Just prior to Seton Hall's 68-67 loss to St. John's last night we learned that senior center Gene Teague and senior shooting guard Brian Oliver had been suspended and left on Seton Hall's South Orange campus instead of traveling with the team to Prudential Center in Newark. Here is what Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard had to add on AM 970 to his lengthy pre-game explanation (which is in full text linked above) after last night's game:
On how the team has responded: "It's one of those things. I love Eugene, I love Brian. But moving forward, there's got to be a culture on this team that they're going to come to work and we're going to have a great attitude and we're just going to worry about that. If we're not going to have a great attitude and we're going to be locker room lawyers and we're going to be bitching and moaning, or we're going to be complaining - half effort. I'm not putting up with it. We don't have LeBron James. LeBron James can come with a bad attitude. We have a bunch of guys who are good players and to play good, they need to have good attitudes. Good players with bad attitudes are really bad players.
"We have enough guys. I have confidence in Haralds [Karlis], I have confidence in Steph [Stephane Manga], I have confidence in Aaron [Geramipoor]. Brandon [Mobley] and Patrik [Auda] are two offensive weapons out there for us, we have enough guys. Players suspend themselves, coaches don't suspend players.
"So, they have a choice. They can either come back with a great attitude and not worry, or I'm done. I'm not doing what I did with Aaron Cosby last year, I'm not doing what I did before with other guys. You either do it my way, or you're not going to do it at all. Plain and simple.
"Guys in the locker room, we had 8 guys, almost 10 guys, crying, upset that we lost. Upset at where we are. But right now we're facing adversity, last year we didn't tackle that adversity well, we let it take us down. This year we're going to tackle it better and we're going to get better. There's not a team in this league that I think we can't beat. I couldn't say that in years past, this year I know we have to do a little bit better job in the games, myself, the players, everybody's got to do a little bit better job. We have to do a little bit better job offensively, taking care of the ball, I thought if we took better care of the ball in the first half we would have had a lot more points.
"It's either my way, or it could be the highway, that's just the way it is. If they don't like it, if none of the guys in the locker room like that, they can go... find a job. When you find a job, it's going to be the boss' way or the highway either way. It's time these guys learned that life is not about them, life is about being part of something. It's never just about you. Either they get it or they don't. They don't, I love this team, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. If they do, great, I love the team. But I'm not going to sit there, those are two guys that are going to have to work really hard and have an unbelievable attitude to get any time going forward. If they want to come sit on the bench and cheer their teammates on, great. If they earn it back, then they'll play. If they don't earn it back, then that's life."