Buzz Williams, Marquette
On the upcoming game with Pittsburgh
“I think it’s probably one of the more underappreciated, under-recognized jobs in the country relative to what coach (Jamie) Dixon has done. He’s the BIG EAST active winningest coach. At home they’re almost unbeatable. I think they’ve lost 11 games since the building opened and won 47 of their last 48. I think their personnel and the leadership on their team is as good as anyone in the country. And we’ll have our hands full from start to finish.”
On Jae Crowder
“It’s been the quickest transition of any junior college transfer I’ve ever seen. I’m a former junior college manager so I’m partial to junior college players. When you go through the transition that any junior college transfer has to go through and to do it at this level, I think there’s a lot of stuff you have to work through before you have any success on the court, much less the success Jae has had. We’re really happy to have him. He’s an unbelievable person and I think that’s translated to his success on the floor. He has great instincts. Even though he’s only played 15 games with our program, we rely on him on both ends of the floor on every possession.”
Listen to Marquette head coach Buzz Williams.
Bob Huggins, West Virginia
“It’s a little bit scary going to Georgetown after they’ve lost. I’ve got great respect for John and great respect for what their guys do. We’ve just got to figure something out. We’ve had a hard time guarding anybody, but guarding those guys will be very difficult. They execute their offense so well. They all can make shots, they all can play post they all can beat you off the bounce. They just do such a great job.”
Listen to West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.
Keno Davis, Providence
On the season in general
“I’ve been very encouraged with our team’s play this season. We have arguably the youngest team, not just in the BIG EAST, but in the country, and we’ve been able to have some success. I think in our first three BIG EAST games we’ve had our opportunities, definitely in our last couple against St. John’s and Pittsburgh, but weren’t able to finish things off. I’ve been very encouraged with our team’s effort. I think, being so young, that we have the ability to improve the most, a lot more than teams with more veterans. We start a three game road trip that starts with Rutgers on Saturday night and our guys are looking forward to it and the challenges the BIG EAST poses this year.”
Listen to Providence head coach Keno Davis.
Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
On the season:
“Obviously we started the season off wonderfully. I think we had incredible freshman energy and team energy, and of course a phenomenal performance by Kemba Walker. I think, like any other team, once you get back to league play, whether it be against Pittsburgh or USF, who gave us a great game, we have to fix some of the small problems that we have. We’ve got to grow older as the season progresses and I think we will. I think we will be a better team four weeks from now. We haven’t played bad but we’ve made enough mistakes that I think cost us the game at Notre Dame. We have just got to get better.”
“Texas has got some terrific players. We have more than our work cut out for us. The bottom line is we’ve got some work to do. We just have to get older.”
On early season success
“Maui certainly wasn’t a fluke, but it was early season. Early season we had all kinds of energy and people didn’t know us. The tape is starting to catch up a little bit and now we have to catch back up with the tapes.”
Steve Lavin, St. John’s
On the team’s play
“We had a good stretch over the past five games, just playing more efficiently on the offensive end of the floor. I think from the Fordham game forward, our team has done a better job in terms of shot selection and playing through the post. And as a result we’ve had some degree of success.”
On Notre Dame
“They’ll be the most efficient offensive team we’ve played all year. Coach Brey has really organized them and you can tell they’ve bought into playing a cohesive brand of basketball. You can see it in the velocity of their cuts and their excellent spacing. They’re able to get into the lane and jump stop and pitch the ball out for 3-point shooters. They play well in two gears, in terms of taking the transition opportunities when they present themselves but the team is also willing to get deep into the shot clock and break defenses down. We know we have our hands full playing on the road.”
“The Fordham game was the turning point. The biggest aspect, I mismanaged the second half of that game and it forces you to do a little self-examination. After watching some game film and meeting with our staff, we felt developing a second gear offensively when we don’t have the numbers in the break, it’s vital we play through the post. Not be reliant on the 3-point shot and that’s been the biggest difference in our execution offensively.”
Listen to St. John's head coach Steve Lavin.
Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh
On the win against Providence
“We’re happy to get a road win against Providence, a very good team that’s lost some tough games. We found a way to win with some foul trouble, some sickness and some injuries. It was a good finish for us.”
On Travon Woodall
“He had a good freshman year and now he’s an improved sophomore. He was one of those kids that was sick before our last game and didn’t practice before the game. He was able to make some big plays down the stretch after getting off to a slow start. He brings good leadership and is still improving defensively. He makes good decisions and he’s a good guy to have on your team, especially coming off the bench and playing well.”
Listen to Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon.
Kevin Willard, Seton Hall
“We’re playing one of the best teams in the country in Syracuse. But we’re glad to be home and look forward to a great challenge on Saturday.”
On Jeremy Hazell
“Jeremy is doing terrific. Obviously he had a very serious incident on Christmas but he’s recovering very well from that physically, mentally he’s doing ok. He’s taking some time off just to relax a little bit. He’s still working out and shooting but has not been cleared and won’t get cleared until at least the 10th
. But mentally and physically he’s doing much better. We haven’t made a decision on if we’re going to redshirt him. If his wrist has healed and he’s cleared on the 10th
we’ll sit down with him and his family and decide what’s going to be best for him.”
Listen to Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard.
John Thompson III, Georgetown
On team’s play
“This league is rough. We start off three games in and we’re 1-2. We had a tough stretch where we played Wednesday, Saturday and Monday with two of those games on the road and we lost the two road games. It’s a long season and you can’t get too down even though you’re down right now. You can’t get too down because it’s an unforgiving league. We just have to focus here. We have a game coming up against West Virginia and like any other team in the league, we have to play well to win.”
On Hollis Thompson
“He played well in stretches the other night. Hollis can put the ball in the basket. He’s a very good shooter and for as slight as he is, he’s a very good rebounder. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and get after the ball. He’s a confident kid who can put the ball in the basket but is not afraid to go in there and get rebounds and defend as well.”
Listen to Georgetown head coach John Thompson III.