Postgame Quotes: St. John's 85, Northwestern 69

Dec. 22, 2010

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St. John's Head Coach Steve Lavin
On team’s offensive efficiency:
“Just looking at the box score what really jumps out is our offensive efficiency. It’s rare when you can shoot 80 percent in a half. So I think our players executed well in two gears. In transition, when there were opportunities there, when we had the break. And yet something we worked on this past week coming off the Fordham game was being willing, when we don’t have an advantage and the defense gets back and they’re organized, to be able to put touches on the ball and get reversal and go through our post entries, force the defense to collapse, play inside-out and probe or investigate for good looks. When you can shoot 80 percent, that’s just an indication of sharing the ball. When you combine that with the 22 assists, the goal at a high level is 20-25 assists; that was Coach Wooden’s goal and our goal as well for a basketball game.”

On team’s defense:
“I just thought we were crisp, in sync, the team really seemed to have good rhythm and was playing with a confidence level. And then our defense really picked up in the second half. What we talked about at halftime was we’re fine offensively, but we had to do a better job of chasing their shooters off the three-point line, but also being defensively disciplined enough to start giving help and rotate out of our defensive scheme. So I think we put together in the second half the offense and the defense.”

On team’s play:
“We had what I call a breakthrough. Often times in anything in life, you’re plateauing, but if you stay after it and you keep working then there will be a breakthrough. Then you go back to plateaus. But I thought coming off the St. Bonaventure and the Fordham losses, people who were at those games or heard me after the games, I was really encouraged with the progress we were making in certain areas, yet naturally disheartened that we had lost the games. But I could feel a breakthrough on the horizon and I think we’ve seen that in this Festival.”

Freshman Forward Dwayne Polee II
On team’s second-half defense:
“We just tried to rotate to them faster. In the first half we were giving them too many open looks and we were fouling them too much. So we just tried to keep them honest and bring some extra help toward them.”

On Northwestern:
“It was a good test because we’re going to see it a lot in the BIG EAST. So this was a good test going into West Virginia.”

On his play:
“My last couple games I haven’t been playing my best. Coach just told me to relax and just play my game. So I just got back to what I did best; I did feel more comfortable.”

On fan support:
“Knowing that we have all the support of our fans and our student body, that just gives us a little more energy to go out and perform for them and get these W’s… I feel like we’re just one big family, including the team, the staff, and our fans also.”

On making adjustments to his play:
“I took my lumps early in the season, so now I’m just trying to get adjusted. I think I’ve done a good job… If I get in the paint and I can take a two-foot stop and just gather myself and jump straight up, I feel like no one can really block my shot… I wasn’t letting the offense come to me. I was more hunting for shots. Coach just told me to take shots within the rhythm of the offense. So I just have to take my time and just let the shots come to me and find open little gaps and just get my game started in other ways.”

Senior Forward Justin Brownlee
On tonight’s game:
“I think we were ready. I feel like we’re ready for the BIG EAST. It was a big game for us and also a breakthrough for us… Sometimes as a team we have breakdowns here and there. I think today we had less breakdowns and that’s why we came up with the win.”

On attacking Northwestern’s defense:
“They were playing the point guard in the back. So if Justin Burrell was down low, he had a mismatch every time. So we started looking for it and going to it.”

On his late three-pointer:
“I was just feeling like it’s time to put them away. It was a close game for most of the game and that shot I felt like was a dagger for them.”

On team’s offense:
“Coach just always emphasizes attacking the rim and being aggressive. And I think we’re doing a better job of that this year.”

On team’s inside-out play:
“We saw where we could attack the zone on the inside so we were just trying to take advantage of that.”

On Northwestern’s John Shurna:
“You have to give a lot of credit to him, he’s a great scorer and a player. The best way to deal with players like that is to not let them touch the ball. So that’s what I was trying to do, just not let him get it.”




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