Heading into his senior season, point guard Marcus Denmon isn’t wasting a single second.
After a junior year that earned him first-team All-Big 12 honors, Denmon spent a weekend earlier this month in North Carolina working with the best of the best in college basketball at the prestigious CP3 Elite Guard Camp, led by NBA point guard Chris Paul.
“It was really good. It was one of the better basketball experiences I’ve had,” Denmon said. “I learned a lot while I was down there. You’re learning from some of the best at what they do. Chris Paul was amazing. He was there from start to finish.”
Denmon was one of just 17 college players invited to the Nike-sponsored event. He said one of the more important lessons he learned was discovering how to change the pace of his game for next season.
“(I learned about) pacing my game instead of going full speed all the time like a lot of college players do,” Denmon said.
Denmon said he is looking forward to working with new coach Frank Haith next season.
“We’re meshing fine,” Denmon said. “We haven’t actually started any practices or anything, but I like him. Everything is great so far.”
The two have even spent a little time discussing Denmon’s next mission this summer. Denmon has been invited to a tryout at the USA Basketball Men's World University Games training camp, held July 29 to Aug. 7 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“He coached that a few years back, and he told me it was going to be a really good experience and just to go down there and play my game,” Denmon said. “I’ll get to play with some really good guys.”
The training camp will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the U.S. at the 2011 World University Games men's basketball competition Aug. 13 to 23 in Shenzhen, China. Purdue’s Matt Painter will be the coach this year, assisted by Tennessee’s coach Cuonzo Martin and Butler’s Brad Stevens.
Missouri guard Kim English was also invited to participate in the training camp. Although Denmon isn’t sure whether this will help him perform on the court, he does find benefits in having a teammate there.
“I’m sure it will be good to have him there,” Denmon said. “If we both made the team, it will be good to have each other there. Being overseas together, we can help each other out with the way of living.”
Denmon said that these camps are helping him grow as a player, and although he is getting better, he still has team goals in mind for his senior season.
“It’s going to be my senior season next year, and I’m going to be a senior leader,” Denmon said. “I want to show the guys the right way. They’ll go as I go. Hopefully we’ll get better. I know I will as an individual, but I hope for the team to get better, too.”