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


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On Shamorie Ponds near triple-double:

“We left him in a little extra and it didn’t work out. I kind of was [disappointed] but sometimes that’s the way the ball bounces. He played a heck of a game, 14 assists, one turnover, to me, really is the most important thing and something he’s really done a great job of. His playmaking’s been incredible and that to me, more than grabbing an extra rebound, but 14 assists and one turnover, to me, is pretty incredible.”


On Shamorie Ponds’ ability as a playmaker:

“I think we’ve seen it, it’s actually become more apparent because he’s got better players around him. Pretty much since he’s started, his passing has always been something that’s stood out to me. He’s got great instincts, and he’s done a much better job overall just playing with better pace, which opens things up. The most important thing is, obviously he has the ability to really score the ball at a high level, on nights when he’s not scoring he’s having a big influence on the game, with his defense, assists, and general playmaking. We use him as a screener, he’s setting good screens. So he’s doing a lot of stuff that, to me, is really important for our team and him moving forward.”


On the team’s 10-0 start:

“The 10-0 is a great accomplishment no matter who you play. It hasn’t been done for [36] years. ... I think what it says is that our daily approach has been on point and I don’t think we get too high or too low. I think we’re pretty transparent, first and foremost. Our approach is to win the game. Obviously, we like to play as well as we can. But more importantly, the next day we watch the film and try and better things. … Tonight I thought our defense was really good and then we turned the ball over a bit. So every time you feel good about one thing something else pops up. For the most part, we’ve been really good at not turning the ball over. Last two games, we had 14 or 15, which is a little high for us. I thought, especially in the second half, our switching defense was much better and much more aggressive. I think our daily approach, which is try and prepare for each game as the come. It’s not really looking ahead or looking backwards or really concerned who we’re playing. We’re concerned with how we’re playing, and what we need to do to win that game.”


On team’s lack of national recognition:

“I’m not concerned about that, I’m really not. For the most part we really have our own set of expectations and goals that doesn’t really entail getting recognized for anything but trying to win the game that’s in front of us and keep on improving. Like I said, the record is what it is. Everything else will fall in place when it falls in place, whenever that may be.



On Shamorie Ponds:

“That playmaking ability was there. That’s kind of a gift. Guys see the game or they don’t. A lot of times, guys that get assists like that, see the play before it happens. In slow motion, they’re not rushed. They operate in small spaces comfortably. But I get back to the players around him, not only are they able to but when they stay closer to whoever that player is, there’s more space for that play to develop. With his scoring ability, when he gets by his man, there’s more space when that guy helps off, that guy’s more open. They do go hand in hand, but that player still has to be able to see that play and make that play. Shamorie can make pretty much every pass there is, with his left and his right hand. I think a big change in him this year, I think his pace has been much better. … He’s moving with much more speed, pace and power.


On tonight’s performance:

“At halftime, I really felt that nothing stuck out to me that we were doing very well or very bad. I felt like we were participating. We really weren’t competing. In turn, I thought we let Wagner get comfortable. We started off the game pretty well. We got some nice stops but we didn’t reward ourselves. We were a little sloppy with the ball. That sometimes is demoralizing. Quite frankly it shows up over time in the score. You get two or three stops, turn it over, put them on the line, things like that, it all adds up. In the second half our defense was solid. We still missed too many free throws, so we gave some points away there, and turnovers. We didn’t put together a complete performance but we did what we had to do to win.”


St. John’s Junior Guard Shamorie Ponds…


On coming up one rebound short of a triple double:

“I mean I was trying to get it, but also I wasn’t trying to get hurt. It was coming to the end of the game and the game was kind of like, over. So I mean, I was trying to get it, but things happen.”


On how he felt after being taken out of the game:

“I wasn’t upset. I wanted to get it, but I know where Coach [Mullin] is coming from. He didn’t want me to get hurt, so I respect it.”


On the adjustments the team made going into the second half:

“We just had to sit down defensively. I feel like they were getting too many open shots, uncontested looks. So, I mean, we just tightened up on the defensive end eliminated the bugs in transition and we went on a run.”


On his game and what his game plan was:

“I’m just trying to do whatever to win. Whatever I need to do, whether I have to be the best defender out there, the best scorer. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win.”


On if he cares about not being ranked:

“Not at all. I was never the type to care about rankings. It’s just a number. Anybody can be beat anyone in the country.”



St. John’s Redshirt Senior Forward Marvin Clark II…


On Shamorie Ponds and how he handles the game:

“Like I said at the last press conference we had, he’s been working on all facets of his game. He’s really been trying to be more of a playmaker. Because of that, he’s making us better, making our team better. It was definitely a special performance. I wish he could have gotten that tenth rebound, but it’s definitely nice to watch him blow up.”


On the changes he made to his shot that made it more successful:

“I just take it back to last season. I got off to a slow start last season too, but I pride myself on my work ethic and I put a lot of work in this summer and I have to pat my teammates on the back because they’ve helped me find my rhythm and made it a lot easier playing the five this season.”


On what this 10-0 start means to him:

“It means a lot. I think we haven’t even scratched our surface yet, but I think it means a lot. That’s obviously what we came here to do, to turn this program around. We actually haven’t even really sat down and just thought about it. We’ve just been trying to lock in on getting better and getting ready for BIG EAST play. But it’s an amazing feeling and let’s keep the train rolling.”


On limiting Wagner’s three-point scoring:

“I think just looking back on the last couple of games, we’ve let our opponents get a lot of open looks, uncontested looks. All effort things and mindset type things. We just wanted to, over this week break we’ve had, work on the defensive end and make sure our switches are much crisper. Making sure we’re contesting everything. Hard work pays off, we just have to keep it rolling.”


On being the only undefeated team not to be ranked:

“It doesn’t bother us. All we can do is control what we can control and at the end of the day we feel like we want to be the hunters, not the hunted so we don’t mind being where we’re at. At the end of the day, we’re 10-0 and that hasn’t been done here since Coach Mullin was playing. So that’s our main focus. Whatever coaches or whoever votes for the Top 25, we’ll continue to do what we do. It is what it is.”


On what Coach Mullin told him at halftime:

“Coach just told us to be aggressive offensively. We felt like we were being too passive, which we were. We were moving the ball around way too much instead of taking open shots. And I think as a result we came out a lot more aggressive in the second half. We defended a lot better, not to say we weren’t defending in the first half, but we definitely turned it up a little bit and we made shots, got out in transition, and that’s when we were at our best.”

Joseph Jarzynka