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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

St. John's Postgame Press Conference vs. 16/17 Arizona


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening statement…

“I can’t say enough about this guy to my left, LJ [Figueroa]. I thought he led the charge. Coming into an environment like this here, you never know how your kids are going to come out because of the inexperience, but I thought [Figueroa] came in and he led the charge and the guys just followed his lead. It was a good win for us. Again, I can't say it enough, our guys played on both sides of the ball. Our bench continues to be a big cog in what we're trying to do, and we're getting better. I thought we got better night against a very, very good, outstanding Arizona team.”

On attacking the paint on offense…

“I thought the game was sped up and therefore as we created some turnovers or some quick shots, not letting them get comfortable. I thought we were able to push the ball down the floor and have mismatches. And so now we're, we're getting the basket, we're getting attached to the basket. Without a doubt, we're an attacking team. We're not just going to be a jump shooting team, and that's why I really emphasize what our guys, let's keep attacking, keep attacking. And even in the second half, they blocked some shots but our guys kept the game plan firsthand and they did a good job.”

On how Arizona was able to get back into the game…

“I thought they got more aggressive than we did. I thought we got a little passive. We played some zone. They started getting some offensive rebounds and all of a sudden now you got guys in foul trouble.  Josh Roberts, he was in and out of the game. Marcellus [Earlington], who was one of our more physical players, he ended up fouling out of the game. That’s basketball. It’s all about momentum and all we we’re trying to do was finish the game up.”

On where the leadership comes from on St. John’s…

“I think of the guys that have been through it, I mean, we got LJ [Figueroa] who was here last year. He's a junior. Then you got Mustapha Heron, who was, you know, one of our leading scorers, and sitting there on the bench trying to encourage and lead our guys. I just think they're listening, and you can see it. They're going out and they're doing the things we asked them to do each and every day in practice. So it's all about believing in one another. I think the confidence is growing. They play with such great energy and they played unselfish. I was really impressed because we took care of the basketball today. We had 19 turnovers in our last game, and this game, against a very good team that got in lane with Arizona. I thought we did a really, really good job.”

“As a matter of fact, a telltale sign, we beat them on the boards. They’re one of the better rebounding teams in the country, so I thought we matched their physicality. I thought that was a big, big stat in the game.”

On LJ Figueroa…

“We needed him. He looked at me and Mustapha sitting with me so he got to get some buckets for us, and in fact, we talked about it today and he said, ‘I got you, coach,’ so I'm glad he got it.”

St. John’s Guard/Forward LJ Figueroa

On his aggressive mindset…

“I felt like my teammates put me in a great position to score the ball. We practice it every day, moving and cutting, screening away, you know, just learning how to play without the ball and I think that definitely helped me and my game. Just finding the little sweet spots on the court and just finding the soft spots and being the more experienced guy on the offensive and defensive side of the court.”

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