Georgetown won its home opener by 36 points over Virginia Military Institute in a game yesterday that wasn't competitive long. But if you're Coach John Thompson, you look beyond the 81-45 final score and see things that need improving.

One trying to put his postgame critique together with what went on on the court might be confused, but Thompson was not totally happy with his Hoyas' defensive effort.

"We're trying to get the ball out and run, and we're making a lot of mistakes in doing it," Thompson said. "But I think that's always the case in the beginning of the year when you're starting off. You try to apply more man pressure full court, and you're going to foul. We made some very foolish fouls at times when we should have just moved our feet and let them throw the ball away, as opposed to reaching in . . .it's just timing at this point."

Georgetown got balanced scoring. Perry McDonald (14 points), Charles Smith (12) and Mark Tillmon (11) led the way for the 3-0 Hoyas, who were out of the gate quickly before 5,421 at Capital Centre.

The Hoyas started with a 12-0 run, hitting four of their first five shots. VMI (1-2), with only one starter above 6 feet 5, managed to get a shot blocked, hit the rim but once and commit three turnovers and an offensive foul.

Anthony Allen's offensive rebound basket started the push. McDonald hit a pullup jumper off transition, Tillmon buried a three-pointer from the left corner, Dwayne Bryant scored from the top of the key, McDonald made a free throw and Bryant went to the left base line for a slam.

Game, set and match right there, for all intents. In the first half, the Keydets endured scoreless spans of five minutes, two minutes, three minutes and nearly six minutes. VMI shot 17 percent (five for 27) in the half.

If you're VMI Coach Joe Cantafio, you also look beyond the score between mismatched teams:

"I tell you what, our kids really handled the pressure pretty good. I don't think there's anybody in captivity who's going to put more pressure on us than Georgetown. That's the nature of the way they play."

The Keydets went from the 13-minute mark of the first half to 2:39 without a field goal. By that time, it was 39-13. But there are bigger fish to fry for the Hoyas.

"Coach Thompson is very demanding and he didn't like what he saw . . ." McDonald said. "It's obvious we need more work on defense. You can never be comfortable with where you are right now. He just wants us to work hard for the big games, for the Syracuses and Pittsburghs."

Georgetown used the second half to work on its running and inside game, and with all 14 players playing, it at times made for sloppy play.

"The kids are trying to get an understanding of what I want," Thompson said. "Roles have changed, just a little bit, because of Reggie {Williams} not being here. I think these kids have worked very hard. They were a part of a very successful team last year and they want to be good this year. {But} we have an awful long ways to go."