Quote Center: St. John's Pregame vs. Maryland Eastern Shore

Courtesy of St. John’s Red Storm Athletic Communications Office

St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin


On the team:

“We have a lot of new faces. We’ve got a different roster and we’re still coming together, getting familiar with each other. We have a long way to go but have had a good little start.”


On Shamorie Ponds not being satisfied with his start:

“Sports are about what you do today and we have this big vision in what we want to do but we have to do it every day. Shamorie has come back with a really good attitude and is doing what we need him to do on a given night. It’s good for us as a team and good for him, for his future. He needs to understand when to score, when to pass, play defense, box out, and he’s doing all the little things that don’t appear on the stat sheet, and it’s nice when his stats do shine, but he has to both.”


On what Mustapha Heron brings to the team:

“His experience, strength as a player, maturity, [grit], he’s one of those guys that over time after playing with these new players, he will keep getting better. He’s already had two big scoring nights. What he has as far as experience and skill are things you can’t teach.”


On the team’s maturity:

“I think with Shamorie [Ponds], Justin [Simon] Marvin [Clark II], and Mustapha [Heron], it’s a team that has players that can lead. There’s a whole group of young players who are trying to find their way, and we have four guys that can lead their teammates.”


On Shamorie Ponds’ performance at the Legends Classic:

“He did what was needed. We had a blueprint of what we wanted to do, but the game dictates what you need to do. He’s got a well-rounded game that he can do what’s needed and I think he’s done that.”


On Shamorie Ponds “not playing his best”:

“At 20 years old, I hope his best is yet to come. That’s what maturity and growth is all about; not saying it, doing it.”


On recruiting transfers and junior college players:

“Historically, I think those numbers have increased in the last 10 years. There is a huge advantage physically for sure and, hopefully, maturity wise. I think it’s a clear advantage to have a guy with experience and physical maturity.”


St. John’s junior guard Shamorie Ponds


On winning BIG EAST Player of the Week:

“It’s definitely a blessing. I’m just happy that we won those two games. It was a big turning point for us. Unfortunately we have further to go so we can’t be content with where we are at now.”


On the team’s character and determination to win close games:

“[Winning close games] definitely builds character. These are games we need to win before heading into a tough BIG EAST conference.”


On the difference of this year’s  5-0 team compared to last year:

“This team is more mature. We’re more together like a family. Last year we had moments when we came together, but this year’s team, I think our identity is more together. We’re just trying to stay level-headed. We know how it turned out last year and we’re not trying to make the same mistake.”


On Mustapha Heron:

“I think he’s definitely comfortable. He knows what he brings to the team, offensively and defensively. He’s been a positive on both sides of the ball. He can do it all. He’s a great piece to have when you need it.”


On his start to the season:

“A 5-0 start is a great way to start. Individually I think I got off to an OK start, but I can’t be content. I have to shoot the ball better. Personally, I haven’t played my best yet. I feel like I haven’t shot it well from three yet. I still have a low three-point percentage but that’s going to change.”


On the expectations he’s set for himself:

“Just to win. Winning is the main key. With this team, I think we can go pretty far. The farther you get, the better you play. Coming into this year with this team, we felt that making the NCAA tournament was one of our goals. We can’t just want to make it there. We have to want to win it all.”


St. John’s junior guard Mustapha Heron


On his thoughts on the season so far:

“I think it’s been going pretty good. We’re 5-0 right now. Just hoping to win as many games as possible.”


On how he feels:

“I feel good. I feel like I’m trying to grow every game, as a leader, as a teammate.”


On the good start:

“I feel pretty good. We’re getting wins, you know 5-0 right now so we’re just trying to take it one game at a time and just get better.”


On his consistency through the first part of the season:

“I think that’s just how basketball is. You have good games, you have bad games. You have to learn and grow with each one.”


On how he thinks the team could improve:

“I think communication, talking with each other, talking through each play and just listening to the scouting reports and listening to what coach is saying.”


On what he has liked so far throughout the season:

“We’ve played hard. We play together. I think we play for each other and I think there’s definitely been some unselfish basketball going on.”


On the transition to St. John’s:

“There wasn’t really too much of an adjustment. Just coming in playing basketball, playing hard, playing unselfish.”


On his mindset before he was granted his hardship waiver:

“I just practiced as if I was playing already from June when I came in here so it wasn’t too much of a transition. I was used to the guys, the guys were used to me so it wasn’t too much of a transition.”


On the difference of being close to home

“It makes a huge difference. My family gets to come and see me. The support is great. Just being able to go down, being an hour and 30 minutes down the road is huge. I had a good Thanksgiving with [my mom].”


On what he has learned since coming to St. John’s:

“I just learned I had great leadership capabilities and I’m just somebody who can go out there and put their body on the line every single night.”


On last year’s 5-0 start compared to this one:

“It’s definitely something that we talk about. Not having a repeat of last year where they were 10-2 going into BIG EAST play and they kind of dropped off so we’re definitely just taking it one game at a time and trying to learn and grow every game.”


On whom he has leaned on since coming to St. John’s:

“I lean on everybody. We all lean on each other and we got a team of either, I mean, Shamorie is the only person that is in his third year here. Everybody else is in their first or second year so we have to lean on each other.”


On what the close wins have taught this team:

“That we can fight, that we play hard. We’re gritty so that’s something I think we can carry through the rest of the season with us.”

Joseph Jarzynka