Pregame Quotes: St. John's vs. Bucknell

Junior guard Jamal Branch spoke about the team's tough non-conference schedule early in the season.

Nov. 18, 2013

Head Coach Steve Lavin
On preparation for Bucknell:
“We’re emphasizing with the kids that Bucknell is a Sweet 16-level team that we’re facing. This coach has already won a national championship at the small college level and has demonstrated that he’s as good as any in the country. This is the biggest game of the year for us because it is our next game and it’s a really strong team that will likely end up being a Sweet 16-caliber team."
On the use of Max Hooper and Marc-Antoine Bourgault:
“The intent is to try and integrate Max and Marco in some form where we can take advantage of their ability to shoot the ball well from distance. With that said I also have to consider our defensive matchups and where we are at that particular stage of the game.”
On scoring balance:
“That’s what I love about this team. It’s a team that has seven players that are capable of getting 20 points on a given night. They’re as unique a group as I’ve coached in my career.”
On Rysheed Jordan:
“This team really rallies around one another and I sense that there are 15 older brothers looking after him. Those players really look after Rysheed and have been helpful giving context and putting things into perspective. Rysheed has only played in two college games and his future is bright."


Junior Guard Jamal Branch



On keeping Rysheed Jordan motivated:

"We keep him high headed and we encourage him. It's just a thing freshmen go through. JaKarr (Sampson) went through it last year and he moved on pretty quickly. Rysheed will take time. Once he is confident and comfortable he will be dangerous." 

On adjusting to the new rules:

"With the new rules we are trying to attack more and get to the free throw line. We always try to beat our opponents in the free throw line. Against Wagner we did that, against Wisconsin we didn't and we ended up losing. We see the results when we get to the free throw line more than our opponents. We get the win." 

On the tough non-conference schedule:

"Some of the teams we play non-conferee have chances to make the tournament like Florida Gulf Coast last year who was a huge sleeper. They ended up making a good push last year in the tournament. I don't think these games are easy. They are well scheduled games that can prepare us for the tournament because those are NCAA Tournament teams we are playing against." 


Senior Forward Orlando Sanchez

On Coach Lavin's expectations:

"I think he wants me to be everywhere. He wants me to play hard, shoot, rebound, assisting. He wants me to do whatever I can do."

On adjusting to the team:

"I know I'm not at my maximum level yet, but I'm going to be there soon. I work all the time with the coaches and my teammates at practice."

On adjusting to the Division I level:

"At Monroe College I played a lot more minutes, I always started, and they always facilitated the ball to me. Now everyone here is good so you have to play strong no matter what."


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