The Sharp Shooting Assistant Coach: Jono Metzger-Jones
After spending three seasons on Wayne Tinkle's staff, assistant coach 'Jono' Metzger-Jones wasn't sure where his future would take him when Tinkle left for Oregon State. It ended with Metzger-Jones staying with the program as the lone hold-over on Travis DeCuire's staff, and despite some momentary worry, things couldn't have worked better.
Not only was Coach Jono dealing with uncertainty after last basketball season, he also had a newborn son. Now a year later, he says his son has altered his outlook on life in general, and in basketball.
"He's incredible. It's pretty life changing when you realize that another person's life is now totally and utterly in your hands. I think what it's done for me in coaching is it's changed the way I've thought about the young men in our program. Because these guys are someone else's baby, just like my little guy is my baby that I need to take care of," says Metzger-Jones.
While his thought process may have changed in regard to his players…the upperclassmen know while coach Metzger-Jones may have a soft spot for his son, they say he doesn't take it any easier on them.
"He's really proud of his son, and it's cool to see. We had his son at dinner with us just last night, and maybe to some of the younger guys he's a little softer, but for us old guys he's pretty strict," says senior guard Jordan Gregory.
As a player, was a co-captain at the University of Pacific and he ranked in the program's top 10 all-time for three point shooting.
"When I was a player, it was the only thing I could do. I was an awful defender, I wasn't very athletic, I didn't dribble very well, but I could shoot the ball as soon as I walked in the gym. That carried me from high school onto division one college, and I got a chance to play in Europe basically because I could shoot the ball," says Metzger-Jones.
While he remains humble about the majority of his basketball skills, he still holds claim to be the best shooter at any Griz practice.
"He always says he's the best shooter in the gym, and I think we have Brandon Gfeller who has some arguments against that. I know personally I've beaten him a couple times, so I don't think he wants to go against Brandon. Brandon is too hot right now, so when he's shooting around, coach goes up to the offices sometimes," says Gregory.
"There's no one out here who can beat me on a consistent basis. It's not ever going to happen. Mike Weisner is close, close. Jordan Gregory is close. Brandon Gfeller as we've seen in the games can get pretty darn streaky. There's probably a day or two where he could get me, but over the long-haul I'm going to hold down the crowd," adds Metzger-Jones.