Tyler Kolek calls St. John's basketball defense 'barbecue chicken'

Marquette's star player had an unconventional way of talking about the St. John's basketball defense

Feb 10, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek (11) shoots in
Feb 10, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek (11) shoots in / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The term is more used on social media but Tyler Kolek brought it into the interview room on Saturday night after No. 7 Marquette rallied to defeat the St. John's basketball team, 86-75.

Kolek finished with 27 points, 22 of which came in the second half, on 11-of-17 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point range. He also dished out 13 assists and seven rebounds. He was the best player on the floor, and it wasn't particularly close.

However, in the first half he wasn't very aggressive He only had five points, albeit his 3-pointer at the buzzer was a major momentum shift for the Golden Eagles, on 2-of-4 shooting, but did rack up six assists.

"In the first half they were playing zone," Kolek described the Red Storm defense. "It wasn’t really like I was coming off screens. I didn’t have the ball much. We were trying to move the ball around, get it to the middle of the zone. I didn’t have many opportunities."

The mindset changed for the reigning Big East Player of the Year starting in the second half.

"We come out, we bang some threes. They got to come out of the zone. They start going man, then it’s just barbecue chicken from there."

If you are unfamiliar, using the term 'barbecue chicken' in basketball means that the defender is too slow to catch up with the offensive player and he's at a major advantage. He was speaking specifically about when St. John's switched and he was matched up with either Joel Soriano or Zuby Ejiofor.

Marquette shot 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the second half and connected on 51.9-percent (14-of-27) of its attempts from beyond the arc for the game.

Sometimes St. John's would have two or three sets of eyes on Kolek and he would still find the open man and make the right play.

Rick Pitino said the Red Storm's defense was "abysmal" in the second half. "Our defense has hurt us most of the season and tonight was no different," he continued.

"Unless you have a mindset of guarding people on every single possession, [the defensive numbers will not improve] and that’s not the mindset that they have...We are building a program and you gotta build a program on defense.”

Next. St. John's players embracing underdog mentality during stretch run. St. John's players embracing underdog mentality during stretch run. dark