Facing a .500 team before its first matchup with a ranked opponent, Georgetown might want to be wary of looking past UNC Asheville.
The 16th-ranked Hoyas try to remain undefeated Saturday when they host the Bulldogs, who put a scare into a Top 25 squad on the road in their most recent game.
Georgetown (5-0) already has had some close calls against unheralded teams, opening the season with a 62-59 victory over Old Dominion and fighting off some pesky opponents to win last week's Charleston Classic. The Hoyas had big leads cut to single digits in the second half against Coastal Carolina and Wofford, then trailed shortly after halftime before beating North Carolina State 82-67 in the title game Sunday.
"We're going to play good teams every night and we have to mentally, physically, emotionally be honed in and focused like we were in the second half tonight," coach John Thompson III said.
A very good team awaits Thompson's squad Tuesday, when it visits No. 11 Missouri.
It may seem Saturday's game should serve as little more than a tune-up, but the Hoyas might not want to take UNC Asheville lightly. The Bulldogs (2-2) visited No. 25 North Carolina on Tuesday and trailed by 22 in the second half, but pulled within six with 5 minutes to play before losing 80-69.
"I don't want to use any terminology like scared or anything like that, because we're not," coach Eddie Biedenbach said. "Our guys are good players. They respond to the challenges."
Biedenbach's squad certainly will get one from the Hoyas' experienced, three-guard backcourt.
Austin Freeman, the Big East preseason player of the year, is averaging 17.8 points while shooting 56.1 percent from the field. Fellow senior Chris Wright was named MVP of the Charleston Classic after averaging 15.7 points and 8.0 assists in three games. Junior Jason Clark adds 15.8 points per game on 54.9 percent shooting.
All three are hitting better than 46 percent from 3-point range.
That trio scored 46 points Sunday while forward Hollis Thompson led the Hoyas with 18. Georgetown broke open the game with a 15-0 second-half run in its first matchup with a major conference opponent.
"This just shows that any night we can fight adversity," Wright said.
The Hoyas have held their last two opponents under 40 percent from the field and have not allowed more than 67 points. UNC Asheville hasn't been held below 67 this season.
"We've got another tough assignment in Georgetown," Biedenbach told the Bulldogs' official website. "I've been very impressed with them from watching them on film. They play great defense and can beat you offensively in a lot of different ways. We're going to get a very tough test."
The Bulldogs have two talented guards of their own in juniors Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm, who average 18.8 and 16.5 points, respectively.
While UNC Asheville is 0-10 against Big East teams, Georgetown is 11-0 versus the Big South.