Inside The Convo, Jordan Dartis stands casually at the whiskers of the Bobcat logo, the epicenter of the 13,080-seat arena.
A far net — its back to The Convo stands — is bombarded by Dartis’ simple, smooth shooting stroke.
Position: Guard/shooting guard
Hometown: Newark, Ohio
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 195 pounds
Stats: 25 games started; 34.8 minutes per game, 13.6 points per game; 46.1 percent shooting from the field; 46.7 3-point shooting; 87 percent free throw shooting
- Broke Ohio's single-season record for 3-point shooting percentage at 47.9 as a freshman
Dartis makes five consecutive 21-or-22-foot shots.
Clank… one rims off.
Dartis continues and makes another eight in a row. For the Bobcats, it’s just another Monday practice. For Dartis, he is trying to perfect his 3-point shot.
But analyzing it even further: he could be Ohio’s best shooter ever, and he’s pretty close, too.
“For Jordy to hit some of the shots that he hits, even as a shooter, it’s pretty unbelievable to me,” current graduate assistant and former Ohio player Tommy Freeman said. “And from a lot deeper than I was hitting them.”
Freeman’s praise isn’t overstated.
Freeman, who played under coach John Groce, is one of the best shooters in program history. He drained 47.7 percent of his 3-pointers in 2011, the second-best shooting percentage in the nation that year, and the best in Bobcat history.
And as a sophomore six years later, Dartis has potentially propelled himself into a higher echelon. The question now is simple. Could he be one of the best shooters in Bobcat history?
“Oh, he’s pretty good,” coach Saul Phillips said after Dartis shot 3-for-5 from 3 against Cleveland State. “I don’t rank (players), it’s like ranking your kids, so no ... it’s a combination of it’s a very good stroke, but it’s also so quick. He gets it off quick.”
Of course, best ever is a subjective trait. But statistics are on Dartis’ side.
His 46 percent 3-point shooting is the eighth-best in the nation. He’s tied for 38th-most 3-pointers made in the country with 79.
As a freshman, Dartis’ 3-point shooting percentage was 47.9 percent, breaking Freeman's record.
He’s been just as consistent in year two, pushing his role as Ohio’s No. 2 scorer. He’s Ohio’s best shooter, statistically, and is responsible for 17.1 percent of all the team’s points this season, according to data compiled by The Post.
“You’ve got a guy like that, if it’s in his hands, you know it’s going in,” forward Jason Carter said. “It’s nice and relieving.”
Despite a slight dip in his 3-point shooting percentage category from his freshman year, Dartis' overall production has increased.
His 13.4 points per game is third-best on Ohio, he plays more minutes per game (34.5) than last year (31.7) and he’s also taken more 3-point field goals (171) in 26 games than the 140 he took in 36 games as a freshman.
The crazy part is he could do more.
Dartis has been responsible for 31 percent of all of Ohio’s 3-pointers. He outscored his own team 16-10 during the first half of Ohio’s win against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 14. He even nailed a halfcourt buzzer beater Tuesday at Millett Hall.
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Dartis said the only reason why he doesn’t shoot the ball more is "himself," he said.
“I know the other guards don’t want me to catch the ball because I’m shooting well right now,” Dartis said. “I can make myself more available by cutting hard off screens or cutting to get open more.”
What may stunt his quest for perfection stems from Mid-American Conference teams face guarding, or literally putting a body in front of Dartis so the 6-foot-3 guard from Newark can’t receive passes.
“Yeah, I definitely recognize (Dartis doesn’t get as many shots as maybe he should),” point guard Jaaron Simmons said. “We talk about it all the time. But it’s easier to say ‘Jordy needs to get more shots’ and then when you’re out there on the court, it’s a man standing right in his face for 40 minutes.”
Simmons added that Dartis never complains about the almost constant perimeter pressure. Dartis is a positive persona for the Bobcats. He kept his calm when news broke that Antonio Campbell’s career as a Bobcat was over.
And for an emotional season, as Phillips put it earlier in the season, Dartis has embodied the right emotion: an emblem of optimism.
It could take him to further heights one day. But for now, he’s still etching his name in Ohio’s 3-point record books.
“I really try not to worry about that stuff,” Dartis said. “I just try to stay humble and do what I gotta do every day."