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They’re learning about themselves as we learn about them, particularly the 10 underclassmen.

The preseason trip to China and subsequent brawl served as a speed course in team-building. The trek to Maui provided a glimpse of the possibilities, with a close loss against Kansas and a victory against Memphis. The foray into Alabama — where the Crimson Tide had won 24 consecutive home games — delivered a convincing argument that the Hoyas were ahead of schedule.

For good measure, though, Georgetown visited Louisville and knocked off the undefeated Cardinals.

Coach Thompson refuses to be swayed by outside opinion, whether it’s the current No. 9 ranking or being ranked 10th in the Big East’s preseason poll. He doesn’t build expectations for the pace of development, judging whether the Hoyas are ahead or behind at given points in the season. He just wants the team to believe in each other, believe in the system and believe in working hard on defense.

“With this group, all we’re concerned with is accumulating wins,” he said. “Some nights it’s going to be pretty, a lot of nights in this league it’s not going to be pretty.”

All things considered in these parts, every win is pretty.