In addition to his role as floor general, Branch is third on the team in scoring at 9.4 ppg.
Jan. 26, 2013
Head Coach Steve Lavin
On the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden:
"Naturally, when we play at the Garden, we've come to expect a good turnout, and we expect Seton Hall will bring some of their fans, so their environment, even with the noon tip should be a good one. Seton Hall, similar to Notre Dame, puts four 3-point shooters on the court. Coach [Kevin] Willard has always done an excellent job of attacking the 3-point line. Of course, Coach Willard is a disciple of Rick Pitino, and all of Pitino's assistants that have gone on to be head coaches attack the 3-point line in prolific fashion and this Seton Hall team is no exception. We'll have our hands full having to extend and pressure Seton Hall's 3-point shooters and we've got to get on the boards. They've got some big, athletic, capable players at the rim, so similar to Notre Dame with [Jack] Cooley and the four 3-point shooters this is a real challenge to get out and contest shots, but also get on the glass and rebound to hold them to one shot."
On the Coaches vs. Cancer weekend and the Red Storm's success while supporting the cause:
"The [over 30 wins while wearing suits and sneakers] have nothing to do with the sneakers. The fact is that we've been fortunate enough to coach really good kids and we work hard on a daily basis to get better that St. John's fans and alumni can be proud of. The sneakers are a great way to bring awareness to the fight against cancer, to amplify the importance of raising dollars so we can get the research that is necessary to come up with a cure for cancer and so we can help people who are battling this dreaded disease. There's no better cause, and because I had a personal battle with cancer - being diagnosed in 2010 - I've decided to roll with the shoes, as has our staff consistently."
Sophomore Guard Jamal Branch
On his comfort level running the offense:
"It's at a high level; the coaches have given me an opportunity to earn their trust and they want me to lead this team, so my confidence is really high right now."
On the team's three-game win streak:
"It feels great; guys are buying in to what the coaches are telling us. We have a tremendous coaching staff that gives us a great scouting report, and as long is we buy in and stay focused, the sky's the limit for us."
On the team's defensive strength:
"[The difference is] just buying into what the coaches our telling us. They really stressed that we need to get after it on defense, shut down their scorers and just play good team defense. So far we've been doing it and so far we've been successful."
On the team clicking:
" We're getting more mature. We're the youngest team in the nation, so everyday we're learning and getting more mature."