Thad Matta needed to make a splash when it came to replacing Jeff Boals on Ohio State's coaching staff. Re-hiring former assistant Chris Jent would qualify as such a move.
As evidently broken by former Buckeye Mark Titus (and previously speculated by Scout.com's Brian Snow), Jent appears to be returning to Columbus, where the former Buckeye player served as one of Matta's assistants from 2011-13. Jent, who scored over 1,000 points during his playing days at Ohio State from 1988-92, has been an assistant coach for four different NBA teams and served as LeBron James' personal shooting coach for four years while he was as assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jent left Ohio State after the 2012-13 season to take an assistant coaching position with the Sacramento Kings under head coach Mike Malone. After Malone was fired in December 2014, interim Kings head coach Ty Corbin chose not to retain Jent. Last August, Jent was named the coach of the Bakersfield Jam, the Phoenix Suns' developmental team.
Ohio State ranked fifth (2011-12) and 11th (2012-13), respectively, in Ken Pomeroy's offensive efficiency metric during Jent's first stint with the Buckeyes. Since then Ohio State has finished 128th, 28th, and 151st in those same rankings, albeit with less talented offensive personnel than it had when Jent was around.
As a player, Jent logged two seasons in the NBA and five seasons in the Continental Basketball Association. He also spent time playing in Australia, Greece, Italy, and Spain. In addition to his time with the Cavaliers and Kings, Jent has been an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic. In Orlando, Jent went 5-13 as the team's interim head coach during the final 18 games of the 2004-05 season.
Titus seemed excited about Jent's possible ceiling with the program:
This is the real reason to be excited.— Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) April 12, 2016
OSU players have no idea what's about to hit them. Jent doesn't mess around. https://t.co/5jYlCEA351