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


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On how ready the team is for BIG EAST competition:

“I think we’ve had a lot of improvement, which is exciting to me. I thought tonight we were really good offensively. That kid [Devin] Cannady is a heck of a player. He’s a heck of a shooter. Shamorie [Ponds] did a much of better job on him in the second half, but I’m excited about the improvements that we’re going to make. The good thing is, it’s not a lot of major things. It’s a lot of small details that we work on every day and we will continue to get better at. I think we’re doing a lot of good things and it’s exciting that there’s room for improvement.”


On the consistency of the team:

“I think when we put those stretches together, the ball was moving, we were making shots but it also started with a nice stop and a rebound, so I thought tonight we did a good job on the boards. When we get out, get stops, and share we’re pretty exciting. We’re working toward being more consistent, working toward, 20, 25, 30, 40 minutes. But we see the potential. … The players understand what the difference is and that’s why we practice and that’s why we rehearse and prepare. So I think that’s the exciting part for me is that we see what we can do. Doing it more consistently is our next step.”


On what part of the game can be more consistent:

“I think both sides we can. Tonight in the second half we did a much better job defending and being able to rebound. I thought tonight we got a little careless with the ball. We had 14 turnovers. We’re usually down to around eight or nine. In the first half, too, I thought we made some nice stops. We didn’t reward ourselves by being just a bit careless. When we put those together, we all see what we can do.”


On what the players have taught him that he’ll take with them in the future:

“From a basketball standpoint, we’ve been talking about fundamentals. … When you try and play the game at a highlight reel pace, that’s usually when you get beat so we’ve stressed fundamentals, skill development, unselfishness on offense and defense. Life experience, we all have our experiences. We try to share them with each other and learn from our mistakes. One thing I always try not to forget, I was once their age and what they go through, and I try to keep that fresh in my mind that not so much from a critical standpoint but from assistance and mentorship as opposed to just judging and try to do what’s best for them and trying to remember I was in their shoes and what it’s like.”


On Jim O’Connell (Oc):

“I’ve known him for a long time. Oc’s been a really good friend of mine. I’ve always admired his class, his humility, his dignity. I thought he did a great job covering basketball, but more importantly I appreciate his friendship and his class and dignity. I think in basketball there are guys you look up to. I think he’s a guy that you all probably looked up to and tried to emulate.”


St. John’s Guard Shamorie Ponds…


On the crowd at Madison Square Garden:

“Madison Square Garden is the most famous arena. With that being said, I feel like our fans are extra pumped and we just feed off their energy.”


On his strong offensive performance in the second half:

“Just setting my teammates up, but I also think I need to cut down on my turnovers. I think I had a little bit too many, but we just have to keep improving.”


On what needs to be done to be prepared for the BIG EAST:

“I’d say just stay together. I feel like with a 9-0 record we can’t get content. We can’t get comfortable. I feel like we have a lot to improve, so we just have to keep pushing.”


St. John’s Men’s Basketball Guard Marvin Clark II…


On not getting the start:

“I was happy for my teammates, cheering them on. That’s what a team is for. I trust in every one of my teammate’s capabilities.”


On his overall thoughts on the team performance:

“I thought we performed well in stretches. Like Coach (Mullin) said, we have a lot to improve on, but it’s nothing major. In my mind it’s all little things, just paying attention to minor details. Something so simple as realizing the game is not over. We got a little lax. Started trying to have too much fun on the break, even myself. I tried to push it and go behind the back. Luckily I dove on it and pushed it out, but just little things like that. I think once we figure out that once we get that lead, you start stepping on guys’ throats, that’s when we’ll reach our full potential.”


On what needs to be done to be prepared for the BIG EAST:

“We get about a week off. Get a chance to get our bodies right, get a chance to step away from the game just a little bit. I think we just have to keep working. I think just using this week more to prepare and gel a little more. Tonight we showed a little bit that we’ve been working together and playing together. We had a few nice possessions where we moved the ball where everybody touched it. We also had some nice possessions where we had some great scrambles. Everybody helped everybody on defense. So I would just say using that time to really prepare and really lock in and focus on the little things like Coach (Mullin) said and with that comes just being responsible and having humility and accepting whatever coach is telling us and going out there and practicing.”

Joseph Jarzynka