• Joey Jarzynka

St. John's Postgame Press Conference vs. Saint Peters


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

On tonight’s game…

“First of all, there's all kinds of ways to win games. We got off to a pretty good start and I have to give credit to Coach [Shaheen] Holloway. He had his guys scrapping and clawing and I thought they took the fight to us at times, and that enabled them to kind of hang around, even with a big lead. With the three point line in play, the lead is never safe.

“Those kids would not quit. It was a good test for us. The biggest key is to get the win and now we got to really hone in on our defense and the finishing part of defense is rebounding the basketball.”

On Saint Peter’s late rally…

“From my vantage point we got to learn how to get multiple stops. During that time, they just got more aggressive. They started getting all the loose balls and hanging around. All of a sudden the ball started bouncing their way and we saw that tonight. But to our guy’s credit, LJ [Figueroa] stepped up to the line and knocked free throws down to get us out of here.”

On the team’s rebounding…

“I know that our rebounding was an issue tonight. They got [23] offensive rebounds and you can't do that against any team. All that does is put you in foul trouble, put them at the free throw line. So we got to get much better in that area. Then of course the turnovers. Unforced turnovers. I know I play a lot of guys and part of that’s on me, because I'm trying to trust these guys. As I told them at halftime is that sometimes that trust is going on end.”

On Julian Champagnie’s performance…

“He continues to be consistent and that's why he's in the starting lineup. He played 29 minutes tonight and came out really knocking shots down for us. The thing I love about Julian is that he can get a rebound in traffic. He was the one guy that was consistent in his effort and rebounding the basketball. He made some tough shots. Made some open threes. He just continues to do the little things and his confidence continues to grow.”

On the what needs to improve before playing West Virginia…

“They’re going to get after us and we’re going to get after them, so we'll see what happens. Whoever takes care of the basketball, I think that's a priority. That’s something we really focus on every single day. The careless turnovers. [Saint Peter’s] had 12 steals. … It seemed like every time we got a ball in our hands we’d bobble it and they came up with it. They came up with loose balls and I think that's extra energy, extra effort. So how to negate that, you got to have that on offense. You got to meet the ball. We got to be strong with the basketball and you got to make good decisions. We got a couple of days to get more ready in terms of taking care of the basketball.”

On coaching at Madison Square Garden this weekend…

“We're looking forward to [playing West Virginia]. Obviously, [Madison Square Garden] is our other home. It’s a great venue. The Mecca of Basketball. … We have to create a home court environment. That means our fans need to come out. West Virginia is a tremendous basketball team coached by Bob Huggins, a Hall of Fame coach. … They're a very physical basketball team. I think their strength is they can shoot it and go get it. It's going to be really important that we put bodies on people and match their physicality. ... We got to continue to do things we do, but I think the emphasis is we have to do the finishing part and rebound the basketball, so it should be a great game. It’s the BIG EAST versus the Big 12 so we’re looking forward to it.”

Senior Guard Mustapha Heron

On what allowed Saint Peters to make a comeback the end of the game…

“I think we got sloppy. I think that’s the word right there that hit it. We got sloppy and they took advantage of it.”

On where he felt St. John’s struggled most at the end of the game…

“Both ends of the floor. They offensive rebounded over us. We turned the ball over way too much. I think there was a point in the first half where we had two turnovers and at the end of the first half, we had 10 or 11. That alone, and to finish with 19, that’s sloppy, especially when you’re leading most of the game and you’re supposed to be controlling most of the game.”

On the way the team started the game…

“I thought the start was fine. Coach said the start was fine. Like I said, we just got sloppy at the end and they took advantage of it.”

On what the team needs to improve on to effectively close out games…

“I think it’s purely a focus thing. It’s a concentration thing. You have to be able to take care of the ball and throw it to teammates. I had a couple of turnovers. It’s a focus thing.”

On the team’s willingness to make the extra pass and strong assist numbers…

“That’s within the offense. You have to share the ball in our offense. In our system, you have to share the ball. I think that we’re doing a pretty good job of trying to learn how to keep doing that, how to do it at a better rate and a higher level every game.”

On the team’s matchup with West Virginia on Saturday…

“We’re going to prepare for them like we prepare for anybody else. We’re going to get back into the gym and we’re going to work. We’re going to just watch a little film on them. We’re not going to change anything that we do. We’ll come as the same St. John’s that you guys have been seeing on Saturday, so we’re just going to get ready for them.”

St. John’s Forward Julian Champagnie

On his reaction to the ending of the game…

“I pretty much agree with [Mustapha], really sloppy. We’ve got to be on the offensive glass, they did a really wonderful job. The turnovers really killed us today.”

On what allows him to consistently get off to strong starts during games…

“I would give credit to my teammates. My teammates are always telling me to shoot. ... They give me a lot of confidence, so give them the credit.”

Saint Peter’s Head Coach Shaheen Holloway

On St. John's...

“They did a good job. Coach Anderson is a very good coach. They got two leaders in Mustapha [Heron] and [LJ] Figueroa, they came out and they established early control of game and it was an uphill battle from there.”

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