What do you think of Chris Jent being rehired by Thad Matta to serve as an Ohio State assistant men’s basketball coach? Don’t hesitate. Say out loud the first thought you have on the subject.
Did you say “The next Ohio State men’s head basketball coach”?
Did you say “Automatically the best assistant Thad Matta has”?
Did you say “Great hire by Thad Matta. Jent is going to help get this program rolling again”?
Ever since the rumors began to persist former Buckeye player and assistant coach, Chris Jent, was going to fill the slot vacated when Jeff Boals became the Stony Brook Sea Wolves new head coach, the conjecture about how much value he added to the Ohio State coaching staff and what it might mean for the program’s future has swirled without cease.
I’m just like the rest of you, I admit it’s fun to think about but also submit to you some of it gets a bit far out there.
How much of what we fans throw around is based in any reality that Jent or anyone else on Thad Matta’s staff might subscribe to?
My observations tell me there are three schools of thought about Jent rejoining Ohio State’s staff after leaving at the end of 2012-2013 season to spend a season as assistant with the Sacramento Kings and one as the head coach of Bakersfield Jam, an NBA-DL franchise.
A. Jent is a coaching God, or at least Jim Carrey as Bruce Nolan, who was given the job of doing God’s work for one week in the 2003 movie titled Bruce Almighty.
I read the Buckeye hoops boards/forums and twitter and this one is popular. By some accounts Chris Jent is the one coach on staff who knows what he’s doing. There’s no need to read between the lines where most opinions fall here. It’s just a matter of time before Thad Matta retires and Jent takes over.
There’s no way Chris Jent goes to work each day, having established a great relationship with Thad Matta over the years, thinking everything he does is preparation for when he takes the program over.
B. The second strong opinion that comes through is although Thad Matta is the head coach and did a great thing in hiring Chris Jent to again join his staff as an assistant, any success Ohio State has can be credited to the former Buckeye.
Just how delusional are Buckeye sports fans? That’s a loaded question if there ever was one for Buckeye Nation to answer.
Is Jent Luke Skywalker?
Ohio State’s teams haven’t performed recently the way Thad and members of his staff have wanted them to but one can’t really look down the line at how well Matta’s Ohio State teams have performed over the years and then seriously question his ability to coach.
Has Thad done it all by himself? No! Whatever you may think, coaches like Dave Dickerson, Greg Paulus and strength coach Dave Richardson are, by definition of being employed at Ohio State, as good as there is at what they do. Don’t tell me they are less than quality and expect me to believe you. You don’t stick around Ohio State as they have without it being plain to those it matters to you’ve added a wide range of positives to the Buckeye program you’re employed in.
They are human beings and I identify with the idea each of us have the ability over time to perform our daily duties at a higher level.
Each coach has his strong points and the whole is stronger than the individual.
Any success Ohio State has this season will be due to how well the entire coaching staff works together to teach talented young men how to play the game of basketball at a high level as a team.
Those same kids are doing their best to make Buckeye fans like you and I proud of them on the court while earning an education in the classroom to serve them well later in life.
C. A third option gives Chris Jent credit for the unique experiences as a coach he brings to the Ohio State practice court each day and on the road as an evaluator of high school talent and as a recruiter of players who fit the descriptions Thad Matta and the rest of his staff have concerning who they would like to see wearing the Scarlet & Gray uniforms of Ohio State.
Chris Jent is a darn good coach.
You and I both know it. I don’t know any Buckeye fan who doesn’t want this season’s team to display excellence and win enough games to receive a bid to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Jent’s presence on Ohio State’s staff provides the Buckeyes an extra quality ledge to stand on and work at attaining the highest goals for a college basketball team.
Don’t put undue pressure on Thad Matta or Chris Jent. Enjoy the players, the staff and maybe even the efforts of the Ohio State basketball managers.
Welcome back, Chris Jent. How about you hang around awhile this time?
: ) Go Buckeyes!
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A bit of background on Chris Jent’s basketball career
(Photo taken from the Buckeye Sports Bulletin 20 Years Of Memories Issue)
To the joy of many, Ohio State assistant coach Chris Jent returns, this 2016-2017 season, to Columbus for the fourth time as a player or coach.
Twice as a player and twice as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes.
See below for a bit of history and a few comments about Chris’s journey back to Thad Matta’s coaching staff.
Chris Jent, from Sparta, NJ played basketball for Ohio State from 1998-2002.
He averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds at Sparta High School and chose Ohio State over Villanova. He signed his LOI in November of 1987 and said beforehand:
“The school, the coaching staff the players, the players, I liked all of them.”
“Ohio State is just a different kind of school, a little bit better than the others,” he said. “The atmosphere is great.”
Easy to see Chris Jent was fond of Columbus and Ohio State right from the start.
In 1993 Jent came back to Columbus after being traded to the CBA league Columbus Horizon team from the Rapid City (South Dakota) Thrillers.
Before that, he played in Spain for Joventut Badalona.
Jent then played three regular season games apiece for the Houston Rockets (1994) and the New York Knicks (1996-1997) and he earned an NBA championship ring with the Rockets when he appeared in 11 playoff contests with Houston.
NOTE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Jent
Chris Jent appeared in more NBA playoff games than he did regular season contests. How many players can say that who have an NBA championship ring for their efforts?
In 1995 Chris Jent played for Australia’s NBL North Melbourne Giants, Connecticut Pride of the CBA, and Italy’s Serapide Pozzuoli Napoli, who he also played for in 1997. (This is also where met former Buckeye Amadeo Della Valle’s father, Carlo)
In 1997, Jent played for the Atlantic City Seagulls (USBL), with 1997–1998 CFM Reggio Emilia (Italy) in 1997-1998, Termal Imola (Italy) in 1998-1999, Panionios (Greece) in 1999-2000 and CFM Reggio Emilia (Italy) in 2000-2001.
Jent’s coaching career has garnered him many different experiences. He’s been an assistant coach in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings.
Chris was the interim head coach for 18 games for the Orlando Magic at the end of the 2005 season and the NBDL Bakersfield Jam in 2015-2016.
Chris Jent previously served as an assistant for Thad Matta at Ohio State in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.
Most fans think Chris Jent is merely a shooting guru but he does not agree.
Read below what Jent had to say about that after spending five seasons as a Cleveland Cavaliers assistant. Just before he became an assistant at Ohio State in 2011:
Jent did quite a bit of shot-coaching for the Cavaliers, working especially close with James. But Jent handles other aspects of coaching, too.
“It’s funny,” Jent said. “Everyone says I was a shooting coach, and I’m not. That’s something that I teach. I do teach and address it in players that are willing to put the work in. ‘Bron was a guy that I changed his shot, and he felt as though he needed changing, so we attacked it. But I taught in a lot of different areas, a lot of defensive coaching. I kind of took over the defense the latter part of last year for Coach Scott. So I’m going to be teaching most likely both sides of the ball, and maybe focusing more on the offense at times with the Buckeyes.”
Ohio State Men’s Basketball 2016-2017 Outlook
(Photo from Ohio State Lantern
Wednesday, February 19, 1992)