INDIANAPOLIS, AUG. 21 -- Sitting high above the court, where he could get a good look at every single action and reaction of the U.S. men's basketball team, John Thompson is no casual observer at the Pan American Games.

For Thompson, head coach of the 1988 Olympic basketball team, and the staff he announced today, this is another step in the process of putting together the U.S. team.

Thompson said today his entire staff at Georgetown is assisting in the process, and that University of Southern California Coach George Raveling and St. Peter's Athletic Director Bill Stein will be his assistants. Mary Fenlon, academic coordinator/assistant coach at Georgetown, will work for Thompson in an administrative capacity.

Thompson said he has recommended that the Olympic trials be held at UCLA. Thereafter, the team would practice and train at Georgetown. The Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America would have to approve Thompson's recommendations, which shouldn't be a problem.

This is a reunion of sorts for Thompson and Stein, a close friend who helped Thompson make Georgetown a national power before leaving for St. Peter's at the end of the 1981-82 season. Stein has been here much of the week, scouting possible opponents.

Raveling, a former University of Maryland assistant, was an assistant coach of the 1984 Olympic team under Bob Knight. Raveling, Thompson said, will be here for Sunday's gold medal game between the United States and Brazil.

After that, Thompson will head to Seoul, site of the '88 Games, on an exploratory trip. "George {also a close friend}, Mary and I are going because I just feel I need to get a reading, a feel for the entire experience," Thompson said.

"Reading about the political climate is one thing, but I need to go there and see the village, identify some practice sites, meet with some people who can help us in the basic endeavors.

". . . I just wouldn't feel comfortable bringing 15 or 16 of somebody else's children into Korea without having a general feeling for the situation myself."

Stein and Raveling -- in addition to Georgetown assistants Craig Esherick and Mike Riley -- will do the bulk of scouting foreign teams. Thompson said he will concern himself primarily with the U.S. team.