POSTGAME QUOTES: St. John's vs. Georgetown

Jan. 9, 2018

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St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin

On the game and coaching against Patrick Ewing:
“It wasn’t the most artistic game, but I do think both teams played hard. That’s a start for both of us. As far as execution, layups and stuff like that, it was a pretty sloppy game, but I think overall the effort was there. If you look at the stats, it was basically a one-possession game after all is said and done. Patrick and I have a long relationship, and I have a lot of respect for him. It’s such a surreal and unique circumstance. I told someone yesterday that there was 100% chance that I never would have been here and coaching St. John’s against Patrick Ewing coaching Georgetown. We’ve known each other for so long and been through so many things, so it was just another thing that we are doing. I think we both understand that when the game starts, the game starts. We are just both trying to win. That’s all it’s about.”

On the reaction of being 0-5 in BIG EAST play:
“I’m not concerned about predictions and expectations. Of those five games, we had those two duds at home. With those other three, if we can take those defensive efforts and match it with some offensive execution, we are going to be okay. That’s exactly what I told my team. The only thing that’s going to distract us or keep us down is a negative mindset. If you look at tonight, we forced 22 turnovers, had 10 blocks, and 13 steals. That’s getting after it. We have to be a little less careless with the ball and finish some shots. ... We’re not going to try and undo what has gone on, but we just have to keep competing and keep working hard. Things will turn for us.”


 

 

On where the program is currently at:
“There’s been a lot of improvements, no question. Into the third year, that process continues. You can’t really map it out exactly because it’s not always a straight line up. You’re going to hit some peaks and valleys, and that’s the important part. Everyone has an idea of how they want it to go, but that timeline is always variable. If you maintain the things that we think are the right thing to do on a daily basis, it will turn.”

On whether closing out games is the next step:
“Again, the games we’ve played are all on defense, and I thought our defense was good again tonight. I just think that we’re a little loose or careless with the ball. We just have to tighten that up. It’s hard to see live, but I think there were some layups, loose balls, and we’d make some good stops but we gave up 19 offensive rebounds. You’re putting in a lot of effort, but not getting the ball back. We have to get those rebounds. We had a few breaks early in the first half, but didn’t convert. … I told them after the game that they are doing the work. They are doing the hard stuff. Now we have to clean up the execution.”

On Marcus LoVett’s status:
“He’s probably going to get on the floor tomorrow. He’s been doing his workouts with strength and conditioning, but we’ll see. He’s been working on that knee, and we will see how it goes. I’m planning to get him on the court tomorrow.”

On the current effort on defense:
“I think our defense has been solid. I don’t think we get enough reward from that good effort. The reasons for that may vary, whether it be missed layups, finishing that possession with a clean rebound and run out, so that kind of wears on you a little bit.”

On whether the atmosphere was nostalgic:
“A little bit. I think when you’ve played in a lot of games, the nostalgia becomes something you talk about before. However, when the game starts, you become concerned with making layups, getting rebounds, and stuff. There’s really not a lot of time for other stuff. When we finally got going, it got loud in here.”

 

Redshirt junior forward Marvin Clark II

On the reaction of being 0-5 in BIG EAST play:
“It’s definitely kind of surprising, but at the same time, we’re right there. We just have to figure out how to get over the hump. I feel like once we do that, we will be fine. We just have to figure out how. It’s definitely surprising.”

On what is said in the locker room:
“In this game our defensive stats were off the charts. We just allowed too many offensive rebounds and they hit a tough three. That was kind of the dagger. On the defensive end, that’s exactly what any coach would want. We are playing hard, but we just have to figure out how to stop coming up short.”


Redshirt sophomore guard Justin Simon...

On the reaction of being 0-5 in BIG EAST play:
“It is frustrating losing. Especially knowing that you have the pieces to win. It’s just the little things that we have to lock in on both halves. We’re right there. We have the pieces, we have the staff, and just have to find a way to put it all together. That’s how we will get a victory.”

On remaining confident despite poor start in conference play:
“We have a close group this year. We just have to stay together, watch film, get back in the lab, and then go to work. It’s tough. We play to win, but we just have to stay together. We’re right there like Marvin [Clark II] said. We just have to compete every game for 40 minutes.”

 

Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing…

On getting a victory back at Madison Square Garden:
“It feels good. As you know I have had a lot of great memories here. I’ve had ups and downs and a lot of good and bad memories against that guy [Chris Mullin]. It was good to be back and the game was just like the old times, it was a knock down drag up fight. It was one of those ugly games, but I was just happy that we got the win. The guys fought hard, we made some mistakes, but we played hard. Especially the way that we played against Creighton this was a great way to bounce back. They did all the things they needed to do to get the win.”

On talking to Chris Mullin before the game:
“Chris and I have developed a great friendship over the years and before the game I was joking with him because I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a tie. He told me he wore it in my honor so that was his sweater. At the end of the game, I told him it was a tough call.”

On Jessie Govan’s performance:
“Jessie made a tough shot for us, 18 points, 13 rebounds, I’ve been riding him a lot. I’m trying to get the best out of him and I told him this is the time of the year if he wants to try to get to the next level. These are the times he has to play at his best and he did in the second half. They were trying to do things to frustrate him. He got some offensive rebounds, put-backs, he got to the free throw line and that was a big three he made.”

On playing St. John’s:
“I think it’s a great rivalry. Both teams, both schools have a rich tradition. Before myself and Chris came, there was Louis [Carnesecca] and Coach [John] Thompson [III]. You had the sweater game. Then, you had myself and Chris playing against each other in BIG EAST tournaments and regular season games. And, now it’s gone full circle. Now, you have both of us coaching against each other. So. I think it’s what dreams are made of. You have two guys who grew up, I’m from Jamaica and he’s from Brooklyn and we both play a sport we love, battled each other, became friends, and won two gold medals together. Now, we’re battling each other again.”

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