Postgame Quotes: St. John's 110 - C.W. Post 80

Junior forward God'sgift Achiuwa led the Red Storm with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting and pulled down nine boards against C.W. Post.
Oct. 25, 2011

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St. John's Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap

Opening Statement:
"We're a new unit and you can tell we felt the game out, and our opponent did a great job at the beginning for sure. We were just trying to figure out who we were, style of play, brand new team, and I thought that our guys settled in pretty quickly. We know we need to do a better job on the defensive end of the floor, but we were trying different combinations. We had to be careful with the foul situation so that forced our hand a little bit as it will all year long. It was nice to see us come out in the second half and establish a tone where we were going to play through the paint. They (C.W. Post) had 10 points in the first 10 minutes and we had a little chat about that at halftime about not giving up the easy buckets. I was pleased with the first outing and I know the players feel pretty good about all the work they've put in."

On team rebounds being equal:
"Well that is a liability and it will be a liability all year long. 36-36 was with (Moe) Harkless sitting down a lot of the time. You saw what he could do in the second half. He's not going to shrink in the game, he's a very long player and he can really help us on the defensive boards. He's an important part of our scheme defensively. At least we know it's a liability."

On the way the team played together:
"St. John's basketball and all the team's plays are set by Coach (Steve) Lavin. We play a pass first brand of basketball, and we did that last year, and we convinced those guys that it would take them to uncharted waters as designated by coach. While coach isn't here, everybody else is the caretaker of his branding. I liked the way we shared the ball, but I don't think we shared it particularly well in the first 10 minutes. There was a flow in the second half where they relaxed and played Johnnies basketball according to Coach Lavin."

On Phil Greene's shooting ability:
"He's a pleasant surprise in a lot of areas. He and Dom (Pointer) are two guys that as the season unfolds will just continue to ascend, because they have skills that are unique, but Phil has been a pleasant surprise in practice as far as how good and mature his game is. He's going to get a lot of those shots, because their going to take care of D'Angelo (Harrison) and Nurideen (Lindsey) creates his own problems so he's going to be on the backside of the defense a lot and you'll see that he can kind of go unnoticed at times."

On if he noticed any fatigue in the team:
"Fatigue will always be an issue. The regulation and the tempo from the 10:33 mark in the second half to the seven-minute mark we sat on the lead in a way that it will allow to rest them. There are certain times in the game we're going to have to be a master of tempo. We play full-on as you can see we haven't changed a whole lot, but there are times when we can regulate what we have going on at longer stretches. These guys are young so we have to teach them that."

On if the team will have to rely solely on its offense:
"We have guys that can score as you can see by the balance. We're not going to get carried away with that, but we have guys who can score and we knew that in the early days. What we have to do is take a group of scorers and just get better each game in little pieces and convince them to buy in on how important the defense is, and that takes time."

Freshman Guard D'Angelo Harrison

On battling nerves coming into the game:
"I felt pretty good, my teammates had my back. That's the first thing, everybody's collective as a unit, and we were ready to move forward. Right after tip-off, we were just ready to go."

On what they learned today:
"We learned that we can actually play together, we all came together, everybody swinging the ball, passing the ball, giving each other high fives, jumping up in the air, stuff like that. I think we came together more as a group today collectively."

Sophomore Guard Nurideen Lindsay

On 24 team assists:
"A big part of our offense that coach emphasizes, day in and day out, is ball movement, swinging the basketball. As you all can see, we have a lot of versatile guys that can actually play a lot of different spots on the floor. Ball movement is definitely a big part of our offense. That's really one of the main keys of our offense. I wasn't surprised at the assist number. We're looking forward to getting better, working at it, and getting better."

On whether he's seen a big guy go as quickly baseline to baseline as God'sgift Achiuwa:
"He's an extremely hard worker. He works, so he understands that working hard is definitely an advantage. He runs the floor like a deer for his size. Like I said, he's an extremely hard worker, and I've never seen anybody get from rim to rim, baseline to baseline, at his size as fast as him. He works extremely hard, so I'm not surprised at all."

On what they learned today:
"Today's game was obviously an exciting game for us. It's our first game playing together. The chemistry, just seeing that the chemistry was there, seeing the way we played with each other, it was fun, while knowing that we can get better."

Junior Forward God'sgift Achiuwa

On fans chanting `God is on our side':
"That really got me going because I believe in God so much. For fans to chant that, I think that was really motivating for me to start the game."

On the team's overall play:
"I feel like we played good, but we have so many things to work on, on the defensive end especially. Coach emphasizes our defense, and we really have to work on defense in order to win."

On his quick start and ease of game:
"I didn't feel like it would come so easy, but it's something I've been working on with my coaches since the summer. They've been telling me to run, and that's what I did, and in the first ten minutes I ran and I got those baskets."

Freshman Guard Phil Greene

On whether he sees himself as a scorer or a distributor:
"I just wanted to go out and play hard. My teammates got me open shots, which opened up the three. They had confidence in me, so I just wanted to play hard, and play my game, and let the game come to me."

On whether he was as prolific of a scorer at previous levels:
"I shoot when it's time to shoot. Like I said, my teammates did an excellent job of penetrating and kicking, and looking for the weak side, which got me open, so I got a lot of my shots that way."

On whether he's seen a big guy go as quickly baseline to baseline as God'sgift Achiuwa:
"I haven't. Gift, we call him a man-child. He has the ability to run up and down the court like a guard, and we know that no big man in the country can stay with him in the full court, so he's going to be open a lot in a lot of games."

On whether it was what he expected:
"I kind of expected it be the way that it was. In college, it's going to be faster and stronger, but we're ball players and we adjust to things real fast, and we're at the highest level, so we're just going out and compete."

C.W. Post Head Coach Chris Casey

Opening Statement:
"I felt we played well in the first half. The first five minutes of the second half really hurt us. They went on a spurt and got rolling. I really thought their length and athleticism hurt us. They are very talented offensively. I thought a couple times we actually guarded well, but they were so long and athletic that they could get shots over us pretty easy. They are a very talented team. I think our guys competed and played hard. I was happy with our effort."

On playing games with seven guys in rotation:
"Fatigue is going to be somewhat of a factor. I know the coaching staff will get them in good condition. I know as a young team it'll be more of a mental factor than a physical factor because they are freshman and they haven't gone through a full college season yet, so it'll wear them down a little bit. But if they stay mentally strong, physically they are talented as anybody. They are very talented and the coaching staff will get them physically conditioned to play in those types of games."




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