POSTGAME QUOTES: St. John's vs. American International

Nov. 1, 2017

 

St. John's Head Coach Chris Mullin...

 

On overall performance:

"We shared the ball pretty well. AIC played hard and they had a lot of like-sized players on their team and were very aggressive. Overall, on offense we were very unselfish and moved the ball well. Defensively, we had some breakdowns...but it's stuff that we can clean up. Overall, it was a good first dry run."

 

On Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett playing off the ball:

"I think both Marcus and Shamorie have been very receptive to it, and they are both really good at it, which helps. It's very unique when you have guys who are so good with the ball and can be as effective without it. I saw that last year but we couldn't do it as much because we needed [Ponds and LoVett] to handle the ball, but I still want them creating. There are portions of the game now, like when Justin [Simon] rebounds it that can be really dangerous...not only to spot up or catch-and-shoot, but setting good screens and having good cuts. I think the ability to maintain their effectiveness off the ball is going to be a key for us."


 

 

 

On Marvin Clark II and Justin Simon:

"Well physically, if you look, these are two guys that we just didn't have on our roster. With Justin's ability to play point guard at [6'5"], he can free up Shamorie and Marcus some so they don't have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to ball handling. With Marvin, it's his flexibility, versatility, and his strength. We can switch on defense with him...he is going to be able to play in the post and on the wing. He had some great looks tonight. So, it's two versatile guys, and I think they play well with the core coming back."

 

On freshman Bryan Trimble Jr.'s adjustment to college basketball:

"He's done really well. Like most high school kids, he had to come in and learn that college basketball is a different pace and whole different conditioning level. He's doing very well and is very open minded. The good thing is that we have guards in front of him that can teach him. He can just watch them, and during drills can just get in the line behind them and just do what Marcus and Shamorie are doing. If he does that, he'll do just fine."

 

On Marvin Clark II playing a large role on the interior:

"Well his strength alone is a big key. We didn't really have a guy who could carve space out and handle his guy consistently...Marvin's that guy who can probably do that most nights. He's coming from a conference and program that emphasizes rebounding, so he knows how important it is. He has good technique, and more importantly has good strength."

 

On feeling heading into season opener on Nov. 10 vs. New Orleans:

"I'm happy with their work level, they've been really conscientious about that...not only as a team, but in their individual work as well. The good news is that we've been working hard and playing okay, but I see a lot of room for improvement. Where we are today is good."

 

On importance of upcoming exhibition game at Rutgers on Sunday:

"The number one thing is that all proceeds from this game will go to hurricane relief; which is most important about this game. For us to get a road game under our belt, and for our guys who haven't played [Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II] in about 18 months it was good to play a game with referees and the game atmosphere. So, to go on the road is good for a young team and guys who haven't played in that type of environment in a while. All in all, it was great for Rutgers to accommodate us, and vice versa, I think it's for a good cause and we can both use it as a learning experience."

 

Redshirt junior forward Marvin Clark II:

Thoughts on exhibition game:

"First and for most, just finally getting to play, it's an exhibition but still getting to play in the game is all that really matters. As a team we have gone though a lot this summer as far as building and bonding. We put in a lot of work so it was good to finally get out there, get a feel and work some things out."

 

Bringing the winning culture of Michigan State here:

"Our program has changed tremendously. Last year, we had a lot of young guys who were trying to figure it out on their own, but now we have guys like Justin Simon and I who have played with established programs with a winning tradition. There is no man that is alone, if someone makes a mistake we are brothers someone is there to pick us up and that is the biggest thing. We have bonded into a family through this offseason."

 

Focus on double-double games going forward:

"Our coaching staff wants to use me like the Warriors use Draymond Green. He is someone who I look up to and someone I want to emulate and that is the role I have to play on this team. We have the scorers, everyone is versatile, I just have to bring that enforcer attitude and keep rebounding like I am, then everything else will take care of itself."

 

 

Thoughts on what you can improve on:

"The little things, just the mental aspect of the game, I had a breakdown today on the free throw box out, I boxed out but I didn't push them back hard enough, I tipped it and the ball went over my head and they got position. It's just little things like that and spacing but most importantly defensive things.

 

 

Sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds:

 Where you are from last year to this year:

"Last year, I would say everybody was an individual, this year collectively as a group we are a whole, it is like family. If [someone] moves we all move, if we make a mistake our brother has our back."

 

On playing alongside Justin Simon :

"Justin is going to take a lot of stress off of us because he is an impact player coming from a great program. I feel like he will set the tone for Marcus and me. He is a long guard, he defends really well and I feel like he will really take the stress off of us so we can just play off the ball and win games."

 

Thoughts on what you can improve on:

"Communication, I think our defensive communication has to get a little better if we want to see ourselves go from 10 wins to 20 wins."

 

AIC Head Coach Andy Burkholder...

On playing a Division I team:

"I thought we played pretty well today, even defensively. I know they shot nearly 51 percent from the floor, they are a good shooting team. We are a pretty athletic team for our level and we don't usually see teams this long and this athletic at our level. We had 21 turnovers they had 33 points off of those, you can't really defend turnovers and that is just credited to them and the level of basketball you see in the BIG EAST. Overall, we played pretty well, we found out a lot of things about our team. We have a lot of new and young players so to be able to hang with these guys, we are happy with that."

 

On overall player performance:

"I thought we were pretty good defensively, our rotations and our help were pretty good. Sometimes we couldn't get the rebound but we had 14 offensive rebounds and they had 12, so we out-rebounded them there. We had a lot more misses and they ended up with more defensive rebounds. Once we get point guards Jordan Vidal, who is still hurt, and Nosike Obanya, who is still out waiting to be cleared back, Xion Golding can move to the wing and I think we will be able to run some more."

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