|Chris Mullin and Patrick Ewing at Big East Media Day in October. Photo by Jason Schott.|
St. John's Red Storm Head Coach Chris Mullin took part in a tele-conference on Monday morning ahead of the Big East Tournament.
St. John's, who enters as the ninth seed, will be taking on eight-seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the opening game of the tournament on Wednesday night at 7 pm. at Madison Square Garden.
During the regular season, St. John's and Georgetown played two classics, both of which were won by the Hoyas.
After squaring off against each other in their playing days at the
schools, Mullin of St. John's and Patrick Ewing of Georgetown squared off for the first time as coaches on January 9 at The Garden, a game that went down to the wire and Georgetown won, 69-66. The teams met in Washington, D.C. 11 days later, and the game went to double overtime, with Georgetown coming out on top, 93-89.
Mullin said of the matchup with Georgetown, “We’ve played in two-close games. One was in double overtime and the other game came down to the last possession, so it’s a tight matchup. We look forward to starting a new season.”
On facing Patrick Ewing in the Big East Tournament, Mullin said, “It’s more about the current players. I’m not really into nostalgia. It’s more about these current players, and I think that’s where the focus should be. Like I said, it’s a very-close matchup. That’s where the focus is. As far as us, we just have to come back with a fresh mindset. We had a pretty good February, played pretty good basketball.”
On Shamorie Ponds being named to the All-Big East First Team on Sunday, Mullin said, “Shamorie had a great season. He had an incredible run in February, and has just been very consistent over his first two seasons. He’s been somewhat historic over these first two years at St. John’s, and we look for more good play from him.”
On playing at home in Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament, Mullin said, “The Garden is a special place. We play there more than most. We’ve had some great crowds and great wins there. A sold-out building is beautiful, but we have to give them something to cheer about. You only play 31-or-32 games in a season, so every night gives you the opportunity to go out and establish yourself. It’s a great opportunity.”