The LCCC women’s basketball team has a new assistant coach, and for any basketball fan in the Wyoming area, her name is one you should be familiar with.
Marquelle Dent, a former University of Wyoming basketball player, has joined head coach Brian Ortmeier’s staff for the 2017-18 season.
Dent had recently been assisting the coaching staff at Central High School in Cheyenne when she heard about the assistant job opening at LCCC from her brother, Terrance Dent, who played for the Golden Eagles.
“I thought I would still be playing overseas, but when that didn’t work out and I started coaching I fell in love with it,” Dent said. “LCCC was a familiar place for me because of my brother playing here and I felt like it was a great opportunity for me.”
Dent joins the LCCC staff with a great knowledge of the game from her career at Wyoming, where she started at point guard for three years and finished second all-time in Wyoming history with 514 career assists.
Ortmeier said Dent’s experience as a division one point guard is going to help the coaching staff because she will be able to see things other coaches miss from her previous experience as a player. Dent will also help the players with their development given she experienced everything they are going through.
During Dent’s playing career at Wyoming, head coach Joe Legerski ran a motion offense that mirrors the same offense ran by Ortmeier at LCCC. With her experience at running a motion offense, Dent has confidence that she can help bring her players some inside knowledge that not every coach can do.
“Point guard is a coach on the floor,” Dent said. “You have to know where everyone is going to be and ultimately who ends up with the ball.”
Dent’s experience won’t only help in running the offense; she can also help relate to the players on their level since she last played for the Cowgirls in 2016.
“In practice I just try to give them advice through examples and experiences that I had as a player,” Dent said. “I’m always trying to give them advice to make them better and hopefully they take it. I think they trust me when I tell them things because they know that I have gone through the same things as them.”
Ortmeier said he concurs that Dent’s division one experience will connect with her players as an assistant coach.
“I think Dent has done a great job from day one,” Ortmeier said. “She connects well with the girls, it’s what you would expect from a division one point guard.”
Dent has spent most of her time in the preseason working with guards on their skills and in-game decisions, while Ortmeier has mainly worked with the post players.
“I haven’t worked much with the post players yet,” Dent said. “But I am excited to learn more about coaching the (post) players and useful post drills from Coach Ortmeier.”
Darian Hale is a sophomore guard for the Golden Eagles who has been working extensively with Dent in practices.
“We work on ball handling with coach Dent every day,” Hale said. “I think it’s been helping a lot.”
For the upcoming season, Dent plans on learning as much as she can from Ortmeier.
“I really just want to listen to what he has to say and pick his brain as much as possible,” Dent said. “I’ve already learned a lot from him about how to look at game film from a coaching standpoint and what it takes to recruit these student athletes.”
Dent has high expectations for the women this season and likes how the team is coming together so far in the preseason.
“I really think these next few days will tell us a lot about our team this year,” Dent said.
The LCCC women’s basketball team had their first game of the season Nov. 2 against Northwest College, where they lost 72-63. The Golden Eagles finished up the weekend with a 74-63 loss to Fort Carson and a 82-68 win against Sheridan College.