On Monday, Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith talked about Missouri's All-American candidate, Marcus Denmon. ShowMeMizzou.com also spoke to the Tiger great himself, to get some of his thoughts heading into his final game at Mizzou Arena.
"Marcus Denmon is playing very well," began Coach Haith. "Marcus is tough! He's mentally, and physically tough. I wish he could have gotten that ball on that last possession. Because I think we would have seen him go make a play. And, I thought he was clean! We just didn't make the play."
"Marcus Denmon is just a tough kid, his will," Coach Haith continued. "I sure hope some NBA team will give him a chance. Marcus reminds me of what everybody says about this team. They always talk about what we don't have. Marcus, I think unfortunately, will be talked about what he can't do. But man! He sure does something to help you win! I hope somebody will recognize that, and give him a chance…………………………………… He's just a tough kid! He's just a tough kid that wasn't highly recruited, and highly thought of, and he's driven. I love that story! Guys who don't have a lot of prop with them, and have worked for everything that he's got. And, that young man has!"
"It's amazing, Marcus Denmon was a guy that didn't get a lot of national exposure for what he's done," related Coach Haith. "I mean, he was the leading scorer returning in the Big 12 coming back. I don't know that a lot of people across the country knew Marcus Denmon. I think a lot of people know who he is now! Even when he was going through that slump of not shooting the ball well, he still was doing things to help us win games. To me, that's the product of a great player!"
An afterthought to the Tigers' tough, emotionally draining loss at Kansas was the fact that with his 28 points scored, Marcus Denmon moved ahead of Rickey Paulding into ninth place on Missouri's career scoring list. When Denmon's Missouri career comes to a close, the record book with illustrate what I have seen with my eyes over the past four seasons, that Denmon is one of the all-time greats to ever play at Missouri. With 15 points scored, Denmon will surpass Clarence Gilbert, Kelly Thames, and Melvin Booker on Missouri's career scoring list, and will move into sixth place, just 61 points behind Arthur Johnson, who is fifth on Mizzou's career scoring list. Heading into Senior Night, Denmon has scored 1683 points in his Missouri career. Here's Mizzou's top five career scoring list:
1. Derrick Chievous (1985-88) 2,580
2. Doug Smith (1988-91) 2,184
3. Anthony Peeler (1989-92) 1,970
4. Steve Stipanovich (1980-83) 1,836
5. Arthur Johnson (2001-04) 1,759
Denmon is more impressed with his team's accomplishments. He was asked about leaving Missouri as a part of the winningest class in school history?
"It's a really great accomplishment," replied Denmon. "Obviously it's been a program that's been around for a while. And for us to be able to say that we're the most winning class is a huge accomplishment. It's just a great accomplishment."
Denmon said that winning eleven more games, "would be an even greater accomplishment."
Denmon talked about moving forward after a disappointing loss, and playing his last game at Mizzou Arena.
"We're still in the process of winning one game at a time," said Denmon. "We're still competing. We're continuing to play. I'm not sure that we couldn't still get a number one seed if we win out. We're still playing for a lot. This team still has a lot to look forward to. So, we're just continuing to work, and getting ready."
Denmon was asked how he wants his senior class to be remembered?
"I would think that anyone wants to be remembered as winners," replied Denmon who then went on to answer a question about the emotions associated with Senior Night. "It's going to be a lot of emotions going on Wednesday with a lot of the guys being seniors. And, with coming off of a really emotional loss at Kansas, I think that a lot of the guys will be ready to play."
Denmon was asked about his individual play of late?
"I feel that I've been playing well," began Denmon, who then noted that his team has lost their last two games. "Like I told my teammates, I'm all about winning. Of course, I want to play well. But, if I can have two points in a win versus Kansas, that'd be totally fine with me."
Finally, Denmon admitted that he had been sick last month. Then, he talked about the joy of playing with his teammates.
"Oh man! This is the most fun I've had playing basketball," explained Denmon. "Being able to be a senior leader for this team, and having this group of guys around is really fun!"