Taliek Brown Interview
Taliek Brown, a guard, just won a national college championship with the University of Connecticut basketball team, averaging 6.2 points, 6.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. He's currently in Virginia, playing in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, hoping to catch the eye of NBA teams. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Brown for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: You just won the NCAA championship. Talk about your role, and the team making it happen.
Taliek Brown: I just wanted to win that game. Just wanted to get that national championship. We came and played real solid against Georgia Tech, we did what we had to do and got the championship.
InsideHoops.com: Did it feel like the real championship game was Duke vs. UConn, rather than the actual final game?
Taliek Brown: Yeah, a little bit, because it went down to the wire, they was the number one team, we was the number two seed, so it was just like a real big matchup when we played them, and it felt like a good championship game, because we came back from being down seven, so we came back, so it felt like a more championship-ish game.
InsideHoops.com: Mentally, how do you deal with battling Duke, clawing out a win, and then realizing that it's not over yet, you still needed to beat Georgia Tech.
Taliek Brown: We just had to put that win right behind us, the next day just move on. You can't celebrate yet because we knew we had one more to go and that was the national championship, so if you can't get motivated for the national championship then what else is there to get motivated for.
InsideHoops.com: Talk about a random, goofy, stupid thing over the course of the last year that happened in practice and cracked you guys up. Anything funny, stupid, different, whatever.
Taliek Brown: Rashard Anderson, he had these fake teeth, so he came into a practice with the fake teeth, and the coach looked at him and started laughing, so it was just a whole embarrassment to him, but it was real funny.
InsideHoops.com: Emeka Okafor, he's gotten better every season. Adding new stuff year after year.
Taliek Brown: Every year he has improved. He got better. He kept working on his game. He just likes to be perfect at everything he does, and he just works real hard, so every year he came in and developed as an offensive player, and got better and better, and now he's the best player in the country.
InsideHoops.com: Do you see Okafor as a future NBA center or NBA power forward?
Taliek Brown: I'd probably have to say power forward, I think all he just has to do is work on his low post moves a little bit and get a little smoother and I think he'll be alright.
InsideHoops.com: And most good big guys in the NBA are power forwards, not centers.
Taliek Brown: There ain't that many dominant centers out there, so, he's a center, he dominated college, they call him the Shaq of college basketball, but in the NBA it'll be totally different, so I think he'll probably play at the four.
InsideHoops.com: And Ben Gordon, initially he looked pretty good, and then he took off and his game went through the roof.
Taliek Brown: Yeah, Ben just really developed, he just really took over and just really started being more aggressive. When he first got there he was like a little laid back, but as time went on he just started being aggressive and stepping up to the plate and just improving and getting better.
InsideHoops.com: And you, you're looking to show the world that you have a spot in the league. What do you think you could bring an NBA team more than anything else.
Taliek Brown: I think I could bring my leadership qualities, my toughness, my hard working ability, and just try to make the team win.
InsideHoops.com: So the next step is hopefully Chicago for you, the draft camp.
Taliek Brown: Yeah, hope I get to invited to Chicago next, and just keep working out, working on my game and just believe in God and something positive will happen.
InsideHoops.com: After UConn won the championship, what happened at school?
Taliek Brown: At campus it was crazy when we won a championship, people was burning couches, turning cars over, so it was just real crazy on campus.
InsideHoops.com: And then the UConn women won a championship right after you.
Taliek Brown: Ooh, yeah, that just really made it more exciting. I think campus is going to be crazy for at least two months, a month and a half, both of us winning the same year, we made history.
InsideHoops.com: Have you played with Diane Taurasi (the UConn women's basketball star) a lot?
Taliek Brown: Yeah, we always be playing a lot together, we shoot around with each other, we've worked out a couple of times together, she's a great player, she plays like a guy, so, she's real great.