Tim Cluess talks All-Met honors, Jared Grasso

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

College basketball has been over for a month now– it’s sad. The Iona College men’s basketball team is now working towards another Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title.

I got a chance to sit and talk to head coach Tim Cluess about being named All-Met Men’s Coach of the Year, Jared Grasso’s head coach position at Bryant University and new assistant coach Tra Arnold in my latest Q&A.

Q: What does it mean to you to be named All-Met Coach of the Year?

A: “I think it’s a tremendous honor that’s shared by my coaching staff, team and the school. To represent Iona and to get that award is really special.”

Q: [ Junior] Rickey McGill was named All-Met Second Team. What does it mean to see him get that honor?

A: “To watch his progression from freshman year to being a role player to becoming second team as a junior has been great. Obviously, we’d love to see him continue to progress and be special as a senior as well, it speaks really highly of him.”

Q: How’s the roster shaping up heading into next season?

A: “We are going to have six new guys. It’s about the same as last year where we had four returners who played a decent amount. It’s really almost the same type of turnover.”

Q: [ Junior] Isaiah Still missed the entire 2017-18 season, what do you expect of him moving forward?

A: “I think Isaiah is really, really talented and can be an all-league player. I think he is going to have to get the rust off at the beginning of the year, but [I think] he is probably one of the most talented players in the league.”

Q: What was it like seeing Jared Grasso take the head coaching position at Bryant University and what was his impact to the program over the last eight years?

A: “I’m happy as can be and excited for [Grasso]. I know he is going to do a tremendous job there and I’m looking forward in watching that program develop in a hurry.”

“He was an integral of our program for the last eight years.… I think we’ve all made a really good team together, and now I’m excited for him to have a team of his own.”

Q: The team just hired Tra Arnold to be the new assistant coach. Could you talk about what he is going to bring to the coaching staff?

A: “He has ten years heading coaching experience, which is, in itself, somethings special. When you are [coaching] in the lower levels, you have to do everything. All the recruitment, player development and academics… are on your shoulder.”

“It will also open up new recruiting areas we have not been able to get into in our eight years. “I’m hoping he can bring a different level and more variety of recruits to our program.”

Q: Transfer Jahnathan Maxwell was coached under Arnold. Could you talk about what he will bring to the team?

A: “Jahnathan is a skilled, big man. He can shoot the three, pass and handle the ball. He is a big body that has to learn how to play the Division 1 level. He’s got to get himself healthy since he missed half the season with a fractured foot. It’s going to take a while for him to catch up to speed, almost like a Roland Griffin, where he [Griffin] was must better second half of the year. . We are hoping if we can get Jahnathan here early enough in the summer to try to start that progression early, he’ll be a really big part of this team, and I think he can really play.”

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