WASHINGTON (AP)—When this season’s Big East schedule came out, John Thompson III could only chuckle.
The Georgetown coach saw that his team would face Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame—all top 10 teams—in its first three conference games in the space of just a week.
“That’s an interesting start,” Thompson said.
No. 12 Georgetown appears ready for its matchup with No. 2 UConn on Dec. 29.
“We have gotten better since our first practice, since our first game,” Thompson said.
On Tuesday night, the Hoyas polished off undermanned Florida International 76-38.
Austin Freeman scored 17 points, Chris Wright had 14 and DaJuan Summers added 13 for Georgetown (9-1).
The Hoyas, who won their sixth straight, completely outclassed the Golden Panthers (4-9), who scored the fewest points in their history.
Florida International dressed 10 players—five of them walk-ons—and it was quickly apparent they weren’t in the Hoyas’ class. Georgetown led 23-4 with 10:31 left and were ahead 43-16 at halftime.
Georgetown had a season-high 12 3-pointers. The Hoyas hit their first five 3-point attempts and eight of 10. Freeman was 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Thompson said the Hoyas weren’t necessarily looking for 3-pointers.
“They were there. They went in. We did not come into the game, saying ‘Let’s take a lot of 3s,”’ Thompson said. “They were the right kind of 3s.”
Michael Dominguez had 20 points for Florida International, losers of five straight and seven of eight which is missing its three leading scorers .
“I wish we would have given them a better game. I wish we would have had all our guys,” Florida International coach Sergio Rouco said. “You can’t come in here and start two walk-ons and beat Georgetown.”
Six-foot-11 freshman center Greg Monroe, who struggled against Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday, had 10 points, six rebounds and five steals for the Hoyas.
Georgetown, which has often been criticized for a supposedly soft nonconference schedule, has played two ranked teams: a loss to Tennessee in last month’s Old Spice Classic, and a rugged overtime win over Memphis on Dec. 13. Amid their conference games, they play at Duke on Jan. 17.
They have also had two absolute no-contests: a 62-point win over Savannah State on Dec. 8 and Tuesday night’s blowout.
“That team is depleted,” Thompson said of Florida International. “We’re looking at tapes and half the people we’re seeing on tapes didn’t make the trip.”
Thompson said he and the team have a lot of work to do before facing Connecticut. He said he hasn’t even looked at tapes of the Huskies, though he was impressed when he read about their win over Gonzaga on Saturday.
“They have a presence at every position,” Thompson said of UConn.
His players say that they’re eager for conference play to begin.
“This is the second half of the season,” Wright said. “We’re ready.”
Thompson is cautioning them, however.
“We’re in an unforgiving league. We have a pretty difficult start,” he said. “Our league is too talented, too deep, too strong to look ahead 20 games.”
Florida International has played 18 ranked teams in its history without a win. This was the Golden Panthers’ first game against the Hoyas since Dec. 2, 1989, when they lost 114-67.