Pregame Quotes

Feb. 4, 2009

QUEENS, N.Y. - Head Coach Norm Roberts
On the status of the team's health:

"Everybody is pretty healthy. Rob (Thomas) was able to do some things in practice yesterday, but couldn't really go all the way through. Hopefully he'll be much better today. Rob just has some soreness in his groin, but there will always be some soreness with that type of injury. Ron Linfonte thought it would be best if he didn't go the whole practice yesterday."

On Malik Boothe being back:
"Malik did the things that we knew he's capable of doing. He created shots for others and that made our defense much stronger. He can really pressure the ball and guard the ball which allows Paris (Horne) and D.J. (Kennedy) to get out on people. He makes the game easier for others on the floor and gets us organized. It also allows Quincy Roberts to play the role that I brought him in for and he did that off the bench for us on Sunday."

On adjusting to having Malik and Rob back:
"Now we just have to get everybody back in the same rhythm with each other. That will happen, we practiced well yesterday and we just have to continue to get that rhythm going."

On the team making a move:
"I think we have the opportunity to do that, but we need to do that on the floor. We talk about that all the time. The way that's going to happen in a game like this is we just have to defend. We have to guard and be focused and handle the basketball."

Sophomore Guard Malik Boothe
On his return:

"It's coming along well. I just have to stay confident. It feels good to be back out there and I'll do everything I can to help the team win. I have to get my guys the shots."

On the difference of the team since his return:
"I don't think there's any change in us. We just continue to remain focused. We take one day at a time, one game at a time and continue to work hard everyday."



On how the team suffered during his time out:
"I think they did get a little tired. There were sometimes where D.J. or Paris had to play the point. They were chasing the other teams' best perimiter players. With me being back, it gives them more of an opportunity to get back to the things they do."

On Seton Hall:
"They are a quick-paced, scoring team. They're hard-nosed and scrappy. What we're going to have to do this game is slow down their offense. I think we'll be able to do that because we play well on defense. They're going to come out and play, though. They still have the memory of when we beat them last year fresh in their heads."

Sophomore Guard Paris Horne
On having Malik and Rob Thomas back:

"We are definitely more poised to make a move down the stretch now. Malik and Rob being back adds more depth for us. It gives me and D.J. a rest when we need it because Quincy (Roberts) and Ty (Edmonson) can come in and help us and give us great minutes. Rob can come in and help Justin (Burrell) and Sean (Evans), and also Dele (Coker) comes in. We are very excited about that."

On what he likes about playing defense:
"I like trying to stop my man and taking on the challange. Knowing that player is a scorer that can help his team win and knowing that if I do a great job on sticking him and limiting his points or shots I can boost my confidence and help us control the game."

Redshirt Sophomore Rob Thomas
On the difference between this year's team and last year's:

"There's a lot more confidence. We're all in basketball shape. We were working hard in the offseason and its really paying off."

On the team closing out strong:
"I think we are poised to close out the season strong since everybody's back and healthy. The major part for this team was the summertime. Most people go away, but we sacraficed our summers and now its paying off."

On Coach Roberts' statement about being a 18-20 win team this year:
"It goes to show you what type of coach Coach Roberts is. He believes in the group of guys in the locker room and the guys he recruited. I wouldn't say that we can't win all these games down the stretch, but we've just been working hard and coach built a foundation from nothing. I would play for nobody else than the coaching staff and the teammates I have here at St. John's."


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