March Madness: Iona assistant Talie Brown expects “big war” against old UConn side

Talie Brown joked about the possibility, not really thinking it would happen.

Then Iona’s name appeared on the TV screen, paired with Connecticut.

The competition was a reality.

The assistant coach at 13th-ranked Iona will see his old school in the NCAA Tournament, just a month after leaving his job there.

“It’s an exciting feeling. It’s like student versus teacher now,” Brown told The Post in a phone interview as the Gaels prepared for their West Region opener against No. 4 UConn in Albany on Friday afternoon. “Those guys there, that staff, they took me to college basketball, to practice. they brought me in. It’s going to be a big war because they know I’m coming and I know they’re coming.

“It’s hard to believe (we’re playing). But regardless of everything, we have to be ready and start.”

Taliek Brown is now an assistant at Iona. Geraldo Rodriguez – Iona Athletics

It is one of the many stories in this fascinating match.

Queens native and McDonald’s All-American St. From John’s Prep, Brown won a national championship at the Big East school in 2004 and was a four-year player under legendary coach Jim Calhoun.

The former Huskies captain is the only player in school history to score at least 1,000 points (1,039) and dish out at least 700 assists (722).

He is the Huskies’ all-time assists leader.

The school also gave him the start of coaching.

After a long career abroad that took Brown to Turkey, Macedonia, Greece, Venezuela and Mexico, he returned home to New York City.

He launched a non-profit organization, Team Footprintz, and began training young basketball players.

Tallie Brown Taliek Brown starred at UConn as a player. Getty Images

Then came his break.

Childhood friend and Connecticut assistant coach Kimani Young spoke with Dan Hurley, who hired the former Huskies star as director of player development.

He spent three years there, helping the Huskies reach back-to-back NCAA Tournaments.

After last season, Young told him it was time to take the next step.

Bet on college basketball?

Brown was unaware that Young had suggested Rick Pitino as someone who deserved a chance.

Iona had a job after Casey Stanley left for Arkansas State.

“I came in for an interview and the coach gave me a chance,” said the 40-year-old Brown. “I had to surprise him. It’s been nothing but great for me.”

He knew the strict Pitino’s reputation as someone who expected his assistant coaches to go the extra mile.

Tallie BrownTaliek Brown embraced Rick Pitino’s strict reputation. Geraldo Rodriguez – Iona Athletics

It was more than he could have imagined.

Before the MAAC Tournament, Pitino and his staff work 12-14 hour days.

There are early mornings and late nights.

“Basically, you have to love the game,” Brown said. “Anyone around him, the team, the staff, you have to love what you’re doing because he’s going to get everything out of you. … I heard the stories, but I didn’t know it would be that many. I can see why he’s a Hall of Fame coach.”

It fits well, though.

In Iona’s win over Marist to earn an automatic bid to the Big Dance of the MAAC Tournament, Pitino singled out Brown for his work ethic.

“Tali had to watch 24 hours of Marist film. Talie is the new coach and he did a tremendous job with his speech this afternoon, as well as the scouting report,” Pitino said at the time. “He just said, ‘This is a life-changing experience. To get to the NCAA Tournament, it’s a life-changing experience because then you can see how far you can go. Take this life-changing experience.’ … He’s a great role model for my guys and that’s why I recruited him. They love it.”

Talie Brown cuts down the net after winning the 2004 national championship. Talie Brown cuts down the net after winning the 2004 national championship. Getty Images

Tallie BrownTalie Brown celebrates after winning the MAAC championship. Geraldo Rodriguez – Iona Athletics

He has been to the NCAA Tournament before, of course, as a player, and also as a coach.

However, this is different. Brown will face his old school, where he enjoyed the best moments of his playing career and began as a coach.

It will be different seeing the Huskies as an enemy.

But he won’t change his job: prepare Iona to pull the upset. “Playing against them and trying to get this ‘W,’ it’s a must-win for me,” Brown said. “I want to win badly. … I’m trying to put batteries on these guys to get this W. I’m blocked.”

Source link

Related posts

Protests in various states over the Indian Army’s new job project


Austin Reaves in the lineup has benefited as the Lakers hold off the Suns


TUCKER CARLSON: This is an extraordinary amount of lying


Leave a Comment