Quote Center: St. John's Postgame vs. Creighton


St. John's Head Coach Chris Mullin…

On the injury to Shamorie Ponds:
"He has a bruised quad. He got a knee to the quad. He'll get treatment tomorrow, see how he feels on Thursday, and go from there."

On how starting 0-9 in BIG EAST play this season compares to 0-9 in 2015-16:
"I just told them in the locker room, that second half was a great effort. We have to play 40 minutes though. We don't have the ability to play 20, 30, or 35 minutes. We have to play 40 minutes. No one wants to win more and no one is more competitive than the guys in the locker room and myself. The record, we don't like it at all, we hate it. I do think how we handle it is important. I told them that you can lose games, but you're not a loser if you approach it the right way. You hold yourself accountable, you make changes, you keep coming out and fighting, you have personal pride, and that's how things change. We all have a personal timeline of how we want our life to go, and how we want the season to go. When it doesn't go our way or on our time schedule, the easy thing to do is blame, give up, point fingers, and that's not happening. We're not doing that. That's not how I operate, and that's not how my players operate. We will stay together as a group, work through this, hold our head high, compete, run through any obstacle, grab it by the neck, and do whatever we have to do to change this. That's where our focus is."

On seven of the nine BIG EAST losses being by seven points or less:
"Actually, we talked about that yesterday. We have six losses by 5.3 points, and tonight we lost by five. They are all different. They're not grouped into one reason. Like tonight, if you look at the stat sheet, the biggest difference was made threes. That's something we work on every day. I thought we got some good looks at the right time; we just didn't knock them down. That's part of the game. You make some, you miss some. We haven't made them at the right time yet. Like I said, it's not going to deter from our determination or our commitment."

On maintaining consistency throughout the entire game:
"I think it varies. Tonight, we played a better second half than a first half. We've sat here before and played better first halves, so it varies. Part of that is getting past that 30-minute mark to play 35 minutes and then play 40 minutes. I'm asking a lot of these guys to play a lot of minutes, so fatigue goes in different ways. Fatigue can be physical, or it can be mental. I understand that, but the thing is we have to do that at this point in time."

On Creighton making 11 3-pointers:
"Tonight, I think our overall defense was pretty good. They are a pretty high-octane offense; we held them to 68 points. If you told me coming in that we hold them to 68, I'd probably say that was a pretty good effort."

On a message to fans to maintain hope:
"My first statement was that the easiest thing to do was give up, but that's not happening. That's not what anyone came here for. We're going to work through it. … I don't know that give-up world. I'm not about that at all. … I keep coming, keep fighting, keep throwing blows, and keep showing up. That's what I'm about. That's what my players are about. I guess that's a mindset or DNA, but no giving up ever. You have to put me in the ground. You have to bury me. That's when I'll give up."

Redshirt junior forward Tariq Owens…

On losing by less than seven:
"It is very frustrating. We feel like we are right there, we work hard but it's just not enough. We have to figure out how we can get more and how we can do more. Each person has to take on that individual challenge to give the team more and to push through. We are right there, losing games by less than seven, but we can't afford to put ourselves in holes early. We have a really small margin for error, so it takes a full 40 minutes. We can't have lapses."

On the season:
"We came into this year strong. We lost one of our best point guards [Marcus LoVett] that kind of hindered us a little bit, but at the end of the day, we have faith in the guys that we have. We have proven we can keep up and we can hang in the game, so it's just a simple fact that we are shorthanded. With guys having to play more minutes, you still have to lock in mentally, that's what it comes down to and that's what we have to do. "

Redshirt sophomore guard Justin Simon...

On overall performance:
"I am confident in all our guys, everybody that is wearing St. John's across their chest, but we just can't put ourselves in that hole early. We are right there it is just the little things throughout the whole game that bite us at the end."

On Shamorie Ponds:
"They played really good defense on Shamorie [Ponds]. Creighton is a great team. We love having him on the floor, he's one of the best guards in the BIG EAST, but I have a lot of confidence in our guys. We have that next man up mindset, and I thought that group out there really fought hard, dug in, and fought till the end."

Creighton Head Coach Doug McDermott...

On overall performance:
"I think we had some decent shots. They weren't turning it over, but defensively they were taking the shots that we wanted them to take. I thought Khyri [Thomas] did a good job with Shamorie [Ponds], made his looks tough, but St. John's hasn't quit all year. We have been in that spot, three or four years ago we started 0-8, and I know how difficult it is. It's hard to get yourself ready to practice, and give Chris [Mullin] and his staff credit, his team has continued to compete."

Joseph Jarzynka