Bright and early Monday morning, we can imagine an earnest fellow in the NCAA office addressing a package as follows:
Washington, D.C., 20057
Inside will be the national championship trophy -- for 1985. And a note: "Dear John, why belabor the obvious? Even if we could coax Michael Jordan back for his senior year, you'd win this going away. Besides, we wanted to beat the new postal rates . . . "
Is there any other move? Make it large rectangular bookends for the Hoyas, back-to-back NCAA titles. Cancel the rest of the season; pack Al McGuire and Billy Packer in ice; order everybody to crash the books instead of the boards.
Sadly, this could be the most boring college basketball season since those LewCLA and Walton Gang years shortly after John Wooden invented the game.
When was the last time No. 1 beat No. 20 by 36 points one weekend and No. 2 by 20 the next? The Hoyas' league shouldn't be the Big East; it should be the NBA Midwest.
Thompson expected as much -- and then managed something even goofier. Somehow keeping a straight face after De Rout of De Paul yesterday at Capital Centre, he said it would have been better for the Hoyas mentally had they lost.
"Won't nobody remember this in February," Thompson insisted.
Yes, they will.
In fact, 60-some teams will remember that Georgetown whipped up on De Paul back in mid-December -- and start shaking in their sneakers at the notion of having to face them in the NCAA playoffs.
Thompson likes that.
Probably the only scholars about the land not ready to melt 20 minutes before tipoff reside in the Hoyas' own league.
St. John's knows Georgetown is human, having won once last season when its wondrous Walter Berry was in junior college; Syracuse and Villanova might muster decent challenges.
Still, keep in mind that De Paul is good. Verrrrry good. Joey Meyer has a few first-round draft choices in his stable -- and the Hoyas still doubled the score before the second TV timeout.
Most of the superior minds in hoop journalism were on hand to see if the Hoyas were that good -- and slack-jawed at the notion that they indeed appear to be.
Everybody close to the floor had to keep a tight grip on papers and hairpieces, so swiftly did Thompson's most entertaining team go about executing controlled chaos.
Well, not quite everybody was agog at the Hoyas. Michael Joyce could be seen sound asleep in the first row halfway through the first half. Michael Joyce is 6 months old -- and already able to sense a snoozer in a hurry.
Since you weren't around the last few years, Michael, it might not be such a surprise that Thompson is allowing the Hoyas to play offense this season.
Oh, the coach didn't mind when an Eric Floyd or Patrick Ewing scored the last several years; his obsession was keeping the ball out of the other team's basket.
Thompson now is all but ordering Michael Jackson to shoot; he does not fret when Reggie Williams sails some junk from 20 feet, unless it happens to clank instead of swish too often.
"We want to double the pressure," Thompson said. "We want (opponents) to run backward as much as forward. We'll run more than any of our teams at Georgetown."
This requires some adjustment.
"I want Michael Jackson to put it up this year," he offered as an example. "Lots of times I'm yelling, 'Shoot, shoot, shoot,' and he's still thinking about the old John Thompson."
The old John Thompson still argues with the new John Thompson.
"The coach has to have courage if this is to be a great team," he said, "because we'll look very sloppy at times.
"Red Auerbach always said that if you want to fast-break, you can't be afraid of turnovers. But in the past we've had two or three players on the floor who couldn't stick it."
That's no longer a concern. Shooters abound in such numbers that the Hoyas scored baskets in bunches yesterday without Ewing's touching the ball.
He hardly will mind, since the accuracy of Williams, Billy Martin, David Wingate and the others eventually will draw defenders to them -- and unclutter the inside for more of those new flip-hooks.
Williams once or twice was in a crowd, with nowhere to pass, nowhere to dribble and no way to much more than guess at where the basket might be.
Still, he shot.
And mostly scored.
Same as he did, as a freshman, under even more pressure during the Final Four last season.
"You can't put courage in a man," Thompson said of gunners such as Williams, for it takes nerve to assume control of an offense. "You can always keep the ball away from him (during cold spells)."
Georgetown has a way of causing opponents to become frosty for entire halves. Yesterday's victim was four for 23 the final 20 minutes.
In addition to the final numbers, the fright factor was heightened by the way they came about. This really was a December game to Thompson, and he gave freshmen Grady Mateen and Perry McDonald important minutes against quality opposition.
Mateen responded with six points and six rebounds in 17 minutes; McDonald had three steals and six points in nine minutes.
"Right now," Thompson said, "Perry's acting like a freshman. He needs a bit more Reggie Williams in him. You've not seen how good Grady is offensively."
Once more, remember that De Paul is a fine team. And the Hoyas still are good enough for freshmen to excel. Michael Joyce, nap time may come sooner and sooner.