The Georgetown Cavalcade of Patsies continued last night, with the Hoyas holding Southern University-New Orleans scoreless for the opening 5 1/2 minutes in a 79-43 rout at McDonough Arena.
"New Orleans?" said Joey Meyer, the De Paul assistant who thought he was coming to scout the Blue Demons' Dec. 29 opponent against the Division I Southern team from Baton Rouge. Meyer also came to recruit McKinley Tech forward William Martin in the preliminary, which was the main event for some college coaches present.
By halftime, Meyer was trying to find a quick flight home. "His (Martin's) coach is ticked off, so he won't let recruiters talk to the kid. And it's a 40-point game. Maybe I can get a 10 p.m. flight home."
No such luck.
But if Meyer, the son of De Paul Coach Ray Meyer, got nothing out of this evening, Georgetown Coach John Thompson certainly did.
He started freshman Ray Knight at power forward and was able to test out a variety of lineups, including one with four guards, in the third straight home mismatch for the Hoyas, who have won them by a total of 108 points.
This was such a night for experimenting that even the Hoyas sloppy play in the middle part of the game did not bother the coach. "I caused a lot of the confusion by rotating lineups," Thompson said. "It was the last game I had a chance to try some things and experiment."
Starting Knight, a 6-foot-9 freshman with vast potential, was one of those experiments. Another -- the lineup that worked best for the Hoyas last night -- was power oriented, with 7-foot Mike Frazier at center alongside 6-7 forwards Mike Hancock and Jeff Bullis.
That slows down this team that rose to national prominence with a foundation of quickness. Yet, it was the first time Hancock and Bullis had played together (they usually replace each other at power forward) and it gave the Hoyas a better passing, if slower, lineup.
That combination accounted for 17 points and eight field goal attempts without a miss in a 19-4 spree that gave the Hoyas 33-10 control with six minutes left in the first half.
Things get more serious Saturday when the 4-2 Hoyas renew a tense rivalry with George Washington at the Smith Center. Knight again will be a reserve, but Thompson knows he and fellow freshmen Fred Brown and Gene Smith, both guards, will have to play primary roles if this team is to succeed in February and March.
"I'm satisfied with the hardness with which the kids are playing," Thompson said. "We have some way to go to do what we want to accomplish. . . tWe're a ways behind last year. It's not anything I didn't expect."
And, thus, Thompson said playing three straight patsies benefitted his team more than playing tougher competition. "I couldn't have done some of the things I did. It's better to get some of the younger kids ready now. With this team, it's better to play them (the patsies)."