Pregame Quotes: St. John's vs. Miami

Nov. 30, 2007

Head Coach Norm Roberts
On Miami:
"They're playing very well. They do a great job of shooting the ball, they all have high percentages shooting the basketball and that's because they take good shots. The other thing they do a great job is getting to the offensive glass. What's going to be a huge key for us is our ability to rebound the ball and defend the first shot and get open looks. The big guys all hit the glass, they all have double figure offensive rebounds in the six games they played."

On making the first road trip with so many freshmen:
"One of the reasons why we scheduled this game, being on the road and playing in a hostile environment, was because its just going to prepare them for later in the year. This will be a great chance to play on national television with FOX and a chance to see where we're at. We have a long way to go and we know that, but this is a great test, a great opportunity and we just have to play our game, be aggressive, be focused on what we need to do and go out and play."

On the similarities between St. John's and Miami:
"We both want to play man to man, we both want to be aggressive defensively. We both want to attack the glass. We both want to have an inside presence with our big guys."

Freshman Forward Justin Burrell
On his outlook for Miami:
"I know they are big and they really crash the boards. In order for us to succeed we're going to have to do a lot of boxing out. They're a physical team, which is the kind of play that I personally enjoy. They're a smart team, which means we're going to have to try to force them into playing out of their game and pressuring them as much as possible. Overall they are a pretty good team."

On the importance of team rebounds for Sunday's game:
"We're definitely going to need a big team effort to rebound this weekend. Their three big guys have about 50 rebounds together so far, we're going to need Dele Coker, Tomas Jasiulionis and Sean Evans and our guards as well to rebound in order to get it done."



Senior Guard Eugene Lawrence
On a road trip mind set:
"When you are on the road, you have to be even more focused because the crowd gets really into the game. Certain things that usually happen for you at home don't happen for you on the road because you are away. When you're on the road you have do everything better than usual. You really have to pick up your game. Coach prepares us well for things like that."

On hoping to get the first season road win :
"It's important for us to go down to Miami with the right mindset to try to get an early road win that will probably set the tone for other road wins in the season."

Freshman Guard D.J. Kennedy
On his natural inclination to rebound:
"I tell Justin Burrell, he doesn't have to worry about getting help from me on the boards. I have no problem helping out on the rebounds. It's part of my job just as it is his job."

On his well-rounded stats:
"I always try to do a little bit of everything, points, rebounds, steals, assists. When you're versatile your game is so much better. I enjoy doing it all. There aren't too many people that enjoy doing everything, that's why I have to look at it as an opportunity and that is something special. In high school I played every position from the one to the five."

On playing Miami without Junior Forward Anthony Mason Jr.:
"He's always been there to support the team, and we've played games without him already this year. I've gotten a lot of experience playing in the last four games. He's there to coach me and teach me. He's been a lot of help, he told me it's the little things that coach looks for, and the little things are what get you points. Off the court, on the court, he's been a great inspiration to me. I look at him as kind of a big brother."


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