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“This is what they’re supposed to do,” senior guard Jason Clark said of the youngsters.

Added Starks, in a matter-of-fact voice: “It’s just another game against a very good team. American (which Georgetown beat earlier this month) was a very good team, just like Louisville was a very good team.”

Then Starks allowed a smile.

“Happy holidays, everyone,” he said.

Thompson, on his way out of the room, shook his head and the coach, too, couldn’t stifle a grin.