The University of Toledo assistant coach responsible for today’s scouting report didn’t use cue cards when addressing his team the other day.
Jordan Mincy doesn’t need them, instead pulling from a steel trap mind to explain tendencies of Ohio University’s players. He recites without hesitation that the Bobcats’ Stevie Taylor is one of the most confident point guards in the league and does a good job of altering speeds. Taylor’s backcourt mate, Nick Kellogg, is a deadly shooter in transition “and is always cutting.”
Mincy’s instant recall does not surprise his college coach. Jim Christian, who coached Mincy at Kent State and now coaches Ohio, sensed his former pupil’s study habits and intellect would translate well into coaching.
“He did it cerebrally,” Christian said. “He wasn’t the strongest guy, he just outsmarted them. He used his strengths, and I’m sure that’s what he does now in coaching.”
Mincy, though only 27, is in his fourth season as a full-time Division I assistant. One of two first-year coaches on Tod Kowalczyk’s staff, Mincy’s arrival coincided with his pupil, point guard Julius Brown, maturing into arguably the Mid-American Conference’s top player. Mincy also gets credit for Toledo landing recruits Stuckey Mosley and Dre Applewhite, though neither of their names appeared on Mincy’s wish list.
That’s because he doesn’t keep one.
“That’s hard work more than it is any type of special gift,” Kowalczyk said. “He works at it. He’s very talented at it.”
Kowalczyk purposefully assigned today’s scouting duties to Mincy, knowing none of his other staffers would have the same insight into what sets Christian might run in a battle of MAC title contenders at OU’s Convocation Center. Mincy also was tasked with scouting Kent State for last Sunday’s home win, a seamless assignment given that he worked under Golden Flashes coach Rob Senderoff and recruited some current Kent players.
“Heck yes, it was by design,” Kowalczyk said, interrupting a question posed to Mincy.
Kowalczyk moved fast to pluck Mincy from College of Charleston last offseason, heeding the advice of Christian, Senderoff, and others who offered glowing remarks on the Memphis native’s coaching acumen. Kowalczyk’s No. 1 criteria in filling his staff was ensuring strong player-coach relationships. In that respect, Mincy was a home run.
Brown, whom Senderoff called the MAC’s most valuable player following Sunday’s game, has taken his all-league talents to the next level, tying together an explosive Rockets offense with 6.3 assists. His 13.9 points fall behind teammates Justin Drummond and Rian Pearson, but it is Brown with the designation to take the final shot in one-possession games. His defense, though often shaky, is making strides under Mincy, whom Christian says is the best defender he’s ever coached.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a closer player-coach relationship in my career,” Kowalczyk said. “Juice lives in his office every day.”
Mincy, who led Kent to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances, reminds Brown “to not settle for average” and believes the junior has the tools to be “not a good defender, but an elite defender.”
“He always works me out when I need to be worked out,” Brown said. “He’s just there for me on and off the court.”
Mincy has never worked for Christian, who has not sought an assistant during offseasons in which Mincy was job searching. They get together every year at the Final Four over dinner with other Christian disciples, a guest list that includes Senderoff, Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy, and former UT assistant Ryan Pedon. There are more names that gather around the table, and — if asked — Mincy probably could recite all of them.
“He had an unbelievable ability to understand what he could do well and what he could to do to gain an advantage,” Christian said. “He has done the same thing in coaching.”
UT-BG ON ESPNU: The UT men’s basketball game Feb. 20 at Bowling Green will be televised by ESPNU. The game will tip off at 9 p.m. It was originally scheduled to begin at 7.
Rockets’ QB coach leaves
University of Toledo quarterbacks coach Scott Isphording is leaving to be the co-offensive coordinator at Ohio, Rockets coach Matt Campbell said.
Isphording coached tight ends at Ohio in 2009 and spent the last four seasons at UT. He is the fourth UT assistant to leave this offseason.