Quote Center: St. John's Postgame vs. No. 16/18 Marquette


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On if tonight’s performance reflects his vision for his team:

“When you have a lot of offensive players, the ball has to move. That goes two ways. If the ball doesn’t move, the offense becomes stagnant and can sometimes look selfish. If you move the ball and let the pass create energy, good things happen. Not only do we have good scorers, we have players with high IQ’s. After our last game, I wasn’t really disappointed with how we played. There were some adjustments that had to be made but they weren’t drastic. It was more on the fundamentals of basketball. I thought our defense tonight was phenomenal and it dictated the whole game and we did a good job taking away the three.”


On the team’s improved three-point defense:

“I think the one thing that happens as the season moves along is that the team gets locked in. We’ve locked down on our strengths and weaknesses. I think that’s a natural progression. From a physical standpoint, I think we have a good team in the way that we can switch and take away some shots on defense. I think we’re solid and versatile enough to do this every night and it’s something that we’ve gotten better at.”


On the atmosphere at Carnesecca Arena tonight:

“I loved it. I thought the energy was tremendous. They were there to support us and lift us up. At the end of the first half they were great. We got stops basically the entire second half. I thought it was a big factor to have Carnesecca [Arena] rocking.”


On the impact of winning against a ranked opponent:

“Wherever we play, we feel like we have a good enough team to beat anybody. We have to play the right way and do everything fundamentally sound. We prepare, look at the scouting report and personnel and go out and compete.”


On Shamorie Ponds’ performance tonight:

“I’m just glad he played well. I know he didn’t feel good about last game. … I’ve played games just like that. I remember them still to this day and the only thing you want to do is go out there and play again and play well. Days like that, they’re really good teaching moments in basketball, but also in life. Things get thrown your way unexpectedly and a lot of times you’re not going to like it, but the most important thing is how you handle it. I thought he played a beautiful game tonight. To play like he did tonight, coming back from the way he felt two days ago, that’s what college basketball is all about.”


On the fan’s excitement for the basketball program:

“That building tonight was a big factor. I really believe that. The fans came out and not only supported our guys but they’re excited with what’s going on with our team. They realize that it’s been a progression and they’ve watched it grow. When you do it that way, there’s a buy-in. People feel connected to it. It’s authentic and genuine. We win and lose the same way.”


Junior Guard Shamorie Ponds…


On his preparation for tonight’s game:

“We needed to bounce back from last game, not only individually, but as a team. There were a few errors that we made in that game in which it shouldn’t have gone to that point, but it’s great that we had this win tonight.”


On limiting Markus Howard to eight points:

“I feel liked we keyed on him. We know he likes to take a lot of three’s, so we tried to limit them and the transition points. We just limited him getting his three’s up.”


On the energy inside Carnesecca Arena:

“I definitely think that we fed off of the energy from the crowd. They lifted us up. Every night we play in Carnesecca [Arena], we need that energy.”


On Marvin Clark II’s versatility:

“It is definitely a blessing because he can play inside and out. It stretches the defense out and we like him at the five because we have an advantage. He can shoot it so well and he can drive it.”


Redshirt Senior Marvin Clark II…


On the team’s defensive success:

“I believe that we finally have gelled as a team. That comes from practice and previous non-conference games. We have some talented guys on our team. When we are playing together and sharing the ball, it’s really hard to stop us.”


On if tonight’s win was a statement win:

“I believe it shows that we have a talented team. It also shows that we still have a lot to prove. I tip my hat to Marquette, but whatever the naysayers were saying about our non-conference schedule, it doesn’t matter. I think that’s what it says the most.”


On the St. John’s fan base:

“I was feeling jubilation for our fan base. Even before I got here, this program was going through it and I just wanted to show them our appreciation and say, “Hey, This is your labor.” “The years that you continued to be loyal to this program have finally paid off. Now they finally have a team this season that they can really support and make Carnesecca [Arena] a crazy place to play.”


On the improvements he’s made as a player:

“It’s definitely rewarding. For the past 6-7 games, it was my teammates having confidence, and my coaching staff believing in me. At the end of the day, that’s just all the work that I put in this offseason. It’s showing. I just believe in that and will continue to put the work in.”


Marquette Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski…


On St. John’s:

“They are an outstanding team. We’ve played a half-dozen games or more against big-time teams and they’re every bit as good if not better than the teams we have played. Offensively, they are a juggernaut. With [Shamorie] Ponds and the way they spread the floor with [Marvin] Clark, [Mustapha] Heron and [LJ] Figueroa, they are just a really good team. They have such good length. They don’t have size but that doesn’t matter because they are so long. They’ve got great quickness and great hands, and that was disruptive to us. We were never able to get into a rhythm. They did a great job on Markus [Howard] and we didn’t have enough possessions of quality executions to keep it close. Chris [Mullin] has done a great job with this team. [St. John’s has gotten] crap for their schedule. You are looking at one of the top-20 in the country, in my opinion. They create a lot of headaches and they are going to win a lot of games this year.”


On Shamorie Ponds:

“He’s been pretty damn good. What he’s doing better this year is he’s facilitating at a much higher level. He has always been able to take over a game scoring and he did that tonight. If you look at his total body of work, at one point, he was at a 4:1 assists-to-turnover ratio. That’s elite. He draws a lot of attention and he is finding people that are open. The guys that are open are shooting over 40 percent from three whether it’s Mustapha [Heron] or [Marvin] Clark or [LJ] Figueroa. He had 40 against us last year. When he starts to jab and play with the ball, he’s going to shoot.”


On St. John’s style of play:

“They force you to make some decisions and if you aren’t going to punish [Marvin Clark II] in the paint, which we attempt to do and failed, it’s going to be hard to play a traditional five defense.”

Joseph Jarzynka