POSTGAME QUOTES: St. John’s vs. Georgetown

March 7, 2018

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Head Coach Chris Mullin

On having five players in double figures and sharing the basketball:
“A lot of our sets have multiple options and it’s up to Justin [Simon] and Shamorie [Ponds] to make the right reads. They’ve done a great job of that all year. Exceptional in the second half. I thought their command of the reads and the command of their teammates was exceptional and sharing the ball, being unselfish.”

On what was different in tonight’s game compared to the previous two against Georgetown:
“All the games have been really close games, and ironically or not, they really shot the three ball against us and they had nine at halftime. I thought our defense was much better in the second half. I thought the first half, they got too many open looks too many walk-in 3s. No resistance. I thought we were fortunate to be only down six at halftime. And I thought our defense picked up in the second half and offensively we kind of got moving. And, like I said, Justin and Shamorie really dictated the flow of the game.”

On what adjustments were made at halftime:
“I think we really just got more aggressive. I thought Marvin [Clark II] pressed up on [Marcus] Derrickson more beyond the 3-point line. I thought Tariq [Owens] put more pressure on, and Amar [Alibegovic] did a good job on Govan. They just were getting easy looks. The other part of that I thought Justin and Shamorie contained the ball better. They were getting some blow-bys which were opening up those 3-point shots. They guarded the ball better, kept the guards out of the paint and made them shoot contested twos. At halftime I tried everything -- we played zone and full-court press and we just weren't playing defense. And they flipped the switch at halftime and did a much better job.”

On the message going forward into tomorrow’s game vs. Xavier:
“I just told them the biggest thing right now is to get some rest. Eat a good meal. Get some rest. When you're playing a team for the third time there's less preparation you have to do, everyone knows the personnel. We know what kind of game either team's going to play. Everyone knows each other's inside and out personnel, game plans and things like that. Xavier is one of the most physical teams  in the league offensively and defensively. We'll get on that a little bit tonight and do a little quick little film in the morning and be ready to go.”

On Patrick Ewing’s first year as a head coach:
“I've known him for about 30 years or so, more than that, probably -- but he's the same person he was when I first met him. And his work ethic, his discipline, that's going to carry over to anything he does. Obviously, he did that as a player. He did it as an assistant coach in the NBA for many years. I think he's done a tremendous job in his first year, not only record-wise, but I think the way they play, the type of team. To me it resembles him, they're aggressive, unselfish, they work hard and he's very demanding. That's who he is.”

On Justin Simon:
“Anytime we want to run Shamorie and Justin in the thick of it on offense and defense … he picked up a quick two fouls. Definitely had an impact on our first half. Like I said, it was one of the other reasons I thought we were fortunate to be only down six points at halftime. It's also a tough situation coming off and not playing minutes and not really getting any rhythm. I thought he and Marvin did a great job. I thought they struggled in the first half but came out and really played a great second half.”

On guarding Marcus Derrickson:
“Yeah, both he and Govan, we started off doubling them, and then it wasn't working too well. We were not aggressive on our rotation. So we went away from it. So the first half, like I said, they got whatever they wanted. We kind of went back to just traditional straight up man-to-man, put the pressure on our guys to guard their guy and they did so.”

On beating Patrick Ewing and Georgetown:
“Like I said, those two games were, you know, just toss-ups. So not for any -- I don't really look at it as a coaching matchup. … I know I'd rather coach against him than play against him. It's a lot easier on my body.”

On whether there were flashbacks to 1984 or 1985 against Ewing:
“Probably the biggest difference is we're friends now, and we weren't then at all. So we didn't even talk. We'll goof around here and there. I think we both understand, you try and prepare our guys the best we can and then give them all the tools that they can have so they can go out and perform well. I want my guys to perform well, feel good about their games and win. That's what I want for them. So we try to do all that out in practice. When the game starts, we're going to make adjustments and do some things in timeouts but the players are going to dictate. We know that better than anybody, Patrick and I. The one difference is we'll goof around a little bit. There was no goofing when I played against him -- I saw today he took his tie off during the game. I said, what are you doing? He said he was getting hot.”

Redshirt sophomore guard Justin Simon

On the back-to-back alley-oop plays in the first half:
“I mean, that definitely gave the team a little spark. We fed off that and went on a little run. In the second half, like coach said, we just stepped up defensively and just got more aggressive and rebounded the ball.”

Sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds:
On whether St. John’s can make some noise in the BIG EAST Tournament:
“I mean for sure, each and every game we showed that we can compete with anybody in the country. Our mindset going into the BIG EAST Tournament was one game at a time. We know we can do it.”

On how his health during the game:
“Right before the game I was feeling good. It didn’t give me any pain. I was not paying mind to it. I played through it.”




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