Feb. 23, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. -
St John's Head Coach Steve Lavin
On the importance of the game against Pittsburgh:
"It's a big game because it's late in the year and we are playing a quality opponent, who is tied with us in the BIG EAST Standings. Pittsburgh has been one of the most consistent winners in regular season and conference tournament play in the last decade."
On how big a challenge Pittsburgh presents:
"Pittsburgh is not a real dominant rebounding team, but they take care of the basketball. They play physically on both ends of the floor. The coaching staff of Pittsburgh has done a great job with their players, which is the reason why they are always considered one of the best."
On Jamal Branch:
"As of right now, he's very tentative and more focused on recovering from the injury. He did practice, but I wasn't confident that he is ready to play. There's a possibility that he can return this season, if he continues to progress in the rehabilitation process."
On Chris Obekpa:
"He will always play starters' minutes. He will be seeing big minutes tomorrow if he can stay out of foul trouble because of Pittsburgh's size."
St John's Forward Amir Garrett
On the current conference standings:
"All of our focus is on this Pittsburgh game. The past is the past. We love the intensity and the energy level of games like this."
On the NCAA Tournament bubble:
"We don't personally really pay attention to that. We are focused on the next game, and want to get as many wins as possible."
St John's Center Chris Obekpa
On watching Pittsburgh play:
"We have watched them play. They are a big team, but they also have many players who can shoot the basketball."
On whether he will play more minutes against Pittsburgh:
"[Coach Lavin] hasn't mentioned anything to me, but when my number is called I will deliver and do the best I can."
On playing against physical front lines:
"I love playing against bigger teams because I can use my quickness and take advantage of them".