The two things Georgetown Coach John Thompson is determined not to do in the wake of consecutive losses by his team are overreact and overanalyze.
A 14-point loss last week at Texas El-Paso and Thursday night's 80-76 loss in the Big East opener at Pittsburgh may have casual observers asking, "What's wrong with the Hoyas?" The answer, probably, is nothing. But Thompson isn't even bothering to consider the question.
Thompson's primary concern today will be the Providence Friars (8-3), who were picked by many to finish last in the Big East, but took St. John's into overtime Thursday before losing, 95-90. Georgetown and Providence will play at 2 p.m. at Capital Centre.
Thompson broke with routine and did not review film of the loss at Pitt before practice yesterday. "I didn't want to look at the film before practice because I didn't want to get overly critical or start finding fault when there's no reason to do so."
Thompson said he purposely didn't watch any Big East replays on television Thursday, to insure that he didn't overreact. But he did see Providence earlier this season and noted his alma mater "is running more and pressing more" under first-year Coach Rick Pitino.
The 11th-ranked Hoyas (9-2) found it difficult to run or press Thursday night at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena because the Panthers shot 62 percent in the second half.
The Hoyas almost never gave up those kinds of numbers the past four years, when 7-foot Patrick Ewing was roaming the middle on defense. Pitt's Joey David said afterward, "We all talked about how Patrick was gone, and we should be able to do certain things teams didn't do in the past.
"They still press well defensively, but once you beat it, he's not there to throw it back out at you. I wish he had left two years ago."
But a large part of the reason Georgetown lost is that Pitt is a good team, probably a top-25 team, and was playing at home. If Pitt's victory was an upset, it was a mild one. "The last time we beat them (in 1983), it was a shock," Pitt Coach Roy Chipman said. "This time, I think everybody thinks Pitt's a good team."
Thompson said he told his players before the start of the season, "This is not going to be any ice cream-and-cake affair."
Seton Hall's close game with Villanova, Providence taking St. John's into overtime and Pitt's victory say a lot about the Big East. "I think it's going to be really tight," Thompson said. "Even when there were so-called dominant teams, it was tough. We never have gone undefeated and I don't think anybody else has, either. I can't look at one Big East team and see an easy game."