• Joey Jarzynka

St. John's Press Conference Quotes Before West Virginia

COURTESY OF ST. JOHN'S ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT


St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson


On coaching at Madison Square Garden...

"I’m looking forward to it. I had a chance to come visit as an assistant coach. I’ve heard a lot about [coaching at Madison Square Garden]. And so, now I have an opportunity to have a team to go play and it’s our home court. We want to make sure it’s a home-court advantage. The way you create that is with your team, the fans, the enthusiasm. We’re looking forward to have some great energy and hopefully we can have some magical moments in there. We're playing against an outstanding West Virginia team that's undefeated, very balanced. They bring a physical nature to the game. Rebounding is their strength. They got balanced scoring, so it's a team that has depth. And of course coached by Bob Huggins who’s an outstanding coach." 

“We get a chance to play in what I call the Mecca of Basketball. A lot of great moments have been in that place, and not necessarily just basketball. It just seems like the magic happens in there. The fans are into it. You know you got some very knowledgeable fans and, of course, it's New York so we get a chance to call it home.”


On how he wants to see his team deal with West Virginia’s pressure...

"I want to see us really value the basketball. ... We’re going to continue the same mentality and be in attack mode. I think with West Virginia, obviously they like to shoot the ball and go get it. I think they get over fifty percent of their misses. So that's going to be a challenge for us. We've got to put bodies on bodies and they’re going to have a size advantage, so we got to match that physicality. I think that's going to be a big key and taking care of the basketball. Defensively, they’re going to get up in the lanes so we got to be able to space the floor and more importantly make shots and make plays." 


On Josh Roberts...

"Well, this is the next test for him. I think as you continue your schedule, obviously the tests get a little harder. The competition goes up a notch and if you want to be a player you got to raise your game, as well. It's going to be a good measuring stick for him because we don't see teams in the BIG EAST similar to what West Virginia brings to the table." 


On Ian Steere...

"I think his conditioning is going to be important, but hopefully it’ll give us another guy of size that can hopefully rebound for us. He's a skill kid. … He's still an inexperienced kid in terms of playing basketball at this level. But when you look at him, you're intrigued by his size and the things he can do.”


On what he wants to see most from his team...

"I like the progress. I think we're progressing at a good pace. I think one of the things we got to do is be a better finishing team. … It just seems the first half we play pretty good and then the second half, you know, gets a little sloppy, so playing with leads has got to be something we get better in.”


“Our team is going to work extremely hard, blue collar, dive on the floor for loose balls, take charges, and the strength of our team is going to be our bench. Our bench has really got to continue to play well.”


St. John’s Guard/Forward LJ Figueroa


On the challenge of playing West Virginia on Saturday…

“Every game is a big challenge. I know they play a fast-paced, full-court defense. They pressure just like us. I think it’s going to be a fun game. I know they have a couple of key players and their point guard Jermaine Haley actually went to Odessa Community College.”


On preparing for a team that presses a lot…

“I think we go against it every day in practice. We pressure each other every day. Everybody goes at each other and tries to make each other better. I think we're definitely well prepared for the game and the task at hand.”


On the importance of Saturday’s game…

“Well, it’s another game. We're focused on us and trying to get ourselves better every game. It’s another challenge, another big game, but we're just worried about ourselves and how we can get better every day in practice and in games.”


On the team’s second half performance against Saint Peter’s…

“We didn't execute in the second half. We turned the ball over. Made a lot of mental mistakes during the game. … This Saturday is going to be definitely a whole different ballgame. We definitely [need to] clean up the mistakes we made against Saint Peter's.”


On what he expects the atmosphere will be like at Madison Square Garden…

“I expect it to be like Villanova was last year. Great excitement, just the fans engaged. Everybody engaged. An up-tempo game. It’s the first game at The Garden and everybody's going to have jitters, butterflies, and ready to play. It’s a noon game so a lot of people are going to be there bright and early. We're going to get our shoot around in and just take it as it is and be ready for the challenge.”


On Josh Roberts…

“He does all the little things for us. Everything we need him to do. To be up on the ball screens, be athletic, talk to us. He’s always on the backside and lets us know where in position we are. [We need him to] just be a great player, just go do what he does. Rebound the ball, play hard, and be a team player.”


St. John’s Forward Josh Roberts


On Saturday’s game and going up against tougher competition…

“I feel like this would be a good opportunity to showcase what I can do. ... I just have to use my athleticism and play with heart. I see it as a wonderful opportunity for me. I get to prove myself to a lot of people.”

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