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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

St. John's Mike Anderson Postgame vs. Xavier


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening statement…

“The first thing I told my guys was ‘I feel for you guys.’” You’re right there on the cusp of beating a good team that’s been playing really well and just could not finish the last minute and a half the correct way. .... You’ve got to make plays going down the stretch. Give [Xavier] credit, they made plays. Even when we were talking about the last shot that’s a floater that LJ [Figueroa can] make. Obviously, we wanted to try and draw a foul, but at the same time it shouldn’t have come down to that. … In other phases of the game I thought we played well. We took care of the ball and we created havoc with our defense. … Our guys will keep working and keep working to turn that into a positive.”

On Nick Rutherford’s play...

“I thought Nick was in a zone. Defensively, he came out the right way. … He can get to the basket and finish. ... I thought he ignited us and he ignited us in a great way and we need that on this basketball team.”

On how close he thinks his team is to winning games in the BIG EAST…

“We only turned the ball over four times in the game. We forced 22 turnovers and we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. I thought the turnovers that we did create, we didn’t make them pay for it. We’re doing some things in some areas well, but then I thought we took a step back in the rebounding department, especially when it mattered most. [Xavier] made some tough shots, but give them credit. They’ve got some experienced guys who have been through the wars.

“We may be taking some lumps right now, but we’re learning as we go and the thing I like about these guys is that they are resilient. They just keep coming back and keep fighting.”

On the last five games against nationally ranked BIG EAST opponents…

“Every night no matter who you play [is a challenge]. From 1-10. ... It’s a great league. … It’s a challenge, but the other part is a great opportunity. We’ve played these teams before so we’re familiar with them. They’re familiar with us. They’re playing on a pretty good level. We’re coming in the right direction. Our kids are playing their hearts out, just not getting rewarded.”

St. John’s Forward Marcellus Earlington

On the team when things were clicking tonight...

“Everybody was feeding off each other. We were talking on defense, we were playing with energy and we were just doing what Coach [Anderson] was telling us to do. I’m very proud of my team, first of all. I’m very proud of them, they fought. We’re a resilient group, we’re a bunch of fighters and we fought to the end today.”

On the team’s finish to the game…

“We just have to learn how to finish. We played great for 35 minutes, but just like I said we just have to learn how to finish.”

On what his team has to do to get over the hump…

“We just have to play our basketball. We have to just finish, honestly. We had a play drawn up. We had a good look and we just have to make the shot or get to the free throw line like Coach [Anderson] said. I think we did a good job of attacking. Our last shot, our best player had the basketball in his hands and he had a shot that he was capable of making. In the prior games we’ve lost we’ve had shots that we were capable of making. We just have to fix up the little things and that will lead up to a win.”

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