ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He is the reigning Mr. Basketball in the state of California, coming out of Corona Centennial high school. UNM freshman guard Donovan Dent wants to shine as a Lobo and show head coach Richard Pitino that he is as advertised. After all, it was Pitino, being at New Mexico, that caught Dent’s eye and helped to bring him to the Land of Enchantment.
“Definitely coach P for sure,” said Dent. “Like, me, my dad, kind of knew about him a lot growing up. We watched him when he was coaching at Minnesota and all that. When I came on my visit they made me feel like I was already part of the team, you know and all that. So, I feel like it was the best fit for me personally.”
Pitino has high praise for the young Dent. “Donovan Dent is one of the best point guards in the west and we got a really good backcourt,” said Pitino. “The best thing for all of those guys is competition.”
Dent, who describes himself as a facilitator on the court, who finishes well at the rim, will have to compete with talented veterans Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr.. Despite the competition, Dent is hoping he can contribute right away. “I come from, like, a high school, like, it’s all about challenging, having to beat out players and all of that,” said Dent. “But, like uh, I just hope to challenge Jaelen to the best of my ability. Maybe we can play alongside each other on the court and all that and we can work pretty well together as a team. I definitely want to be an impact player right away, whether I start, come off the bench. Like, I just want to do whatever the team needs me to provide.”