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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

St. John's Mike Anderson Big East Teleconference #2


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

On facing DePaul on the road on Saturday…

“It certainly is a rubber match. We played them [earlier this season at MSG] and we were able to escape with the win. … At times they’ve played really well at home. Knowing Dave Leitao and his team will be ready to play. It’s two teams that are fighting to get wins in the BIG EAST.”

On Rasheem Dunn…

“Rasheem [Dunn] obviously joined us later in the season after receiving the [NCAA] waiver. He’s just trying to find his way. Earlier in the year, he was coming off the bench and he was giving us a big plus off the bench. Now he’s been inserted into the starting lineup and I think he’s given us a jolt. He’s another guy that can create for himself. He’s always been a scorer and now we have to get him to hopefully create and get other people better. Defensively he can cause some havoc. It’s just a matter of him getting comfortable with our guys and our guys getting comfortable with him. We’ve certainly seen him come in and make some plays, but he’s still in that maturation process of trying to do the things we ask him to do. … He’s coming along pretty good.”

On navigating the tough BIG EAST schedule…

“There’s a lot of basketball to be played. With that being said, the key with our basketball team is being able to finish. … Our guys are competing and playing at a high level. Now they have to learn how to win games night in and night out. Obviously, the non-conference [schedule] is what it is. When you get into what I call ‘the family,’ which is conference play, and everybody is familiar with one another the games are going to come down to a play, free throws, a rebound, or a defensive stop. We haven’t been able to make those plays. So for us it’s that next learning curve, especially with a new team. That’s where we don’t have that experience. … Our guys have to continue to fight and put themselves in the position to make those plays going down the stretch.”

On defending DePaul forward Paul Reed in the first game on Jan. 11…

“I just think in the particular game he played [in New York], he didn’t shoot the ball well. I thought our defense was pretty disruptive, but I’m sure he’ll be more ready when he plays us at home. I don’t know if it was much that we did to him. Obviously we paid attention to him and made him work for everything, but he’s a very talented player and he had a big night last night [against Creighton]. We know we’re going to get his best shots, but we have to make him work for it. That’s got to be a big key. We have to put a body on him because he’s long, he’s very versatile and he’s a big cog in what Dave [Leitao] does with his basketball team.”

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