By the end of its 67-47 exhibition victory over Palmeiras of Brazil last night, Georgetown's basketball team had done what it had accomplished so many times on the way to the national championship last season.
The Hoyas, colder than the McDonough Gym hot dogs early, wore down the opposition and won going away.
"They're impressive," said Palmeiras center Bob Misevicius, who played at Providence in the mid-70s. "The strong point's their depth. They come at you, wave after wave after wave, just like the ocean."
For Georgetown fans, the most significant aspect was the emergence of 6-foot-8 freshman Ronnie Highsmith, an Army veteran, as a replacement for Michael Graham, whose play at power forward was a key to the Hoyas' drive to the NCAA title.
Graham, who was among the 3,400 spectators, is not playing this season because of academic problems. Highsmith showed the potential to be as effective by the end of his first season as Graham was at his.
He finished with only four points and three rebounds in 17 minutes. But, while each member of the starting five was scoring between nine and 12 points, Highsmith was running the floor well and, on one possession, blocked two straight shots by Misevicius, Palmeiras' leading scorer with 12 points.
"I think he should be a very good player for us," Coach John Thompson said afterward. "He's got a lot of formal things to learn about the game. He'll be there (by the end of the season)."
Thompson said Highsmith has been slowed by a leg injury.
Thompson played Highsmith and freshman Grady Mateen for long periods to acclimate them to Georgetown's game, and 6-4 Perry McDonald, the other freshman to play last night, had seven points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.
Georgetown trailed, 16-13, after the first 12 minutes, making just four of its first 21 shots. The Hoyas were not playing with their usual pizazz on defense. "We wanted to apply pressure, but the kids were tentative," Thompson said.
But Reggie Williams scored eight of his team-high 12 points in the next 4 1/2 minutes, and Georgetown led, 25-20. After Misevicius made two free throws, Billy Martin (10 points, six rebounds) scored two baskets and Michael Jackson one and the Hoyas led at halftime, 31-22.
After Georgetown took a 46-30 lead, Palmeiras closed to 46-40 before the Hoyas held the Brazilians scoreless for almost seven minutes and led, 61-40.
Georgetown announced that freshman guard Kevin Floyd from Inglewood, Calif., has been hospitalized for observation since Tuesday with a mild abdominal infection.