Saturday, February 24, 2018

Kevin Willard quote book: St. John's

On Seton Hall's response to the past 72 hours, including the suspended game against Providence and Friday's report involving Tiny Morton and Isaiah Whitehead:
"I'm really proud of the way these guys focused in and were able to really restart their minds on Thursday, because we were playing so well Wednesday night when the game stopped, and then really a light practice yesterday. But we were very focused, and I think they really respect this St. John's team. We knew how good they've been playing, we knew how good they are, and then I think anytime you play at the Garden, you have to respect the greatest venue ever, and I knew these guys would come out and play their hardest."

On Friday's report being a factor:
"Absolutely nothing. It had nothing to do with them. They had -- these guys -- have practiced, we had a nice team meal and they played video games."

On the short turnaround between Providence and St. John's, and being a helpful factor in the Big East Tournament:
"I think these guys are pretty used to the quick turnaround by now. I think for the younger guys they were a little bit mentally tired, but Myles Cale did a phenomenal job, Sandro played really well, so I thought all of them really kind of bounced back nice."

On walk-on Philip Flory playing 17 minutes:
"When Desi went down, Myles (Cale) is technically his backup defensively and offensively, and Phil's the only one that really knows what he's doing from the offensive side from that spot -- whether it's zone, whether it's underneath out of bounds plays -- and I think we all have a lot of confidence in Phil when he's out there, because he's tough, he'll defend and rebound, and when he's open, he could make a shot."

On his reaction to Friday's report published by Pete Thamel of Yahoo:
"The school has put out a statement. The only thing I'll say is that we've already hired an outside law firm to come in and do an investigation, and as a staff and as the head coach, I am looking forward to having them come in. We're going to be 100 percent open, we're going to be 100 percent honest, and I have a lot of confidence in my staff and ourselves in what we've done in the past, and I'm glad the school has moved quickly on this so we can move on from it."

"I have no other comment besides that. I can't comment on anything else because there's nothing else to comment about. There's just nothing else. That's my comment. I've got great players in my program with great kids and a perfect graduation rate and guys doing a lot of great stuff. I like where my program is."

On whether he addressed the report with the players:
"No, I don't think we talked about that. When I walked into the locker room -- I mean, you can't get away from it, it's on ESPN, it's on FS1, it's everywhere -- but we're focused on this team and what we're doing, and I'm focused on -- I'm enjoying coaching these seniors the last few weeks I'm going to have them. I'm enjoying every second with them because I'm going to miss them tremendously, and that's our focus."

On confidence that people connected to ASM sports are involved with this group of Seton Hall players:
"Again, I'm not going to comment on that. The only thing that I've seen is the Yahoo report, and I don't know -- there's no other facts or details about anything else out there -- so I can't comment on that, and I can't comment on something -- we haven't done our investigation and there's nothing to do. We were confident, we went through an investigation one other time early on that came out clear, and we'll go through it again. I'm confident -- again -- we'll come out, everything that we did and that we're supposed to do, we did the right way."

On Ismael Sanogo's defense on Shamorie Ponds:
"We tried to hide the big fella a little bit because they went small, and I think they really did a good job of kind of switching. We moved Angel around so they couldn't just get Angel in a pick-and-roll, which is tough when they're that small, and obviously Ish is; as we think, one of the best defenders in the country and Shamorie's one of the best guards, so it was a good matchup."

On Angel Delgado sitting out in practice:
"We didn't practice this week, so --  we played four games, technically, this week -- we played Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. We'll take off tomorrow, he'll practice Monday, he probably won't practice Tuesday that much, but no one really practices much this time of year days before a game. But he likes to practice, I like when he's out of practice because he really is a pain in the butt in practice, (joking) but for the most part, I think his knee's doing pretty good. His shoulder's a little banged up, but for the most part, I think he's playing pretty well."

On Seton Hall's senior class accomplishments being vacated and any possible concern:
"Absolutely not. This has been a phenomenal group that has done tremendous things on and off the court, community service, they're all going to graduate, they've all played this game tremendously and again, I'm looking forward to getting the outside law firm in and then moving forward."

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