Postgame Quotes: St. John's 91 - Providence 67

Freshman forward Moe Harkless notched a career-high 32 points and pulled down 13 rebounds against the Friars.

Dec. 27, 2011

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St. John’s Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap

Opening Statement:
“We were obviously happy that these young guys could learn that if they play a certain way, we could get a BIG EAST win. What’s significant is that we were able to score that many points. We were able to play a team that came in pretty hot and has played some good people, so we are very pleased with that win. We’ve still got to work Amir [Garrett] in and now we have a seven-man rotation. We show that we’re a pretty fit outfit. There’s lots we can do tomorrow to get better, and our guys know that. We’re on into the UConn game, which we know what that challenge is all about.”

On sold out crowd at Carnesecca Arena:
“That was the residual of last year and also people had gotten snippets on TV and the people that have come to see our athleticism and know we’re going to improve, we’ll get better. Carnesecca’s a little hornet’s nest when you pack that thing. It’s got it’s own advantage, they took advantage of that and it helped us energy-wise, especially in the second half when [the crowd] sensed we were a little tired.”

On defensive effort:
“That’s a confidence type of thing of just understanding our defense and the shifts. The length of our players makes it a long zone because you add Amir to that and you’ve got Amir and Dom [Pointer] up top and it’s 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-6 at the top of the zone, and then you’ve got [Moe] Harkless at 6-foot-8 on one wing, and then you’ve got 'Gift [Achiuwa] with very long arms in there, so we can present ourselves as very big with D'Angelo [Harrison] at the other wing.”

On the flow of the chemistry:
“We can certainly build on it. Amir has given us a shot in the arm; he’s a ballplayer. Getting that win against Texas-Pan American where they played us well, but to get into that last minute we saw a little bit of a change off of that game as well where they had a little bit of swagger to them.”

St. John’s Freshman Forward Moe Harkless

On setting the record for most points scored in a freshman’s BIG EAST debut:
“I didn’t even know that. That’s an honor to even be mentioned with those guys [Troy Murphy, Allen Iverson]. Being able to break the record is a great feeling.”

On defensive effort:
“That was pretty much our game plan… to keep them out of the paint, get in the passing lanes and rebound and I think we did that pretty well. We boarded pretty well and defense is what gave us our lead. Just locking down on defense.”

On if he saw a game like this coming:
“Yea… it was just a matter of time for everything to click and I think right now we’re starting to click and can still get a lot better.”

On if this game was an eye-opener for the team:
“Our goal was basically to collectively play as one on defense and I think we did a good job of that today. If we can continue to do that every game and just let the offense come to us and no one be selfish, I think we’ll be fine.”

On playing a game like tonight:
“Adrenaline was just going. It was the defense that pretty much got us going. The defense led to easy baskets and that put them [Providence] in the hole. They came out thinking they were better than us and that motivated us.”

On if he ever thought a record like this could be possible:
“No… I was just out there playing and not worrying about anything but getting a win. It just happened and it’s a great honor to just be mentioned with those guys. I never felt like this before. To have the record in the BIG EAST for a freshman – knowing all the players that came through here – is a great honor.”

Freshman Guard D'Angelo Harrison

On tough defense:
“I’ve always taken charges. We were little so we had to take charges, I was the biggest man on my team in high school, I learned how to take charges early. The defensive part, sliding your feet, playing defense every possession, that definitely came from here and Coach Dunlap.”

On Harkless and his offensive performance:
“That’s amazing to me. I set a record for myself. Moe did a great job tonight, 14-of-17 [from the field], efficient all the way through so he deserves it.”

On the importance of tonight’s win:
“This win really helped us energy-wise. Coach told us to just be active and play hard, so defense helped us play better offense. We had a lot of dunks tonight, so it all started on the defensive end and scoring was all fast break, so it was kind of easy.”

On what’s different on defense:
“Everybody talks during the game. First couple of games we didn’t really talk on defense, now we talk every possession. We have conversations on defense like ‘Hey, I’ve got your back, I’ve got your help’ all of those kinds of things, so I feel like that helps. We go over defense every day so that’s key, so I feel like we can stop people if we can do stuff like that.”

Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley

Opening Statement:
“Congratulations to St. John’s and Coach Dunlap for doing a great job tonight. Our kids were just pathetic today in every imaginable way. I thought we were very selfish today. We weren’t tough at all. We just weren’t tough. I could take losing games. As a coach you’re going to lose a lot of games and you’re going to win some games. But you just have to show that passion to compete and we didn’t show that tonight. I’m very disappointed with our execution and our competitive level.”

On the poor play of the team:
“I was incredibly surprised by our poor play. I truthfully haven’t seen this type of performance in this group. I thought our attention to detail in practice was pretty sharp. But you have to give St. John’s a lot of credit; they did a great job. They were excited to play. I thought the crowd was fantastic and they were really into it. This isn’t a place where I enjoy playing.”

On St. John’s freshmen Moe Harkless:
“Moe Harkless is a terrific player. He is a great player. I saw him in high school at South Kent when we were recruiting him then. I loved him then and I love him now. He’s definitely the face of the BIG EAST. He’ll go down as one of the better players in the conference when it’s all said and done.”




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