Quote Center: St. John's Red Storm Media Day
Joey- Coming from South Carolina two seasons ago, and being apart of the final four team that had an unfortunate meeting against Gonzaga, couldn’t get to the big game, but came close. Do you see yourself being a veteran on this team, in terms of knowing what it takes to get to the big dance? And what would you tell your teammates during their pursuit to said tournament?
Sedee Keita- “I want to bring that seriousness to practice. And try to be an anchor on defense.”
Joey- “Since your first day stepping onto the campus with your new teammates, have you noticed an increase in maturity and how the players handle situations on the court?
Sedee Keita- “Most definitely, after last years issues. Guys are all about family. We want to play for Marvin, as he is the lone senior heading out. We want to win for him.
Joey- Being the tallest player on a team that has the experience being a reserve man, what challenges do you see being presented to you as you could possibly be asked to guard some of the best players in the nation at the 5?
Sedee Keita- “Staying level headed and staying focused throughout the season. This is New York. People are going to say what they want to say. So you have to go out there and prepare how you prepare. Take your preparation and go into the games and play.
Joey- “What are your thoughts about your defense after losing Tariq Owens to Texas Tech and graduation? Do you believe you guys can maintain the Top 50 defense from a season ago?
Justin Simon- “The loss of Tariq hurts. He was a top 3 in shot blocking. Losing a guy like that, it hurts Sedee Keita, has shown glimpses that he can do just as much or more than Tariq. He gives us a better presence offensively and down low in the post, I think were capable of maintaining the Top 50 defense.
Joey- “What are your thoughts about the incoming freshman?
Justin Simon- “They’ve adapted really well. They’ve picked up things quicker than we’ve thought. They’re capable of coming in right away and playing good minutes. They’re a real talented group.
BRYAN TRIMBLE JR.
Joey- “Being the team’s sixth man a season ago, and potentially playing that role for a second straight season, how do you see your role either expand, or diminish as we head into the season with extreme aspirations?
Bryan Trimble Jr.- “Just a spark, being able to score, being able to lockdown most importantly. Being able to lock in this year. Making sure who ever I’m guarding not to score.
Joey- “Who could be your biggest threat this year within the Big East Conference?”
Bryan Trimble Jr.- “We're not really looking to much into that. Just like Coach [Mullin] said. I can’t even tell you who’s good or bad this year.
Joey- “Speak about the loss of Tariq Owens as well. Biggest guy on the team.”
Bryan Trimble Jr.- “Big loss for sure. One heck of a shot blocker. He was coming to work everyday, and putting his all into the game. Its very hard to watch a player like that go.
Joey- “As the MAAC Rookie of the Year two seasons ago with the Bobcats of Quinnipiac, how do you fit in here with the Johnnies in the Big East?
Mikey Dixon- “I’m another guard, playmaker, scorer, make play for others, bringing energy on the defensive ends. Bring the hustle.”
Joey- “Speak about the addition of Mustapha Heron to your already loaded team.”
Mikey Dixon- “That was big for sure. Like coach [Mullin] said, brings more depth and experience. Another scorer that we lacked last year. It could be honestly a great year for us. Adding Mustapha was huge for us for this program. We just have to put things together.
GENERAL QUOTES FROM OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS AND ST. JOHN’S ATHLETICS
HEAD COACH CHRIS MULLIN
On the offensive talent of the team- “We’ve got a lot of offensive players, we do. Guys that have scored pretty big in college basketball. Five guys on the court that have to share the ball, gotta set screens, be unselfish. I think a big factor for us is going to be on the defensive end. Being able to force turnovers and increase possessions so everyone gets a piece of the pie.”
To the fans for the upcoming season- “Looking forward to a great season. Let’s pack this place out, lets pack out the Garden and give you something to cheer about.” I like this team. It takes time to get there. If we could waive people and trade people we might have done some transactions, but we did it the old fashioned way and along the way I think we’ve gained a lot of experience. Experience doesn’t always come in sugar and smiles. Sometimes you have to deal with some adversity, which I think is probably the best thing for you. I think its been a nice, natural progression. We’ve respected the journey. What it takes, wins and losses and we’ve never shied away from it. Never blamed anybody and hopefully this year will be a nice winning season.”
On having Shamorie Ponds back- “I’m so happy. I love Shamorie. Shamorie’s one of those low-maintenance, easy going kids. I see a lot of myself in him as far as the attitude. He’s just a joy to be around. He’s a fun kid. I love having him around. Obviously as a player, yeah, but I love hanging with him. He’s a really nice guy, his family is great to have around. So yeah from that standpoint, I’m really happy and I want him to fulfill his dream.
On the different lineups that can go on the floor- “We’ll look at a lot of different lineups. We’ve got really good versatility that lends itself to playing pressure defense and switching, so i think well look at a lot of different lineups as the season goes along, and I do think whatever lineups we put out there, they key is going to be rebounds for it to be effective.”
On the impact Mustapha Heron can have- “I think he’s another player that defenses have to really, really account for and pretty much guard him pretty closely. So we can put guys on the court at every position that can really score the ball. We can probably put a lineup out there of five guys the can get off the dribble, make a three. So when you have lineups like that its going to open up opportunities, open up the floor to spacing and I think we’ll be better. You know we put guys in the post, I think theyll have room to operate and make plays for their teammates. From a natural progression over the last few years, we’ve gotten better in a lot of those areas, and they’ve gotten better as we’ve gotten better players.
On taking a leadership role- “I think its all in your actions. I try to pride myself on being one of the hardest workers when I step into any type of arena or any type of setting, so i don’t think its hard.
On this years team- “I think we’ve got a lot of talent here. I think we have a chance to go really deep and make deep runs in our conference and in the national tournament. I think basketball is moving more towards a position-less type of game and i think that we fit that mold perfectly.”
On his attitude this summer without knowing if he would be eligible- “I waited the whole summer for it, but we had practice and stuff during the summer, so I just went to practice as if I was playing. As if I was cleared already, I didn’t want to get to this point in the season and just be getting ready to learn plays and stuff, so we came in with the idea like I’m playing right away. I’m ready as if I was told from day one that I was able to play.”
On the day he found out he was eligible- “I didn’t know it was coming. It was definitely a sigh of relief. I’m just ready to get started and go to war with my guys and hopefully this outcome is good.”
On expectations for himself this year- “Just to win. I feel like I received some accolades [last year], but I feel like I didn’t showcase my winning and thats what a lot of people want to see. See me lead the summer and be a winner.”
On the team this year- “We definitely added a lot of pieces that we needed, especially having a lot of depth. Those [new] guys, they’re great at what they do, so we are pretty much confident with their abilities.”
On having Mustapha Heron- “I fell like we both have a lot to prove, but we definitely are going to show the world what they want to see. We’re confident and we’re working everyday.”
On last years finish leading to this years approach- “Definitely, it was important to finish strong. Just us knowing that we can win those types of games that we won, we’re confident. So now going into game one on November 1st, we are approaching every game like how we played those games when we won.”
Continuation ^- “Being from New York, I feel like theres a lot of kids who go away. I feel like I wanted to set my own trend and show people that you can do it where you’re from, you don’t have to go out of state to showcase your abilities.”
On his reaction when he heard that Mustapha Heron would be immediately eligible this season- “Nothing but excitement. I’m really excited for the season. I can’t wait for our first game to get everyone out there. We have a lot of talent, so adding a guy like him, its tremendous and I’m just looking forward to it.”
On how he thinks Heron will fit in with the team’s established backcourt- “Perfectly. We’re a team full of versatile players. I feel we can put anybody anywhere. We all work on our game and I’m just really excited to see how it all unfolds.”
MARVIN CLARK II
On his team’s ability to play both big and small this season- “Day by day you just know you have to work at every position, learn every position and make sure your skill set is high as far as being able to play against all sizes. For me, this summer I was really working on my playmaking, being able to play off the dribble a lot more and just spacing the floor.”
On the addition of junior guard Mustapha Heron- “Mustapha is a great player. He had a chance to achieve his dreams of going to the NBA, unfortunately had to come back. But just having a player like that who’s had success and is skilled, has a chance of playing at that level, to just brings a lot of things to the table. It brings somebody who is going to push you every day, who is definitely going to make you better. He’s calculated, has a high IQ. He’s somebody who definitely helps you sharpen your defense, so i look to guard him everyday in practice. Theres just a lot of things he’s going to bring for us. I think its going to be a special year, a special year for sure.”