• Joey Jarzynka

St. John's Mike Anderson Postgame Quotes @ Villanova


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening statement…

“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but let’s congratulate Villanova. They had guys that made plays, we had guys that almost made plays. It was a 53-51 game and we talked about just kind of hanging around. I thought we did a good job of that. … We miss a couple of layups and they made us pay on that. We bit on some of the penetration and they knocked some threes down. Big shots for them, but that’s what they do. I was proud of our guys’ effort against a Villanova team that was ready to play. I thought we came up and met the challenge head on. We just came up a little short.”

On the team’s play this season…

“I’ve said it all year long, if shooting catches up with our defense, somebody’s going to be in trouble, and we saw it tonight. We made some shots to keep us in it, but I thought our defense was really the catapult to try and take Villanova out of what they do. They had seven threes in the first half and they only had four in the second half. … It wasn’t because of a lack of effort from our guys. Our guys are learning. They’re learning how to win and learning how to win against a very good BIG EAST schedule. I’ll take that effort each and every night.”

On the team’s half court defense…

“I continue to say, the full-court [defense] all it does it try to disrupt. The half-court defense is even more disruptive because the court is a more confined. I thought tonight our guys were more attached to one another. … One of the big things we talked about was keeping [Villanova] out of the lane. Obviously, they want to get in the lane, draw people and find the shooters. I thought we did a good job for the most part of staying attached to the shooter.”

On LJ Figueroa’s shooting of late…

“He’s just not making shots. What did he shoot tonight, 2-for-10, 0-for-5. He missed shots. ... I know LJ will keep working. Hopefully, we can give him [opportunities] where he can make some shots. LJ is the target. You have to remember that everyone is guarding him. Some of the other guys are benefitting because [opposing teams are] paying a whole lot of attention to [Figueroa].”

On Julian Champagnie…

“I was really proud of Julian Champagnie tonight. His effort back there on the glass and just being active.”

On returning to Carnesecca Arena for Sunday’s matchup with Creighton…

“It’ll be good to get back home. We have a really good Creighton team coming in. I just think with that mindset, the energy, the effort that we had tonight, I like my team.”

On limiting Collin Gillespie…

“We tried to keep him out of the lane. That’s the biggest key. I thought when we played him the first time he drew a lot of attention and I thought he was distributing the ball, running free and scoring at will. We paid more attention to him tonight. Jay [Wright] has been coaching for a while. He knows he has more weapons, some other guys that can step up and I think that’s what took place.”

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