Postgame Quotes: St. John's 73, Eastern Michigan 61

Nov. 24, 2008

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Head Coach Norm Roberts
Opening statement:
"Our guys came out with a good defensive-intensity. We took Eastern Michigan out of what they wanted to do. We were able to get into transition off of our defense, then we were able to get some good shots. Malik [Boothe] did a good job of controlling our offense and getting us plays."

On playing Eastern Michigan:
"I don't ever feel we should beat anybody. I feel basketball is game where anybody can win. This team that we just beat tonight, took Georgia down to the wire. Georgia had to get a charge to beat them. Loyola beat Georgia by 20. If you don't come ready to play you will get beat. Our mindset is that we are young, take absolutely nothing for granted and we have to play hard every night."

On playing additional games to the regular season:
"It is good to get out there and play as many games as possible. It's good to get out there and see some different lineups, especially for our situation with Anthony Mason Jr. being hurt, and it's kind of changed the roles of our team a little bit. You want the guys to try to get some confidence and play well. I thought our guys did a good job at making their own energy tonight."

On the changing roles within the team:
"It just means guys have to step up. What I have told them is that they have to step up but be yourself, do not be something you are not. The bottom line is if you are slasher just be a very good slasher, if you're a guy that creates be a guy that does a great job of creating. Once you play to your strengths then other things will come out. D.J. is a great defensive player for us, he's an energy guy. But all of a sudden he gets confidence from doing all of that, he makes a couple of threes and now he can do more for us. Our guys have taken on the challenge, and they know it's a great opportunity for guys to step up and play."

On closing out games:
"We have to do a better job of ending games the right way. That is something that is part of our immaturity right now and we have to get better at it. We are better than we were a couple nights ago, but we still have a little ways to go."

Sophomore forward Justin Burrell
On the team's rebounding efforts:
"Anytime you can control the boards you are setting the tempo for the game. Because basketball is played from the inside out, rebounding sets the tone for the game."

On the team's game plan for tonight's game:
"Our game plan was to dominate on the boards, to push the ball more and play more in transition. We felt that we had good match ups with our athleticism, our transitions as well as our play on the low post."

On getting in a couple of dunks:
"Whenever I step on the court I try to have fun. It's always fun for me. This game was a little more fun because I got a couple dunks, but other than that every game is fun."

Sophomore guard D.J. Kennedy
On coming back in the second half after injuring his ankle in the first:
"I wasn't trying to pay attention to my ankle, I just wanted to go out there and play."

On his mindset playing with Mason out:
"I have played with the same mindset since day one. We come in, everyone contributes and brings energy and focus."

Eastern Michigan Head Coach Charles Ramsey
Thoughts on the game:
"St. John's is a big, tough and physical team. They beat us up pretty bad on the glass. I think that was the difference. We had opportunities to get back in the game and we didn't take advantage of those opportunities. They played well and out-rebounded us 50-28. We haven't had that happen to us all year. Overall, St. John's is a great young basketball team."

On the outlook of his team:
"I think we're fine. Right now, we're in a tough stretch. We've now played Big Ten, SEC and BIG EAST opponents. Now tomorrow we play the Ivy League Champions. Once we get through this storm we'll be fine. Our kids are battling and we're getting better. We're starting two freshman, two sophomores and a junior. We'll get where we need to be by league play."




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