LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 11: Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at KFC YUM! Center on January 11, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Iona basketball is expecting an influx of talent now that Rick Pitino is running the show and they’re already active on the transfer market.

According to Evan Daniels of 247Sports, Iona basketball and Rick Pitino are bringing in Garden City Community College transfer Tahlik Chavez. The recruit confirmed his commitment to the Gaels in a video on Twitter.

“I’ve been doubted my whole life. I’ve heard it all,” Chavez narrates. “You’re too small. Not good enough. Not strong enough. Can’t be a point guard. Just a shooter. One-dimensional.

“My senior year in high school, I got my scholarship pulled by UC Riverside for a big man. I was forced to go the JUCO route and people were surprised at what I was capable of doing.”

Chavez’s video transitions from his narration to highlights from his days at Garden City CC, where the guard was an all-conference selection. He averaged 20.4 points per game on 44% three-point shooting for the JUCO school in Kansas.

His decision came down to two schools—Tulsa and Iona—and two coaches—Frank Haith and Pitino. Fortunately for Gaels fans, Chavez chose the Hall of Famer with two titles on his resumรฉ.

Whether or not Chavez can come to New Rochelle and be an impact player right away for Iona remains to be seen, but his commitment to the Gaels—and by extension Pitino—is significant.

After four-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, Iona fell off in 2019-20, finishing with a 12-17 record and a disappointing 9-11 ledger in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

Pitino has said that he wants to bring in seven or eight new guys to kickstart Iona basketball back into high gear. The sharpshooting Chavez is a solid start.

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