Ohio State Assistant Coach Chris Jent Already Making Presence Felt

By Tim Shoemaker on June 26, 2016 at 7:45 am
Chris Jent has already made an impact on Ohio State's team.

It does not appear like things took very long for Chris Jent's presence to once again be felt within the Ohio State basketball program. 

“You notice Coach Jent as soon as he walks in the gym,” Buckeyes senior forward Marc Loving said Thursday. “He’ll let you know he’s in the gym and he’s willing to challenge anyone to a shootout competition.

“He swears he has the best jump shot.”

There's a strong possibility he does, too. 

Two weeks ago, Ohio State redshirt junior guard Kam Williams said he “might have seen [Jent] miss two shots so far.”

“When he demonstrates a drill, it seems like he never misses,” Williams said of his new assistant coach. “He shoots the same form every single time.”

Jent is known around the basketball world as one of the best shooting teachers out there, but his impact on this Ohio State program in the coming years will go much deeper than just jump shots. He’s also poised to bring a certain toughness and culture back to the program many felt was lacking the last few years.

Jent is competitive, fiery and, as a former Ohio State player, mentions his “sense of pride” as a reason why he makes his message pretty clear during practice.

“That competitive spirit with the team every day and just being around and making guys feel like we can go to another level and be even better than we were yesterday,” Loving said. “Just that mentality from Coach Jent is something I feel like we feed off of now.”

After the Buckeyes missed the NCAA tournament last year for the first time since 2008, a change in philosophy was somewhat needed. There was a bit of a steady decline since Ohio State’s run spanning from 2010-13 — a timeframe when the Buckeyes finished in either first or second place in the Big Ten and were the only program in the country to advance to at least the Sweet 16 in four-straight seasons.

Jent left to coach in the NBA following that 2013 season, but he returned to the place he played his college basketball this past offseason when longtime assistant coach Jeff Boals left to become the head coach at Stony Brook.

The Buckeyes have already felt his impact.

“That energy is just a positive vibe in the gym,” Loving said. “Not all the time were we all on the same page positively. Some guys might have been holding onto the last play or not letting things go. Just wanting to move forward and get on to the next play so we can make the next play, that’s really what he’s been stressing so far.”

And there’s also those shooting contests and one-on-one battles. You can’t forget those.

“He’ll call somebody out to come out and guard him immediately,” Loving said. “Kam, Keita [Bates-Diop], a lot of guys have gotten a dosage of buckets before practice. He’ll have the gym oohing and aahing with deep 3s.”

The hope now for Ohio State, of course, is that those oohs and aahs continue at Value City Arena this upcoming season, but this time they’re for the players on the team.

View 44 Comments