Pre-game Quotes: Jan. 22, 2008 - vs. Pittsburgh

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Jan. 22, 2008

QUEENS, N.Y. -

Head Coach Norm Roberts
On Pittsburgh:

"I think that we play similar as a team. We both want to be good defensive teams. We want to pressure people out of what they want to do. We both play physical and we play with a lot of energy. The last two times we played Pitt in the Garden we've done pretty well."

On the familiarity between the players on both sides:
"It could add to the game, as far as New York players and guys who grew up playing against each other. There are local kids here, and there are local kids there. Then there's some crossover too, so that would bring on some more rivalry and excitement to the game."

On Pittsburgh's injury situation:
"I don't think they're playing any different. What they're doing is focusing more on getting the ball to certain guys. They might not have as many weapons, but the weapons that they have are very good. I think they'll really try to get the ball inside, they want to get it to DeJaun Blair or Sam Young and for them to score from the post."

On what will determine the winner of this game:
"This game is really going to be about toughness. I think we played really well and hard against West Virginia. We never backed down physically, we met them head on. I think we're prepared to be in a game like this."

Senior guard Eugene Lawrence
On playing a banged up Pittsburgh team:

"I don't think it matters. We'll still come out the same way and try to get the "W" whether their big men are playing or not."

On the familiarity between the players on both sides:
"It'll be fun. The game will be more about bragging rights. We all see each other a lot on the courts in the summer and talk about how we can't wait to play against each other."

 

 

On practice since a tough loss to West Virginia:
"Practice the last couple of days has been really competitive. Players have been really getting after it. The light is still on from that West Virginia game. We want to win some games."

On the team's standings in the BIG EAST and the tough schedule ahead:
"We're not too worried about the standings. I think there are about five or six teams jumbled up at the same spot. We're about two or three wins away from falling right in the mix of that. We're going to be playing some elite teams coming up. We have to be real focused and concentrate on the small things that affect us during the games."

Freshman forward D.J. Kennedy
On playing one of his best friends DeJuan Blair:

"I think the game will be that much bigger. The St. John's/Pitt rivalry was already big, it was always a hard, physical, tough game. Now this just makes it better, having two players from the same city playing against each other adds to the rivalry."

On deciding to come to St. John's despite the opportunity to play at Pitt:
"My mom wanted me to stay home and play at Pitt, but I wanted to go somewhere new. I mean, me and (DeJuan) Blair always talked about playing together, but I really liked the direction St. John's was headed in. I loved the staff and I felt like that was where I really wanted to go."

On if he is second guessing his decision:
"Not at all, it doesn't affect me too much. I realize that further down the line St. John's is going to be really good and I want to be a part of that. It's only my freshman year."

On the attention this game will have on everybody from his hometown:
"It's going to be a big game. Everybody's looking forward to it. A whole lot of people are driving down from Pittsburgh. Everybody wants to see us on the court together, except this time with different color uniforms. We both know what we have to do and we know what type of game it's going to be. Probably more than 100 people will be making the trip."

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