (8-9) visits Penn State (7-14) and George Mason (11-5) plays at Baptist College of South Carolina (2-16).
American, led by Boo Bowers (23.2), will have to be alert for slowdown strategy St. Joseph's used to upset Georgetown, 37-36, earlier in the season. Hawk Coach Jim Lynam, who coached AU for five years, knows the Eagle personnel about as well as anyone.