Quote Center: No. 24/23 St. John's Postgame @ Villanova


St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin…


On his thoughts of the game against Villanova:

“I thought we got off to a great start in the first 10-12 minutes and things came easy. Our giving up of offensive rebounds hurt us more than anything. Offensively, we missed shots and made some mistakes, but when you get a stop, give up an offensive rebound and kick out threes, it’s demoralizing. A game like this wasn’t going to get up in the high numbers and it was really going to come down to defense.”


On finishing the game:

“I thought we learned pretty well last game. We’ve had close games and finished them, but tonight we gave them too many easy looks at the basket and open drives. As I’ve said before, those offensive rebounds and kick out threes killed us. When guys are getting into that dribble mode, we have to get up on them and get them off the three-ball.”


On late-game shot selection:

“We have guys that make tough shots. I’m more concerned with ball movement. We had 17 assists. When the ball moves, we get good looks and sometimes we make them and miss them. I look at the overall game not just individual shots.”


On ball movement:

“I think we did a decent job. They switched defenses well to matchup zone. It’s always a combination. I thought we had some good open looks against their zone in the corner and just didn’t knock them down. I’m not over-concerned by our offense.”


On locker room emotions after the game:

“We’ve played a lot of close games and we’re fine. We’re going to take a day off tomorrow and get ready for DePaul. We’re going to look at our film to see what we can do better, but the game’s over, time to move on. We play them again in New York.”


On Shamorie Ponds:

“I thought he wasn’t aggressive [in the second half]. I thought we had some matchups where he could have drove the ball to pull for a jump shot. On the flip side when he did drive it, we didn’t get to the line. Sometimes that has something to do with it, but when we have the mismatches we want to drive the ball and get to the line.”


On Villanova:

“They’ve won two out of three championships. The way they play, the way they win, they have a championship pedigree. They’re definitely the team to beat in the league.”


St. John’s Junior Guard Shamorie Ponds…


On his thoughts on how St. John’s played the last four minutes of the game:

“Kind of sloppy. They took the lead and I felt like we should’ve taken the lead right back. It shouldn’t have been a close game in the first place anyway in my opinion.”


On if the BIG EAST still goes through Villanova:

“They’re past champions but the past is the past. This is anybody’s league right now.”


On why he thought this game should’ve never gotten close:

“I felt that we got off to a great start. We just let the lead slip away. A lot of mistakes down the stretch. Can’t let that happen on the road.”


On the environment in the locker room after the loss:

“It was tough. It was a tough, hard-fought game. We felt that we should’ve came away with a victory. Unfortunately ,we didn’t.”


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


On why the team wasn’t able to sustain the lead at the end:

“I have to play better. I take that one [loss] on me. I think I only made three total shots and that’s just not who I am. I don’t even know how many boards I finished with but I know that I didn’t finish with enough. I just got to be better personally and I felt that I could’ve helped us a lot.”


On if the BIG EAST still goes through Villanova:

“They’re the national champions. They’re the last BIG EAST team to win a national championship. We always pay our respects to them in that regard. They’re definitely still the team to beat, but regardless we know to never back down from anybody. I tip my hat off to Villanova and Coach [Jay] Wright.”


On if there were any players fatigued at the end of the game:

“No. Of course you have to throw someone in there because we play a lot of minutes. We work our butt off. We work hard to be in the shape that we’re in to play the way that we play. We just didn’t make the plays we needed to make. Like I said, as a senior leader I got to be better, especially on the road.”


St. John’s Sophomore Forward LJ Figueroa…


On if there were any players fatigued at the end of the game:

“No sir. From my point of view, we play small ball every game.”


On the environment in the locker room after the loss:

“Everybody loses. We have to take it and focus on the next game. See what we did wrong, fix them and then come back ready.”


On how the team has been able to start the season 14-2:

“We are a similar group. We’ve all come together. We have great leaders. Marvin Clark. Justin Simon. Shamorie Ponds. They’re all vets and they know how to lead us and guide us to the right direction.”

Joseph Jarzynka