• Joey Jarzynka

St. John's Pregame Quotes vs. Vermont

COURTESY OF ST. JOHN'S ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson


On Rasheem Dunn's legislative relief waiver...

"He's such a great young man with all the things he's been through and I'm sure it's been weighing on him. To have a waiver approved is big news for him and we knew it was big for us. I gave him an opportunity to go tell his teammates and I think they were happier for him. He's worked extremely hard to be in a position to help his team. It is good to know that you know the NCAA cleared him to play. I know he's in a better place and he's going to impact our team. I think he will impact in terms of how we play, add more depth and more toughness. [He’s] another guy that's capable of scoring at a pretty good clip." 


On depth...

"I think Rasheem will give you another guy that can add on, and it's not necessarily just contributing in scoring. He makes other people better defensively and he can cause some havoc but he's got to get a feel for it. These guys that have already played three games and if you count the scrimmage and the exhibition game, they've played five games.."


On Dunn's role...

"Rasheem is just a basketball player. He can play both [guard] positions. It just adds another dimension to our basketball team. A guy that can attack and create for others, he can create for himself. Defensively, he's pretty active. He can rebound. He can fix things on defense. His quickness is probably his strength and I think he plays with the level of toughness that you gotta have, especially playing in the BIG EAST."


On defense...

"Our defense the strongest in the half court, but people don't understand that. When you extend the floor, all you’re trying to do is disrupt. In the half court, because it's so confined, you're able to do more of those things, as opposed to extending the floor. Extending the floor is basically to speed you up, but I have core defenses that I'm really zeroed in on and that continues to be a work in progress."


On whether Vermont will be different than the past three games...

"They all are tests for this basketball team because we have so many new parts. Every game is a big game and it's just the next game on our schedule. That's how we're going to approach it."


On Vermont...

"Their strength is they've been together, returning a lot of people back from a team that went to the [NCAA] Tournament. Defensively, they do a really good job and we know they're capable of really shooting the basketball. They can spread you, they've got multiple ball handlers. We're going to have to play well, have to defend, have to be able to score. We'll have to make our plan work but they got other players on that basketball team as well."


On if Vermont is a step up in class compared to the first three opponents…

“I think they're good basketball team. I don't look at classes. I look at all teams are good. Everybody has players. I don't know if you've been watching games, Evansville-Kentucky. I mean, I was watching Towson and Florida last night. It’s whoever shows up that night. The best team is going to win.”


On if Dunn being able to play is affecting how he approaches practice …

“Not really. I mean he was in practice with the assumption that he was eventually going to play anyway. No. There won’t be any change. I'm sure with [Dunn], the nerves will be going a little bit because it's for real. He’ll actually get a chance to put that uniform on and play.”


On the one thing that Dunn brings that makes St. John’s a better team…

“I think he's quick with the ball. I think he can create not just for himself, but for others. He just plays relentlessly. I just love his toughness. I love his aggressiveness. He’s got a good basketball IQ and he’s a team player.  He plays to win.”


On if his team needs to create more shots…

“Oh, without a doubt. I think because people are going to key it on Mustapha [Heron]. They’re going to key it on LJ [Figueroa]. You got to have guys with the floor spaced out. You got to have people that can break down people and be able to create. That has been a signature of all my teams. You got multiple guys that can do that.”


St. John’s Guard/Forward LJ Figueroa


On the team’s reaction to Rasheem Dunn’s waiver clearance…

“Actually we were all watching film on our game versus New Hampshire. We were all in the room and we noticed Rah wasn't there so we knew something was up and he just busted in the room in the middle of film. He just gave us the news everybody just turned around and looked at him and it was just an amazing feeling for the team, and for him and his family, definitely. After that we couldn't even continue to watch the film everybody was so excited. We congratulated him and it was a good feeling.”


On what Dunn adds to the team on the court…

“He’s definitely a big piece to our team. Ever since he came here in the summer he's been working very hard. He’s a point guard. People are saying we're lacking at the point guard position but I don't think we are. He’s an offensive threat and defensive threat too. He’s an all-around great team leader.


“He handles the ball, organizes the team. If there’s too many turnovers and stuff, he calms down the pace. He knows when to push the pace. He makes great decisions on the fly. He knows when to rotate on the defensive side. On the offensive side he is a great facilitator, can find our open shooters in better spots.”


On if having Dunn relieves some of the pressure on him and Mustapha Heron…

“He's a hard worker. He plays hard on both ends of the floor so I think he's going to help us out tremendously, not just with the scoring, but just having another experienced player that we definitely need on our roster. So I think he's going to help us out on and off the court. He’s definitely a great leader.”


On if having Dunn makes the team better…

“Yes, definitely. [Dunn] 100 percent makes us a better team. ”


On if Vermont is St. John’s first test of the season…

“I feel like every game is a test for this team. [Vermont] definitely has a lot more experience, a lot of capable shooters, so it's definitely going to be a great game to watch and be a part of.”


On if he’s excited for tomorrow’s game…

“Yeah. I’m definitely excited. I mean it's another game to our season. Already our fourth game into the season. When the season starts rolling the games just fly by. Just seven games closer to get to the BIG EAST.”

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