Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
SYRACUSE-UCONN & ST. JOHN’S- MARQUETTE HIGHLIGHTS
“We’re just thrilled to have won five in a row. We know we have a huge challenge on Saturday…I think Connecticut is the most complete team from what I see. At the same time, we’re excited to have the opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the country in our building. It’s a sellout, it’s on Valentine’s Day. It should be exciting.”
“Seton Hall has been playing basketball for 105 years and they’ve never beaten a team that’s No. 1 in the country, not ever.”
“[UConn] is always going to be great, I’m sure. But eventually we’re going to beat them.”
–Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez on playing UConn Saturday
“This team wasn’t really sure in the middle of the year. They were like, ‘We did beat USC and Virginia Tech…maybe we got lucky.’ Once we got that first win [against Georgetown], the light went off and the team kind of got it. And ever since then our confidence has just been growing and growing with every game.”
–Gonzo on his team’s winning streak
“I think they’re a Final Four type team. It wouldn’t surprise me if they win the national championship…A lot of things will have to go our way for us to be in the game and give them a game.”
–Gonzo on UConn
“For Thabeet we’re going to use a hockey stick for a couple of days to try to get ready for it.”
–Gonzo on preparing to play Hasheem Thabeet
“Not many people have picked Providence to be one of the top division teams and right now we are. That’s a nice spot to be in and we control our own destiny if we’re going to be in the top half of this league.”
–Providence coach Keno Davis on where his team stands
“I think finishing in the top half is very important because if you don’t finish in the top half, you have to have a very good RPI or a very good non-conference coming in.”
–Davis on finishing in the Top 8 for the Big East Tournament
“Pittsburgh’s really good. We’re playing three freshman and they just physically had their way with us.”
–West Virginia coach Bob Huggins on the loss to Pitt
“I think they [Villanova] are really good. I was really shocked when I saw the preseason rankings. This is a team that went to the Sweet 16 and they have everyone back. I think they’re one of the elite team’s in the league.”
–Huggins on ‘Nova
“I think if you have aspirations of being able to win the tournament, I think it’s huge [to be in the top 8]. It’s just so many games in a short period of time. And you’re going to end up playing against teams that don’t have to play near as many games as you do.
“To play the first day and expect to go on and win the tournament, that’s hard.”
–Huggins on the Big East Tournament
“We had a difficult stretch and there’s still a lot of ball to be played here. So let’s just relax and focus on our fundamentals.”
–Georgetown coach John Thompson III on his team’s recent play
“It’s a difficult league with great players, great coaches, many varying styles of play.”
–Thompson on the league
“They have a terrific team so we’re going to really have to execute and take care of the basketball in the beginning of the game.
“They play so hard on every single play and we have to match that to compete with those guys.”
–St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts on playing Marquette
“I don’t think the selection committee puts a whole lot of stock in the [Big East] tournament. Finishing 6 or 7 or 8 is obviously better than finishing 9 or 10 or 11 [in the regular season]...I just think a lot more stock is going to be put in the regular season.”
–Cincy coach Mick Cronin on the importance of the regular season vs. the Big East tournament
“It’s always been that way. You’re going to have rough stretches probably a little more so this year than in the past.”
–Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim on how rough the league is
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.