Quote Center: St. John's Postgame @ Georgetown


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On the team’s defensive effort leading the team to victory:

“Overall, we were sporadic defensively. We started the game really loose offensively and defensively. We closed the first half well. In the second half, I think we started out too loose and lackadaisical, but as the game grew on, we played a little bit better on defense. Shamorie [Ponds’] steal obviously was big. He’s has great instincts. In overtime we probably played our best basketball. Georgetown played a great game. It was a heck of a game.”


On LJ Figueroa’s steal late in the second half:

“Similar to Shamorie [Ponds], LJ has great instincts on offense and defense. He plays to his own rhythm at times. Defensively, he has great length and he’s got a knack of making plays instinctively.”


On preparing for Jessie Govan:

“[Jessie Govan] is tough to cover. He’s all over the floor. On the post, he’s lethal with that right jump hook. He’s has a quick release and has a knack of making tough baskets at the end of the shot clock. He was a big focus in our game plan and I thought our guys did a good job holding him down all night. Sedee [Keita] was big today being able to guard him in the post and also out on the perimeter, which is a huge luxury to have.”


On the experience of playing close games earlier this season that helped the team win today:

“It helps tremendously. Not just this year, for guys like Shamorie [Ponds], Justin [Simon], Marvin [Clark II] and Mustapha [Heron], this is their third year of playing competitive college basketball and they’ve all seen a lot of different situations. Having them helps steady everybody else. This season we’ve played a lot of close games, even early games so they’re all good experiences to look back on.”


On the team’s best start since 1985-86 and winning on Lou Carnesecca’s birthday:

“It was nice. I talked to [Coach Carnesecca] before the game and that’s all he wanted, to win against Georgetown, so I’m glad that happened for him. I think there’s tremendous excitement, optimism, and a good feeling. I think it’s great that our fanbase has watched us throughout. They watched us struggle, improve, and now watch them have success. It’s a genuine and authentic way to go about it.”


Junior Guard Shamorie Ponds…


On the overtime steal off of the attempted alley-oop:

“Coming off the pick and roll, I took a bad shot. I tried to make it up to my teammates. … I kind of saw it coming. He picked up his dribble and I anticipated the pass.”


On winning in Washington D.C. for the first time since 2003 and the impact it has on the team:

“We were definitely aware of it.  We talked about it after we got the win. We fought and came out with a win.”


On the character of this year’s team:

“We have a next man up mentality. If one of our brothers goes down, it means that one of our other brothers has to step up. Everybody stepped up big. [Bryan Trimble Jr.], Greg [Williams Jr.], and Sedee [Keita]. We got contributions from everybody who stepped on the court off the bench. It was a great collective win.”


On the fast offensive start in overtime:

“[Georgetown] gave us a chance and we capitalized.”


Redshirt Junior Guard Justin Simon…


On the final seconds of regulation:

“It was a tough stretch towards the end. There were a couple of calls that didn't go our way, but we shook them off. We have a veteran group out there with experience and we fought hard. In overtime, we took it possession by possession and evidently took the win.”


On team's character:

“We have a lot of experience on this team. Mustapha [Heron] fouled out and we still were able to maintain the comeback. Then Marvin [Clark II] went out and then the next guy came up. We always have the next guy up ready to come in and play."


On LJ Figueroa:

"We believed that he was going to make those free throws. I'm happy for him and that he knocked down those shots."


On Villanova:

“We're coming in with a mindset that we have had all season of just go 1-0 every game. Focus on the game and finish the task at hand. It's going to be a great environment. We beat [Villanova] last year and we're expecting the crowd to be crazy. Those guys are ready to play and are going to bring it."


Junior Forward LJ Figueroa…


On the steal late in the second half:

“I forget who was next to me but we had a great trap and he lost the ball and it ended up in our favor.”


On converting his two free throws to tie the game late in regulation:

“I was calm, cool, and collected. My teammates have the confidence in me to make those free throws.”


On winning the game with Marvin Clark II, Mustapha Heron, and Justin Simon fouled out:

“We’re one team. One guy goes down, another guy has to come in and step up. We just pick each other up. We all put the confidence in each other to make sure we can make those big time plays down the stretch, no matter who has the ball in their hands.”

Joseph Jarzynka