• Joey Jarzynka

St. John's Mike Anderson Postgame vs. Butler


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening statement…

“First, I told our guys that I’ve never been more proud of this team. … My guys left it on the floor. They fought and they never gave in.”

On if anything changed in the final three minutes of the game…

“No, they had guys who made plays. ... I thought we did some things that hurt ourselves. We slowed the game down, so now all of the sudden they were able to get their second wind. They made some free throws and of course they rebounded the basketball. They got an offensive rebound and all of the sudden there was [Christian David] left wide open in the corner. … Obviously, there were some things that we could’ve done, but I thought they made the right plays at the right time.”

On the difference maker in the game…

“They made plays. We dug a hole, but we got back in it. I think that’s the most important thing. … We have to learn how to finish, but we were right there. [Butler is] a very good basketball team, very experienced. In the BIG EAST, when you have to these kind of games experience is going to be a factor, but I think our guys will learn. We always talk about enjoying it until midnight, well this is going to hurt until midnight because the games keep coming. That’s one that we gave away and now we have to go find a way to steal one on the road.”

On what changed for the team in the second half…

“I thought in the second half we came out with a different edge and it was led by Nick Rutherford. He was the one that spearheaded it and the other guys kind of followed his lead. We’re playing the no. 11 ranked team without [our second leading scorer Mustapha Heron] and not only that, our other leading scorer [LJ Figueroa] doesn’t score in the game. … I thought our guys just dug in the trenches and said ‘let’s ramp it up.’ We forced 24 turnovers and I thought that balanced out some of the rebounding. … We were in striking distance and we actually took the lead, but just couldn’t finish. To win in this league with this team we have to have all cylinders working together.”

On the fan support at Carnesecca Arena…

"Johnnie Nation, we appreciate everyone coming out and for all of your support. Carnesecca Arena was an electric atmosphere. You mean a lot to our basketball program. Let’s continue to show up!"

St. John’s Senior Guard Nick Rutherford

On losing tonight after a strong second half comeback...

“To be honest, you want to win, but you can’t be disappointed. We came out from halftime down 21 points and our backs against the wall. All you can do is fight and we fought the whole second half. [Butler is] a good team, so credit them for bringing home the W.”

On the disappointment from this type of ending...

“When you’re back is against the wall you can either sink or swim. We have a team full of fighters. Our coach is a fighter. The whole staff are fighters. We never thought that we were going to lose this game, to be honest with you. It sounds cliché but we expected to win, so that’s what we put on the court.”

On if the atmosphere at Carnesecca Arena tonight was what he envisioned when he committed to St. John’s…

“Absolutely. I had so much fun tonight. The fans, I mean, crazy energy, crazy energy in here. It was unbelievable. I just thank God I get this opportunity, because I’m having so much fun.”

St. John’s Sophomore Guard Greg Williams Jr.

On losing the game after a strong comeback…

“I feel that we had our backs against the wall and all we could do is just come back swinging. I feel like we did that. We were playing our brand of basketball. We just happened to come up short, but we’re going to bounce back and get ready for the next game.”

On playing Coach Mike Anderson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” style of play…

“We definitely feed off of it. We love it. It’s our brand of basketball. We work on it every day and we know what we do, so we just go out and do what we do.”

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