Siena Coaches Reflect on Jerry Tarkanian

jaques and tarkanian

With the news of the passing of legendary college basketball Jerry Tarkanian, Siena men’s and women’s coaches Jimmy Patsos and Ali Jaques reflected on their connections with the Hall of Famer.

Patsos spoke about Tarkanian’s influence on the game in teaching up-tempo, run and jump, pressure defense.

“I did know Tark a little bit,” said Patsos. “The greatest coach ever for pressure defense. Gary Williams learned from Tark. He (Tarkanian) was the greatest full-court defensive coach ever. Nolan Richardson and all those guys followed him.”

Patsos also spoke of his time while an assistant at Maryland, and his travels where he met up with Tarkanian

“Jerry Tarkanian taught me one thing,” explained Patsos. “‘Son you should really enjoy recruiting.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said. ‘You’re in Vegas. You’re staying in a nice hotel, having a nice meal, why do all these guys hate recruiting?’ I said, ‘I’m with you.’ He really had an impact on me. He said if you’re gonna go recruit, enjoy it. He was a really well-read smart guy. Good guy.”

For Ali Jaques, her connection with Tarkanian came while an assistant at Northwestern. She played a role in recruiting the grand daughter of Tarkanian, Dannielle Diamant, a 2013 Honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by coaches and media and an Academic All-Big Ten player.
“I was lucky enough to recruit and coach Dannielle Diamant who’s Jerry Tarkanian’s grand daughter,” said Jaques.
Jaques explains how Tarkanian’s philosophy is fitting for this year’s Siena women’s team.
“Tark said you need 8 great players and you need four to cheer like hell,” said Jaques. “Well, we’ve got 7 great players and we’ve got five cheering. So, I think we might be somewhat on the right track.”


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