POSTGAME QUOTES: St. John's Men's Basketball 75, UMBC 53|
Nov. 16, 2015
St. John's Head Coach Chris Mullin...
"Durand and Ron were big time tonight. They played like the leaders that we need them to be. We don't have a deep bench right now so we need contributions from everybody. Durand struggled in the first half, but that just shows you his experience."
On Yankuba Sima as a rim protector:
"I think he's got a natural feel for the game, both offensively and defensively. He's got a composure about him that is very calm and effective. He'd be a guy I'd love to play with as he's very unselfish. He's smart and doesn't foul as he goes straight up [to block shots]. Another guy I see improving every day."
On the team's improvement:
"I am more in tuned to improving every day. We saw improvement the first month in practice, but it didn't translate [into the exhibition games]. We're getting a little better on taking our work from the practice floor to the game floor. It's a long, tedious process, but when you do it with purpose, it's something you can enjoy. I am happy with the way we work, but [improvement] is something we can't rush."
On facing Eddie Jordan's Rutgers team on Thursday:
"Mitch [Richmond] and Eddie [Jordan] are really close. Mitch played for Eddie in Sacramento and they're really tight. I know Eddie really well and have a lot of respect for him. He's a great guy."
Graduate Student Guard/Forward Durand Johnson...
On finding a rhythm in the second half:
"In the first half I had a rocky start, but I came out in the second half and I was aggressive. Ron Mvouika came to me [at halftime] and said, `let the first half go and play your game right now.' [That was] everything I needed to hear. My confidence went sky high and I just let the game come to me. I was able to make shots off good passes."
On how the veteran leadership helped today:
"As older guys that have been through tough games, both good and bad, all of [the veterans] have to come together and lead by example. The younger guys are watching us every step of the way so it's big for us to lead the right way."
Graduate Student Guard/Forward Ron Mvouika...
On the defense setting up the offense:
"Our defense is going to dictate our offense. We're still learning how to play with each other. On the defensive side, I think we did a great job tonight. Right now we're focused on one play at a time."
UMBC Head Coach Aki Thomas...
Overall thoughts on the game:
"I thought we came out pretty strong defensively, but it really took us a long time to get settled in on the offensive end. Part of that was because the length of St. John's bothered us as they blocked a lot of shots and altered a lot of our shots. We settled in a little bit during the second half and made a run, but St. John's responded well."
On taking a lot of shots offensively:
"I think we got about 67 shots up, which is right around where we want to be shooting per game. The problem is that we didn't make as many as we wanted to. We definitely try to push it a little more in transition and get some shots up early in the clock."