When you are 0-8, having surrendered an average of 106 points per game and have a basketball team full of freshmen (oh yeah, and one sophomore), facing the No. 1 team in the nation amounts to little more than just another game. There is no reason to be intimidated.
Morgan State's 6-foot-8 freshman center Anthony Brown certainly wasn't last night. He was downright disappointed he didn't get to play against Georgetown's Patrick Ewing.
The 7-foot all-America sat out his first game in four years to rest a slightly sprained left hand. His cheerleading contributions were enough last night as his teammates, trying their darndest to look serious, rushed past the Bears, 89-62, before 3,954 at Capital Centre.
As they had in their previous seven games, the unbeaten Hoyas relied on stifling defensive pressure and balanced scoring. They took an early lead, as usual, and made their eighth victory their highest-scoring game.
Georgetown Coach John Thompson got a good look at his younger players as each of the freshmen played a mininum of 12 minutes. All the Hoyas who played scored except for Michael Jackson, mainly because the junior point guard took only one shot in playing just 14 minutes. Senior forward Bill Martin made 10 of 12 shots from from the floor and ended with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Freshman Grady Mateen, getting the opportunity to start in the absence of Ewing and Ralph Dalton (strained knee), provided 17 points and eight rebounds. Perry McDonald and Horace Broadnax each had 12 points. Ron Highsmith had five points and 11 rebounds.
Thompson said he made the decision to hold Ewing out a couple of days ago because the hand was still slightly swollen. Ewing is expected to play Saturday at New Mexico.
"Patrick told me he could play and he could have played. But I felt if we could get away with it, I wouldn't use him," Thompson said. "I'm not very secure when he's not playing."
Brown said he dreamed all week about playing against Ewing. "I wanted to run past the coach and tell him to put him in," said Brown, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Baltimore school put forth one of its better efforts of a season in which it gained unwanted notoriety when it was discovered it had three ineligible players. Assistant coach Ray McMillan was appointed interim head coach, replacing Thomas Dean, who was serving as both coach and athletic director.
"It was youth against experience out there," McMillan said. "You'd be surprised how much they pick up just playing against them (Georgetown). It's a big difference from watching and scouting them to actually being on the floor with them. Our team can't do anything but learn.
"Sometimes, I look out there and say, 'Omigod, they've developed a brand new offense.' "
Georgetown sprinted out to a 14-2 lead but the Bears closed to 26-20 on a basket by Tom Foster with just over 10 minutes to halftime.
But before one could say "Hoyas!" the lead had grown to 12, 16 and finally 21 at intermission.
"We're still not as good as people are saying we are," Thompson said. "We are still lacking a lot in execution. People look at Morgan State and say they are overmatched, but you have to do the things you're capable of or anyone can beat you. But it was good we could get the freshmen some playing time."