NCAA Tournament

Denmon comes up short in three-point contest

NEW ORLEANS | Marcus Denmon has never been one to make excuses, so he darn wasn’t about to start making them in the aftermath of a three-point competition.

Denmon, a guard who just capped a terrific senior season at Missouri, fell in the semifinals of the State Farm College 3-point contest Thursday at Tulane University.

“I didn’t shoot the ball well,” Denmon said. “I think I shot like seven that went in and out.”

And make no mistake about it, Denmon – who is extremely competitive – absolutely wanted to win the contest, which featured eight of the best shooters in the country.

Denmon survived the first round with a score of 13, but he ended up posting the same score in the semifinals and was eliminated. Northwestern’s John Shurna won the event.

“Every time it went in and out, it ticked me off,” Denmon said. “I never got a chance to get in a good rhythm. I didn’t even get to finish the last (rack).”

Denmon had plenty of support, though. Former Missouri teammate Ricardo Ratliffe – who is playing in the NABC All-Star Game on Friday – was in attendance. As were a few members of Missouri’s coaching staff, including Frank Haith, Tim Fuller and Bryan Tibaldi.

“I thought he did good,” Ratliffe said. “This is a hard competition to do. He’s not in the gym working on shooting threes off a rack and being timed – he works on taking his time, really making sure he’s following through with good mechanics. But to finish on time here, you can’t really shoot your normal shot until the end, when you know you’ve got enough time.”

Denmon hinted as much, though he wasn’t about to let the result get him down. He said he will judge a high school dunk contest and watch Ratliffe in the All-Star Game Friday.

“It’s all fun and games,” Denmon said. “It was a good experience.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call