Quote Center: St. John's Pregame vs. Georgetown


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On Shamorie Ponds’ back, which caused him to miss the DePaul game on Jan. 12:

It’s fine. We had two days off after the Butler game, then two good workouts and then another off-day after that, so he looks like he’s fine.


On the benefits of practicing at Madison Square Garden:

Yeah that’s why today was good. It’s always nice to get a practice in the building that you’re going to be shooting in. Most of the guys have played here. Everybody wants to play here. So we’re expecting great energy and passion here Sunday at noon.


On whether Madison Square Garden elevates a game:

“I think Madison Square Garden does that to everything, whether it’s a basketball game, boxing match, or a concert. The one important thing is that you still have to go out there and play well. Even for NBA guys, they love playing here. We still have to perform.”


On the importance of having some days off:

“I love the days off. I think that they are just as important mentally then physically. I think that it’s good to get away. We practice a lot and we work real hard. I think off-days are pretty good actually.”


On how competitive games in the BIG EAST have been:

“I’d say it’s more across the board throughout college basketball in general. Statistically in the BIG EAST, a majority of games are coming down to one or two possessions. I think there is more parity in our league but it’s across the board, not just in the BIG EAST. The margin of error becomes less now in these games.”


St. John’s forward Marvin Clark II…


On the benefits of having eight days between games:

Yeah, I think it’s always good to take a step away from the game. Coach wanted us to take this week off and get our bodies right. I think some things got a little overwhelming. We’re anxious to play. We’re getting ready to play Georgetown. It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere. Students are back [at school]. That will give us new life.


On what he means by the team being overwhelmed:

“Just by the way we were losing games. Starting games sluggish and not finishing them. Playing down to the level of our competition. We just have to realize that that’s not who we are. It’s good to take a couple of days of and get ourselves back to finding our identity.”


On why winning road games in the BIG EAST is harder than winning at home:

“I think we have a really good, competitive conference. The fan bases are pretty great. Wherever we go on the road, the crowd is cheering loud and fighting for their team. Everywhere we go it’s a home-court experience from the top of the league to the bottom. It’s just a very competitive league.”


On the importance of winning on Sunday with three road games to follow:

“We have to take care of our home court. We dropped one against DePaul and that hurts. That’s a feeling we never want to feel again. We know that in order to do what we want to do, we have to win at home. We know we have the talent and the ability to sneak some wins on the road.”


On what the St. John’s-Georgetown rivalry means to him:

“It means something to me because it means a lot to coach. As long as it means something to him it will be personal for me. Growing up watching those games, it’s something that you want to be a part of as well and we think about that a lot.”


St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds…


On how his back is recovering:

“It’s feeling good. I’ve been getting a lot of treatment. It’s definitely getting there. I’ve been working on taking care of my body with these couple of days off. I’m pretty much close to 100 percent.”


On taking what you learned from the first matchup with Georgetown this season:

“They battle. They’re a tough team. They have a great frontcourt and backcourt. We just have to approach the game with a tough mindset and try to get a W.”


On where he feels the team is at right now:

“I feel like we have a great record but we’re not satisfied. We feel like we dropped a couple of games that we should’ve won, but it’s good for our team to face adversity. I’m just happy to be here with my brothers.”


On how his team can fight to get to the top of the BIG EAST:

“I feel like we’re definitely resilient. A lot of the games we’ve won we started off slow. We’re definitely capable of fighting and coming back. We want to do the punching first not get punched.”


On the importance of winning Sunday’s game:

“It’s definitely important. I’d say it’s a must-win for us. We can’t drop two in a row and definitely can’t lose at home. This game is major for us so when we go on the road so we don’t lose our confidence.”

Joseph Jarzynka