Postgame Quotes vs St. John's

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Jan. 4, 2014

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Georgetown 77, St. John's 60
Washington, D.C. - Verizon Center
Saturday, January 4, 2014

Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III

On the first half's large lead...

It's a tale of two halves; we played very well in the half, on both ends of the court. I thought they [St. John's] played very well in the second half. I thought in the first half, not only did D'Vauntes [Smith-Rivera] get going, but his teammates did a good job getting him the ball. When you look at that, and I haven't studied the end of game stats, but when you look at the back court - D'Vauntes and Markel [Starks], etc. - did very well. Both of them had five rebounds at the half, but I thought Markel did a good job working the team and putting the ball in the basket. We guarded, we defended. Every basket that they got was a tough shot, and then we got most of the rebounds. In the second half, we got careless offensively, which led to baskets from them, which got them their momentum. But, the first half, I thought we were good.

On two ratios: Assists, to made baskets (17/23), despite 18 turnovers, and still handling the ball well...

Correct. We had nine in each half, which we can't do. We're fortunate just that for the most part, particularly in the first half, we were still getting stops. In the second half, those turnovers led to baskets. This is conference play in the Big East. You don't expect any team to have the kind of half that we had in the first half, and don't expect a team to have the kind of half they had in the first half, either. The second half, they were more like the St. John's that we've seen on tape and probably more like who they are. But to your point, correct, we have to take care of the ball. We have to make sure, for the most part, when we get a good shot, it goes in. When we make the right decisions, we get good shots, and it goes in. We did a little bit better than we wanted to in the second half

Regarding the big men screening as well as they did for D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and for him to get as many good looks as he got...

They need to, especially when he gets going like that. We have some other guys in the locker room that can get going also, so that's part of their job, not just to score, but to make sure we get each other's shots. Now, when I say get each other's shots, I don't just mean a person that is throwing the pass to get the shot, I mean the person that is making the hard cut to help set up that screen. There are many ways in which we can help our teammates get shots, and we have to continue to do that.

On D'Angelo Harrison's 1-12 shooting performance...

You're just trying to jinx us because we play them again in a couple of weeks. He had three bad games in a row against us now. As attentive as we were against him, we went through a stretch in the second half were 10 [Max Hooper], but I mean, he's [Harrison] is averaging 20-something per game. We would just toss it up that the stars have been aligned that it's been in our favor.

On Josh Smith's performance...

I think Josh's effort was much better today. Unfortunately, it's atypical. He has to do that, he has to give that effort and give that energy. For as long as he can before we take him out. As you said, he had four steals; I think they were all in the first half. The rebounds finally fell in his hands. The first one of the game, where he had it then fumbled it, had it, then fumbled it, then had it, then fumbled it. But then, he pursued the ball and came up with it. We need him to be a presence, not just on the block offensively.

On the 100th game between the two teams, and a milestone of a win...

Yes, it's nice. When you look at the 100th matchup between Georgetown and St. John's, you know some people in this room are too young that you think back to many of the memorable moments, the Sweater Game, Chris Mullin, you just keep starting to name names, Felipe Lopez, along with all of our guys, but that's what conference play is about. That's what, over time, you have those special moments. That's why one of those things I'm excited about is when we get going with the new conference, is that we're going to strengthen or heighten the traditions with some of the former old members and start new traditions and animosities and rivalries with the three new teams that came in. That's what happens when you play a team two or three times a year. That's why I brought up number 11 (Harrison), we have to go see him in a couple of weeks. That's the beauty of conference play.

Sophomore Guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera

On whether or not he had any idea during warm-ups that he was going to have a game like this (season-high 31 points)...

"The more and more I kept shooting it felt like that but I think it was more that my teammates were just finding me in the areas where I was open. For the most part I wasn't expecting to be that open but Markel [Starks] did a great job today of finding the open guys."

Coach John Thompson III jumps in...

"In the first half I thought Markel [Starks] threw two hell-of-a-passes, one to Jabril [Trawick] and the other to Aaron Bowen, so I thought Markel - and I don't know how many points he scored - but I thought he was very good today at making sure everyone got involved, including D'Vauntes [Rivera-Smith]."

Sophomore Guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera

On what he was thinking on one of his shots when it looked like he was going to set up one of his players but instead decided to take it...

"I didn't really think about it at that point in time. I was already ready to shoot, so I just went with it."

On the difference between Georgetown's play in the first and second half...

"We had a lot of let up [in the second half] on transition defense, a lot of things we keyed in on coming into the game we did well in the first half but in the second half we got a little sloppy with the ball - careless turnovers, careless passes, not getting back and stopping guys. We kind of let them execute their game plan against us."

On the importance of practicing different shots, especially preparing for St. John's shot-blocking...

"I didn't really think about how we would score today. I just knew coming into the game that other guys were going to have to get involved, like I said Markel [Starks] getting guys going early, and I got going early, so it was good for everyone."

St. John's Head Coach Steve Lavin

Opening Statement...

"I thought Georgetown sustained execution and effort and physicality. To me, they sustained a high level of execution of effort, and they obviously bring a great physicality to the floor in particular at the defensive end of the court. In the first half they had their way and they controlled the paint and were able to get high percentage looks and they shut us down. So, you know, really they established the tone in the first half and it was an uphill battle for us from there. Second half I think... it was a minus 26 in the first half and we were a plus 9 in the second half.

But in the league, same old story, you got to sustain for two halves to give yourself a chance to win and it doesn't even guarantee that you're going to win. But to be competitive in this league you have to put together two halves and we only put a good half together at Xavier. But we were bad in the second half and we were poor this afternoon in the first half and we were good in the second half but that's not going to cut it because we buried ourselves too deep with a 26 point deficit on the road. Now we're 0-2, similar to Georgetown last year started last year 0-2 before coming to the Garden and turning their season around with a win at the Garden. So now we're 0-2 going back home and we got to get ready for Villanova."

On Khadim Ndiaye's Performance...

"We've just struggled. Against Xavier in the second half we were really bad so the starting line up today was really more because of how poorly we played against Xavier and also, you know, I just had a good premonition about Khadim [Ndiaye]. He's a kid who works really hard, lives in the gym and I watch him every day at practice and does exactly what he did for us tonight; hits open shots and he rotates and takes charges and distributes the ball to the open man, and is coachable and adds value as a teammate and has a certain maturity or barring that's impressive, gravitas or whatever you want to call it. I felt I just wanted to give him a look and we didn't take care of the basketball early."

On St. John's Overall Performance...

"The empty possessions and the turnovers cost us. Some were against the press, soft passes, loopy passes, some where we just fell down and lost the ball and then a rushed or hurried shot, where we didn't finish at the rim and you put that all together and you get a double-digit deficit and then they hit some big shots, some three pointers. It's kind of a pick your poison with Georgetown because if you pack it in the lane they start to make threes on you and then you stretch your defense they're back cutting you, they're running a post-up power game so effectively at the rim. They played really well. To me what jumped out about Georgetown is they sustained a high level of effort, execution, and physicality and we had that for twenty minutes in the second half - that's why we were plus 9 in the second half - closed the gap on the points in the paint, every statistic error we shot 56% - I don't know the last Georgetown gave up 56% within a half. We really played well in the second half, but when you're down 26 it's just too far to come back when you're on the road against a good team, in this league it's not going to happen. It was really the tale of two halves."

 

 

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