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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Curious Case of Denton Koon

Coach Mitch Henderson made an interesting decision Sunday afternoon against Florida A&M, starting freshman Spencer Weisz over junior Denton Koon. This was a surprise for a couple of reasons. With T.J. Bray out, Koon is probably the best active player on the Princeton squad. Last season he averaged 10.5 points and 3 rebounds per game playing mostly out of his natural position at the two guard spot, which speaks to the natural sort of athleticism and skill set he brings to the table. It reasoned that moving Koon back to his natural forward position this year would only help those numbers.

Weisz played pretty well, with 5 points, 6 boards and 4 assists, but he just isn't the same type of athlete Koon is. Henderson even joked post game that Weisz "plays the game like a 40-year old man. Unfortunately, he moves like a 40-year old man too." At 6-foot-8, nobody has ever said that about Koon.

Here is what Henderson had to say about the decision:

Like Henderson said, it was clear Koon wasn't thrilled about the arrangement, but he did to say the right thing:

My sense of the situation is that, given how early it is the season, the move was more about sending a motivational message to Koon than Henderson thinking Weisz, at this point, is the superior player. While supremely talented, there are times when Koon seems to get frustrated on the court to the point where it negatively affects his play. Early in the season, this sort of thing is relatively common. The Tigers opponent, Florida A&M, brought their leading returning scorer Jamie Adams off the bench in their opener against Rutgers and he was back in the starting lineup Sunday. If so, the message seems to have been received: Koon was a beast, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 boards in just 28 minutes on the floor. I think this quote from Henderson makes it pretty clear:

"I will say that it’s really important that our program is defined by the way Denton did things today. I’m pleased and proud of the way he played, because he made guys better."

Henderson said that at the moment he is more focused on the process than on who starts and who comes off the bench, but he also knows that the best way to win is to put your best players in the game. If Koon practices the way he played Sunday this week, I'd expect him back in the starting lineup against Butler.


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