English finds rhythm for Missouri men's basketball team

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | 10:55 p.m. CST; updated 11:48 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Missouri junior guard Kim English puts up a shot against North Alabama on Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena. English led the Tigers with 20 points including six 3 pointers. English was Missouri's leading scorer as a sophomore but entered the game fifth in scoring this season.

COLUMBIA — Missouri men's basketball player Kim English is hoping his hometown NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens, can have a similar performance to the one that he had against North Alabama.

English scored a season-high 20 points against North Alabama on Wednesday night in the Tigers' 98-58 victory at Mizzou Arena. On Sunday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens will head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in an AFC wildcard game.

At the end of the press conference following Missouri's win, English looked at one of the reporters, who is a Kansas City fan.

“What’s up!,” English yelled with a big smile on his face, referring to the matchup. “I was going to wear a Baltimore hat in here, but (Missouri media relations director) Dave (Reiter) told me not to.”

After press conference, English was talking to friends on Norm Stewart Court, and was showing his hometown pride. Wearing the Baltimore hat backwards, English had the black and purple Ravens logo on the back, and “Ravens” written in purple across his forehead.

“I’m hoping I can go (to the game) once we get back from Colorado,” English said. “Maybe I’ll head out there with (Kansas City native) Jarrett (Sutton) if practice times are favorable. Marcus (Denmon) and Jarrett both love the Chiefs, so there’s been some trash-talking going on. They stupidly think the Chiefs will win.”

Before the Chiefs and Ravens became a hot topic, English and the rest of the Tigers had to play their final nonconference game of the season against the Lions. English had plenty to smile about after the game.

It took English a little while to get going, but once he did, he couldn't miss. With four minutes left in the first half, English only had eight points. But by the end of the half, he had made four consecutive 3-pointers for the Tigers. After English's first two 3-pointers, the rest of his team knew he had the hot hand.

“It was just another day,” English said. “Shots were falling, and I was in the flow. Shooting wise, that’s probably the best I’ve been this year. Guys were passing up shots because they knew I just had it.”

English's final two 3-pointers of the half came in the final minute of the period. After releasing the first shot nearly 30 feet from the basket, he fell down. After the ball fell through the hoop, English gave a fist pump before being helped up by North Alabama coach Bobby Champagne.

“As long as it feels good coming off my hands, I don’t have control after that,” English said. “That shot’s going in every time I let it go. Sometimes it may look like its false confidence, but it’s true.”

In the second half, English only attempted two more 3-pointers, but was unable to make either.

Before Wednesday night, English had been having a hard time finding his shooting rhythm. The 20 points in the first half on Wednesday night match his total from the previous three games combined.

“He was on fire tonight,” Missouri coach Mike Anderson said. “He was in a rhythm. He found his spots and guys turned down shots to get it to him. When we’ve got a guy that’s hot, we’ve got to get it to him.”

English was one of seven Missouri players to score in double digits.

English said he hopes he keeps shooting well in the Tigers' Big 12 opener Saturday against Colorado.

“If we win at Colorado on Saturday, and a Raven win on Sunday, that would be just a great weekend,” English said.

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