Marcus Denmon fell one point short of a chance at his ultimate goal as a high school senior. Denmon and his Hogan Prep team fell to Maplewood and Bryant Allen, 52-51, in the Missouri Class 3A state semifinal last Thursday. And the Mizzou signee put much of the blame on himself.
"We didn't play like our regular selves," Denmon said. "Free throws were really the difference. I went one-for-five and that could have easily sealed the game."
Maplewood deserves some credit for the victory as well.
"The other difference was that they box and oned me, which was usual," Denmon said. "But every time I would catch the ball, they would double me, no matter where I was on the court, to get the ball out of my hands. That was something new and my teammates weren't really ready for that."
Denmon still had a strong night, scoring 18 points and hitting three three-point shots. But that number was about ten below his season average of 28 a game. Now that his senior season is over, Denmon has his attention focused on moving on to Missouri. He plans to be in town on the 10th of June to start summer school.
"I talk to the coaches a lot," he said. "I talk to coach Zimmerman at least two times a week, and I talked to coach Anderson the other day. I keep in touch with them pretty often."
The discussions don't have much to do with basketball these days.
"They're just telling me to keep my grades up, don't let them slip," Denmon said. "I did a really good job first semester and they just want to make sure I don't let them slip second semester."
Academics have been a topic of discussion surrounding Denmon almost since the start of his recruitment. But the senior says Tiger fans have nothing to worry about.
"I'm good to go," he said. "All I have to do is pass all my classes. I'll pass the clearinghouse if I pass all my classes."
And that is the best news of all for Tiger hoops fans.