• Joey Jarzynka

St. John's Postgame Quotes vs. Marquette


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening Statement:

“We’ve been in many games [this season] like the one this afternoon and it came down to making plays. You are looking at two guys [Julian Champagnie and Greg Williams Jr.] that made some plays going down the stretch that were big plays. … Julian came up with a steal when [Markus] Howard went to the basket with us up two points. We came up with [the loose ball] and go to the free throw line with three seconds left and we miss two free throws. Now they have a chance to heave it and this guy [Greg Williams Jr.] deflects the pass and game over. Those are the plays we haven’t been making so it was good to see us make plays. Even as Marquette made runs I thought we answered. Rasheem [Dunn], a guy that hasn’t practiced in two days, he’s been under the weather, he played on shear guts. We needed everybody to come out and play for us. The layup [Rasheem Dunn] made was huge when [Marquette] tied it up. It was a good team win to finish [off the regular-season] and now we get ready for the next one.”

On team’s play heading into BIG EAST Tournament…

“We have more pieces playing well. When you look at these two guys here [Julian Champagnie and Greg Williams Jr.], they are playing with great confidence. … They are playing more meaningful minutes. Look at what Marcellus [Earlington] is bringing to the table. I thought LJ [Figueroa] was good today and look at the bench. Guys came in and gave us quality minutes. David [Caraher] played really well and gave us some big moments. Even Justin Cole, we put him out there and guess what, the lead went up again.”

On team’s improvement…

“They’re trusting one another defensively and offensively. They’re fixing things on defense. They are playing a little bit more instinctive and a lot freer on offense. Even when Marquette made their run you saw Nick Rutherford going to the basket like a warrior and making great passes. … We’ve become a much smarter team, but we still have to make free throws down the stretch and it will sure take a lot of stress off of the coach. At the end of the day, they’ve gotten better from non-conference [play] to the beginning of conference [play] to where we are right now and it’s much needed because we are getting ready to jump into the BIG EAST Tournament. I told [the team] ‘I am so proud of them’ because even with all the adversity, all the close games, they’ve stayed together and that says it all.”

On the team’s senior class…

“I told them in the locker room these are the guys that have laid the foundation for what is going to continue to come for St. John’s basketball. I think they’ve given people glimpses of [40 minutes of hell] and when we do get 40 I think it’s pretty good. It is an exciting brand of basketball. It was exciting today and obviously when you’re leading, it’s really exciting. … It just seemed like an electric atmosphere [at Madison Square Garden] and our guys are starting to embrace it.”

On the seniors…

“Mustapha [Heron] got hurt during the summer, but he worked hard to get back on the floor and I thought he has provided some leadership for our basketball team. We all know what type of basketball player he was and I appreciate that. Nick [Rutherford], a graduate student that came in and got better. I remember his first game, he had six or seven turnovers and he was throwing it in the stands, throwing it everywhere. You look at him now and you think is that really the same guy? It’s so refreshing to see guys develop right before your eyes. He has the leadership role in some aspects. If you watch our team, we win as Nick [Rutherford] and our guards go. He’s the igniter like the energizer bunny. He’s that guy that keeps going on and on and he doesn’t mind who he’s guarding. He guards [Seton Hall’s Myles] Powell, tried to guard [Marquette’s Markus] Howard today, so he’s meant a lot to our guys. Thomas [O’Connell], he was a lacrosse champion, but he brings something to our locker room. He brings a lot of wisdom to our locker room and these guys know he’s shared a lot of that wisdom with them in terms of how to win. Justin Cole, a guy that has seemed like he’s been here forever. I thought he was great in the Creighton game and made an impact. He got in today and made an impact. Those seniors, I’m sure they’re going to have a lot of memories, but they set the foundation moving forward.“

St. John’s guard Greg Williams Jr.

On the decisive end of game steal…

“I just saw an opportunity and took it. I came up with the ball and did what I needed to do to get the W.”

On team’s play…

“I think we are trusting each other more and playing for each other. Like I said the game before, when we do things like that, it’s hard to play against us.”

On playing for Head Coach Mike Anderson…

“The main thing is playing with effort. I feel like talent goes a long way, but when you play with effort and when other people don’t have it, it’s hard to play against that. Playing with effort is something you can’t teach, you just have to find within.”

St. John’s forward Julian Champagnie

On his steal with three seconds left in the second half…

“It felt pretty good to make the play. When he was driving, I saw him [Marquette’s Markus Howard] leaning to the basket and he wasn’t going to pass it. I figured I would help and hedge off of a little bit and made the play.”

On team’s play…

“I think we are playing better basketball. As time goes on, we are going to get better and play as a unit.”

On playing for Head Coach Mike Anderson…

“Coach [Anderson] always talks about second and third effort, but for me, it’s on the defensive end of the court because some days coach says to us, ‘you can’t be only good at your jump shot.’ Some days it will go in and some days it’s not so when it comes to the defensive part of the game, he’s helped us get better at it.”

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