Georgetown all-American junior Alonzo Mourning said yesterday it is "up in the air" whether he will enter next year's National Basketball Association collegiate draft, and Hoyas Coach John Thompson said he is attempting to arrange for his team to play an exhibition game for U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

Thompson, who in June passed up a $6 million offer to become general manager of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, also spoke of continuing his career at Georgetown "as long as the Jesuit fathers will have me," the impending expansion of the Big East Conference and the transfers of three players since the middle of last season.

Mourning, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Chesapeake, Va., previously spoke of attending Georgetown for four years and earning his degree during that time. Yesterday he sounded considerably less certain.

"It's really up in the air right now," he said during a session with the media on the Hoyas' first day of practice for the 1990-91 season at McDonough Arena. "I really can't predict what can happen. All I can really do now is concentrate on the situation at hand and get prepared for the season."

Asked if he felt this statement represented a change in his attitude toward completing four years at Georgetown, he replied:

"I don't think it's too much of a change because it's always been up in the air. I think my parents, especially my mother, want me to get my degree before anything. But she really bases it on my decision, and it would be good to get my degree. . . . As far as I'm concerned I'd prefer to get my degree before I do anything, but I can't predict anything."

Barring injury or something else unforeseen, Mourning likely would be among the first players selected -- possibly the first -- in the 1991 NBA draft.

Thompson said his inquiries about a game in Saudi Arabia started because the Hoyas' Nov. 2 exhibition game against the U.S. Army team from Fort Hood was canceled because of the military reassignment of the team's members.

"We have been inquiring, and still are, as to whether something can be worked out," he said. " . . . If somebody can work out the logistics -- get us there and get us out of there -- I would love to do it because I think the troops over there" would enjoy it.

Such a game would be just another chapter in Thompson's unpredictable career at Georgetown, which is entering its 19th season and shaping up to be one of his more challenging. Five players graduated and guard David Edwards and forwards Michael Tate and Milton Bell transferred. But Thompson said he was "very comfortable" about their departures.

"You make decisions based on what is in the best interest of people," he said. "If it is determined through them and through us that it serves a person's interest better to be somewhere else, then that's where he should go. . . . We've never had anybody leave here in the time that I have been here who I was not comfortable with them leaving. I've never had anybody leave here who I thought should stay either. That doesn't mean there was something wrong with those individuals. You make a decision that's in the best interest of those people."

Of the Big East's decision to add the University of Miami, Thompson said: "It's a necessary evil. I would have preferred to stay the way we were, and that's no reflection on Miami. But in order to satisfy football, we had to expand the league. We may have to expand it even more."

Meanwhile, other area teams -- each with their own aspirations -- began workouts in earnest yesterday.

Five years ago yesterday, Mike Jarvis, then the new coach at Boston University, had to cut short his first practice because of condensation from the ice of a hockey rink below the basketball court.

There were no such problems yesterday in his first day at George Washington, and though Jarvis said the Colonials aren't quite ready to take on a powerhouse such as Duke, the afternoon was a success.

"Maybe tomorrow we can handle Duke; I want Coach K {Mike Krzyzewski}, but not today," Jarvis said. "Really, things went as well as a first day could go. We had 15 bodies walk in and 15 bodies walk out and for the next two to three weeks that's really my goal. From that point of view, the day was very successful."

At Howard, new coach Butch Beard's first task will be to try to stop a skid in which the Bison dropped their last six games in 1989-90 en route to an 8-20 record. Howard is 17-39 the past two seasons.

George Mason has an upgraded schedule that it hopes will draw more attention to the program.

"Usually you want to see what you have but we've got so many kids back that we know who can play," Coach Ernie Nestor said. "What we're really trying to do is focus on our early non-league games."

CAA rival Navy might be hurt by the loss of two team members who chose not to play. Guard Joe Gottschalk, a three-year letterman, told school officials he had lost his competitive fire. Forward Doug Fee reportedly was having trouble with a knee that caused him to miss the 1988-89 season.