Quote Center: St. John's Postgame vs. California (Legends Classic)


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On California’s performance:

“I thought Cal played a hell of a game. They’ve been travelling all over the world, and I think they had a game cancelled recently, so I mean they’ve had kind of an adverse start to their season. I thought they came out and played tremendous. We let them get comfortable, but they made some tough shots. A lot of times when you say you played decent defense, maybe we didn’t finish with a contest, but they were still working off the dribble deep into the shot clock, so you have to give them a lot of credit.”


On St. John’s performance:

“We got back on our heels a little bit because they were scoring and they got confident, but I was happy with the way we regrouped and got the win. When there was about four minutes left we talked about being in this position before and we’re going to be in it again, so let’s go out and make the plays we need to win, and Shamorie [Ponds] caught fire. … I thought Marvin [Clark II] struggled a bit during the game, but he came up with some big rebounds and made some free throws.”


On the chance to win a title Tuesday:

“First and foremost, we have to get some rest. ... It’s nice to play in a high-stakes game this early in the season against a good team, so we’ll be jacked up.“


On tonight’s game:

“I think them scoring at such a high rate and shooting such a high percentage really dictated the tempo of the game. For them to sit back in zone and score like they did really kept us out of a rhythm, and we were fortunate that Shamorie found his own rhythm. He made some tough, tough shots. If you look at the stats, they’re virtually identical. They really are, and we made three more free throws. That’s really what it comes down to. That’s a pretty unique game, but that experience showed out. Our guys had the confidence they could win it and they went out and made the plays to do it.”



On Shamorie Ponds:

“Shamorie obviously can score the ball, everyone knows that. He’s a high-level passer. Tonight, he had to score, so he did. He made some beautiful passes. Last game, other guys were going and he kept us lined up and played as unselfish of a game I’ve seen him play since he’s been with us and was very effective. He’s the type of player that doesn’t have to score to influence the game, but when he needs to, everyone knows he can. His playmaking is special. [Shamorie] and Justin set the tone for us, they always do, and some nights they look unsung, but they rebound, they push the break, they run out plays, they’re unselfish, so both of those guys do a good job.”


On the strength of the BIG EAST:

“I think the BIG EAST will be tough. I don’t even think that’s a question. I think that’s automatic. … The BIG EAST is going to be solid, I don’t think there’s any question about that.”


On the team’s attitude:

“Attitude’s been great. One thing we do is we have our goals and expectations, but we really operate on a daily basis. What do we have to do today to improve. Each guy has their dreams and their aspirations, we all do, but you only can fulfill them with a daily plan and that’s really what we focus on.”


Junior guard Shamorie Ponds…


On his performance late in the 2nd Half:

“I really just found a rhythm. Coach just told me to keep going with my teammates. I just got hot and I just wanted to stay out there.”


On his approach heading into games this year:

“With this team, we have so much depth. It can be anybody on any given night. We just stick to the game plan and just play our role.”


On playing in his home borough:

“It feels good. The crowd got us into it late in the game, so it feels good to be home. It definitely feels good to get a win at home.”


Redshirt Junior guard Justin Simon…


On the chance to win the Legends Classic title tomorrow:

“It means a lot to play in a championship game. We’re going to come out ready to play whoever it is. This is a great win and we’re just going to lock in and see who we got next.”


On the team’s chemistry and depth:


“I think we can get a lot better. I think we’re getting better every day in practice and in games. We’re just still getting a feel for each other and improving tremendously on both ends.”


On Cal’s offensive performance:

“They were hitting tough shots. They’re a great team that’s well-coached. We were trying to give them difficult looks. But we stayed with the game plan and came out with a victory.”

Joseph Jarzynka