While Shammgod may have accidentally spoiled the surprise, it became official last week that LaDontae Henton would in fact return to Friartown to join the coaching staff.
Henton’s collegiate career with the Friars is a very noteworthy one. He led the Friars to 3 postseason appearances (NIT, NCAAT x2), became only the second Friar to eclipse 2000 points and 1000 rebounds for a career, and ranks second in scoring in PC history. He also played with a junkyard dog mentality and was critical to establishing the culture for Ed Cooley’s program as Cooley embarked on his coaching career.
With no coaching experience, we don’t know exactly what Henton will bring. Based on his experience he should be great at helping develop players and instilling the culture of toughness, which has been lacking at times the past few seasons. In terms of player development, the two guys we look for Henton to be in their ear is freshman Legend Geeter and transfer Justin Minaya. Like Henton, Legend hails from Michigan and they both have that same mold of undersized wing that can rebound, defend and score around the rim. Minaya is a bigger 3/4 player that is already bringing in some toughness due to his experience in the SEC. Minaya and Henton should click instantly with their ruggedness.
In his time at PC, Henton developed into a good shooter as well, hitting one of the bigger shots in Friar history. Cue the footage…
While the press release didn’t mention any recruiting responsibilities, one would have to surmise he would use his connections to help in the recruiting department.
In 2012 Ed Cooley brought in Friar legend God Shammgod to his coaching staff. He was there for 3 years and was key in developing Bryce Cotton, Kris Dunn, and even Kyron Cartwright. Sham was able to parlay that experience and his legendary status as a ball handler for a job with the Dallas Mavericks. Cooley is hoping he can bring in another Friar in Henton to do the same.
If nothing else, Henton will help reestablish the culture that made those early Cooley Friar teams so easy to love and support.