Feb. 12, 2012
Head Coach John Thompson III
I think St. John's spent a portion of that game in a box and one on Hollis. With Hollis and Jason they were face guarding them everywhere they went, and I think both of them did a good job of not forcing anything. We also had other people that were able to step up and make plays. I think Nate's hustle today gave us a lot of energy... From an offensive perspective, the way they play that zone you don't know where your shots are going to come from...Our guys just had to make basketball plays.
On Nate Lubick's play down the stretch...
I thought he made the hustle plays. His effort was very good and we needed it. You just saw him going after the rebounds and blocking shots and then on the offensive end, just going up strong with the ball a couple of times and getting us some second and third shots with offensive rebounds. It was really just his overall effort, he made hustle plays today.
On the Hoyas inside-outside attack against St. John's defense...
In the first half we were trying a lot of different things. In the second half we were working paired down with things we were looking for, but I think (St. John's) did a good job or we did a poor job, however you want to look at it, in the first half we were just passing it around the perimeter - we were getting open shots, but we were getting too many threes. In the second half even if we didn't get as many interior shots, we were getting it in there.
On adjustments made at the half ...
What we stressed and what we have to do a better job of is you can't let (D'Angelo) Harrison open shots. Most of our discussion was about defense opposed to offense and I thought we did a poor job of that because he kept getting shots.
On Georgetown not getting rattled with St. John's staying close...
This group doesn't get rattled. This is a game that a group could get rattled because of (St. John's) defense, because you don't know where you are going to get your shots and because early on we missed shots. One thing we've talked about, that we've stressed, if we have times when are not scoring on offense, it cannot carry over to the defensive end. So you missed a shot, you think you got fouled on a shot, you throw the ball away, you can't spend the next 25 seconds mad at yourself, mad at your teammate, mad at your coach mad at the ref, whoever you're mad at and not focus on what we have to do at the other end of the floor. I think our guys are getting better at that.
On Georgetown finding the touch from the perimeter after struggling early in the game...
I think the key was the kinds of threes that they were. Instead of just the side to side three, they got it into Otto, they got it into Nate and those guys got it back out and our feet are set. They were big, obviously they were big, (St. John's) does a good job of taking away the lane, they do a good job of not letting you get shots in there. Our offensive rebounding helped us get some post touches and that's something we need to continue to do.
On Jason Clark making big shots down the stretch despite early shooting woes...
He's a senior. You're programmed when you're four or five years old that no matter how bad you're shooting, regardless of how poorly you're shooting when the big shot comes up I'm going to shoot it. So what happens is you have five guys on the court that when you have a big possession they're ready to just chuck up a shot. The built in excuse is "I'm a good player, I'm going to take that shot." I think that this group has gotten pretty good at understanding that there are a lot of different players that can make that shot...The shots he got at the end, I don't' think there was anyone on our bench that wasn't confident that they were going to go in. He took one bad shot - but normally when he takes shots they are going to go in.
They had a good game. Greg hit some big shots. We had a group that down the stretch worked well together. Hollis was on the bench, Henry was on the bench, and coming down the stretch (Nate and Greg) wouldn't be in there, but the group we had in there worked well on both ends of the floor so we stayed with it and these two were instrumental in that.
Sophomore forward Nate Lubick
On rebounding from performance against Syracuse:
"Today things obviously didn't go our way offensively in the first half. We were a little sluggish coming out on both ends. I just wanted to come out and bring a bunch of energy offensively and defensively."
On people still talking about the loss to Syracuse:
"Coach mentioned to us before the game that people were still praising us after the loss. That's something that we can't look at. We needed to bounce back fast, that's how you do well in this league. To come back and grit out a big win was important."
On this being the most complete game he has played:
"Yeah, I guess."
Freshman forward Greg Whittington
On being confident in his shooting:
"I was just listening to the coaches, had my feet ready to shoot. When I was ready to shoot it was going in."
On transitioning from Howard County:
"Coach says not yet."
On being more comfortable shooting:
"I have more confidence, having my feet set like I said. I need to be ready to shoot and help my teammates win."
Senior guard Jason Clark
On Nate's performance:
"I'm always confident that Nate is coming to play. Today he was terrific on both ends of the court. He did what he's supposed to do, and when he does that we look pretty good."
On the next couple of weeks:
"We've got to hone in and focus on everything we're supposed to do. Defense has to get tighter, offense has to get tighter. We've just got to keep doing everything we need to do in order to win games."
On the position he's in and the feel of this team:
"We're a confident team. I think the biggest thing is defense and playing hard. We're hard to beat when we do that."
On St. John's keeping Hollis and Jason under control:
"It's a problem. But we've got other players on our team that are willing to step up and make big plays."
On Greg's performance:
"I joke with Greg every single day about missing shots. But today he was definitely out there making shots."
On back and forth play on five straight possessions towards the end of the game:
"They were knocking down shots, and getting to the cup. But we stayed focused, got into the overload, played in and out. We got some open shots and knocked them down."
On the emotion of the made basket and the foul at the end of the game:
"It was an emotional game, and it was a big play. I'm not really an emotional player but sometimes it just comes out."
St. John's Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap
"The thing was really good this afternoon, in terms of being hit pretty hard in the last two games, is that all the way through our guys played. Obviously taking good care of the ball we struggled on the boards which is gonna be an issue all the way through and has been and then our ability to make some wide open shots but we got to the free throw line and played our style of basketball today and we were really took a step forward after reeling off of a couple games. Our talk to our players was very upbeat and we know what our issues are and it's the style of play... that was a hell of a game on both sides of it. It was a good basketball game. When we had them at three they were up plus three, three times we just couldn't level the score to get the shot and we had the ball two out of the three times. We didn't have to get the big stop we had to get the big make and we couldn't do it."
On St. John's Defensive Strategy...
"Well what we tried to do is take (Jason) Clark out of the game and (Hollis) Thompson and we can't take everybody out of the game so what that meant is that (Henry) Sims and (Nate) Lubick and those guys would probably have some freedom that normally they wouldn't have if we played a straight up zone. But we know who beat us last time and also the known is Clark and the known is Thompson so by and large we tried to neutralize those guys. So yeah I mean those guys hurt us but we knew that was coming."
On Positive Reinforcement...
"I am not sure about that. Our process in terms of what we do and our players had been steel because of a lot of unusual circumstances this year. So a win would be nice but we have Seton Hall in less than forty eight hours and so our minds our on next play next game and it would be lovely to win at Georgetown on the road against the number 11 team in the country but you're asking to get marks on that but... it would be perfectly normal if they feel a little bit heavy on the bus on the way back to St. John's but we don't want them to lose easy. But again, as witnessed by what we do by as staff and as a team they were ready to play. So we just keep going."
On St. John's Half Time Talk to Moe Harkless and Team...
"I wish I could bottle whatever I said to (Moe Harkless), but the only thing I said to all the players was a role declaration what their role was and we had told them not to be bashful. He had a couple of times where he went in with the tall timber and had his shot blocked and basically anytime he comes back to the huddle we just evaluated what we were doing and we said that was a good one, they made a great play. One of them was Lubick rotating up hill and we had a 2 on 1 on the back side of the defense, coach speak, but the fact of the matter is he should have taken that shot, you know, but L:uncik made a great play on it, which great players do. And he's just one of those guys who makes the, you know, he's a role player who gets the job done for Georgetown."
"Again, style of play and how we were going to come back from our last loss at the Garden was most important to the staff and definitely looked organize, guys did their job and the defense by in large was really tough. And they made some tough three's and they were deep three's and we said that's the poison we were going to pick."