Postgame Quotes: Rutgers 58, St. John's 56

Obekpa tied a St. John's single-season record with 76 blocks, just 15 games into the season.

Jan. 9, 2013

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Untitled Document

Head Coach Steve Lavin

Opening Statement:

“What I shared with the kids after the game was that we're the same group, the same team that made some plays down the stretch at Cincinnati to get the win. This evening, against Rutgers, we weren’t able to convert, get the stops and make the plays that allow you to win in the BIG EAST. It's back to work tomorrow.  There are some positives tonight; I thought there were some good stretches, but at the end of the day, we weren’t able to make the plays to get over the hump, and Rutgers had a lot to do with that. We have to tip our hat to them and give them credit for a BIG EAST victory.”

On overcoming a rough start:

“It was a typical BIG EAST grinder like so many of these games are. You've got well-prepared teams who know each other’s sets and individual personnel scouts.  Defensively, there were a couple of drives but we reached all our goals and we out rebounded them. We held [Eli] Carter in check; I’m not sure if he's had a game like this all year, 2-12. That was our big focus, [Myles] Mack and [Eli] Carter. “

On having a young team:

“I knew this year was going to be the most challenging of my career because of how young we are. The kids are still getting a sense for one another, getting a sense of the level of play in the BIG EAST and our system and style of play.

On forward Chris Obekpa defensively:

“He's such a joy and pleasure to coach and a very unique and rare talent. He's central like a soccer goalie. He protects the rim so well but he moves his feet and learns very quickly. Not only does he block shots, but also because he talks, he's kind of like the air traffic control tower out there, he anchors our defense. He's quick enough to come out and has nimble feet so he can slide and stay in front of guards. He has the length also to bother a guard.”

Sophomore guard D'Angelo Harrison

On the final play:

“I had a clean look, but talking to the coaching staff after the game, I had a bigger man on me. I should've attacked his feet and forced the official to call a foul or make a play. I should've gone to the basket. I have to learn from it and improve next time.”

Freshman forward/center Chris Obekpa

On tonight’s energy level:

“I don't know what was going through everyone’s head, but in my mind every game is the same. You have to commit 100 percent. It doesn't matter if it’s a home game or an away game; you have to play 100 percent.”

On leading Division I in blocks:

“I’m not focused on the personal records. It's about the whole team. It's about winning. I’m not worried if I'm leading the country or not. If we don't win, it doesn't mean anything. If we win, then I’ll be happier.”

Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice

On the game against St. John’s:

“It is nice to have seniors and guys who have been through the wars and respond the right way. In the second half, Dane [Miller] and Austin [Johnson] did a tremendous job. The seniors stepped up along with the rest of the guys. ‘Why not us’ - is what I keep telling the guys. They need to follow the formula, hang in there and good things are going to happen.”




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