Jordan Dartis is comfortable in his own skin. Maybe even too comfortable for Saul Phillips' liking.
He’s probably the happiest player on the Bobcats. He’s always smiling or cracking a joke. It’s the way he’s always been.
And he's had plenty reasons to smile during his college career.
In two seasons at Ohio, Dartis has produced two of the 10 best 3-point shooting seasons in Ohio history. He owns the first and seventh highest single season 3-point field goal percentages in school history.
But you won’t find him on any of the all-time 3-point field goal attempts lists.
Phillips’ belief is that Dartis is so confident in his abilities, he doesn't feel the need to show it off. He knows how good he is, his teammates know how good he is, so Dartis doesn't feel lie he has anything to prove.
It’s not about proof for Phillips. It’s about unlocking the kind of scorer he knows Dartis can be.
“He needs to air on side of maybe a couple of shots are a little bit forced,” Phillips said. “If he ever gets carried away, I’’ll let him know.”
Dartis doesn’t know when his coach thinks he took a bad shot. Phillips doesn’t tell him.
There are times when Dartis takes shots in practice that remind Phillips of the Javarez “Bean” Willis days. Dartis likes to shoot from the “O” in the Ohio logo that stretches across mid-court sometimes.
Phillips can live with a few 30-footers if it means Dartis will be more aggressive.
“(Dartis) has never heard me say, ‘Don’t take that shot,” Phillips said. “Not in his career here.”
Dartis has the confidence. After all, he has the confidence to pull up from the “O.” He says he can consistently make shots from 35 feet.
That’s the shooter’s mentality.
“If you don't have confidence, you’re not a shooter,” Dartis said. “You’re just a guy who makes shots.”
The challenge for Phillips is to turn that shooter's mentality into a bit of a gunner's mentality. He's not the first coach who's tried.
Phillips called Dartis’ high school coach, Jeff Quackenbush, about this problem before. He hoped Quackenbush would have a solution for motivating Dartis to shoot more.
Quackenbush taught Dartis almost everything about shooting. He introduced Dartis to form shooting, a shooting fundamentals drill where players shoot with one hand at different distances to practice their form.
He coached Dartis from fourth grade until he graduated high school. But he, too, had no luck convincing Dartis to be more selfish. He, like Phillips, did the best he could. Dartis’ careful shot selection has always been a part of his game.
Dartis was comfortable in his own skin.
“If you can figure it out,” Quackenbush told Phillips. “You did better than I did.”