POSTGAME QUOTES: St. John’s vs. Grand Canyon

Dec. 6, 2017

St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin

On the defensive tone of the game:
“Pretty good hustle. Okay defensively, pretty bad offensively. We just never got going offensively. We had a little spurt there, but they just kept coming back. We got up by about 10 or 11 in the first half, but then they made some 3-pointers, got some offensive boards, and they played really hard. I told our guys before the game that [Grand Canyon] has some talented players, and anytime we built a lead they came right back. We just were able to hang in there, made some free throws, and played until the final buzzer.”

On Grand Canyon’s student presence:
“I’ve seen some of their games on campus, and I was just glad that we didn’t play there. I have a lot of respect for Dan [Majerle] and Jerry [Colangelo], that’s really why we came out here. … They’ve done a great job. Everything that Jerry Colangelo touches turns to gold, so it was just a matter of time.”

On upcoming game vs. Arizona State:
“High-octane offense. It’s going to test our defense for sure. We have to be more crisp. Hopefully we will get a nice day of rest tomorrow and get recalibrated offensively. We have to play good defense because they have great guards, and it should be a good game.”



On game plan heading into tonight’s game:
“[Joshua Braun] is a nice player and he reminds me of Dan [Majerle] himself a lot because he plays hard. I also knew the kid [Oscar Frayer] from the Bay Area as well and he’s a very great athlete. They are a very talented team. The thing I just focused on was how hard they were going to play. That was my concern. Beating their intensity was my biggest concern. I thought we did a really good job of that defensively. We’ve had a hard time of making separation, which sometimes can be frustrating. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively. So far, guys have been good and it hasn’t really frustrated them and maintained their defensive presence. Tonight they were able to get some offensive boards on us, and they just really played hard. We just hung in there, and really gutted it out.”

On Justin Simon’s game tonight:
“He’s just so versatile. He’s really good in the open floor. When we have Marcus [LoVett] available, we have three guards who are really, really dangerous. They are also different types of guards with different skillsets. I thought tonight Justin showed a lot with Marcus not being here, but he’s a really, really gifted athlete. He has a good feel for the game, can play inside, and is good in the open floor.”

On whether this game meant more for Justin Simon in returning to Arizona:
“You’d probably have to ask him that, but I’m sure. Especially with his old team [University of Arizona] playing before us, but Justin’s got a great personality. Everyone just always seems to like him, and I’m sure they still like him there [Arizona]. He’s playing good basketball for us right now.”

On progress Justin Simon made during his redshirt season and process of coming to St. John’s:
“The transfer dynamic has so many factors that go into that, but I think style of play had a lot to do with it. When he came out and visited, he liked the way we played. He was able to watch us in practice a little bit. The year off was tremendous for both he and Marvin Clark II. It’s just a great year of learning. Not only of how we want to do things and the type of conditioning we expect, but just being around his new teammates is probably the biggest factor. So when he and Marvin were sitting out last year, we were just salivating because they were kicking our stars’ butts everyday.”



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