COLUMBIA — Standing inside a semicircle of media members on Monday, Missouri men's basketball player Kim English answered questions about his recent scoring troubles.
He spoke about his play directly into the recorders crowded around his face. Then, he addressed an issue that went beyond the basketball court. When asked about the hate crime that took place on the MU campus on Saturday, English answered in the same direct manner.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-14, 3-7 Big 12)
at No. 20 Missouri Tigers (19-6, 5-5 Big 12)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Mizzou Arena
RADIO: KTGR/1580 AM, 100.5 FM
“Things like that don’t upset me because I know that people like that exist,” English said. “Hopefully they won’t, but they probably always will."
An MU student was arrested Saturday in connection with racist graffiti painted outside Hatch Residence Hall. The incident took place late Friday or early Saturday morning, almost a year after two MU students scattered cotton balls in front of MU's Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center.
"We’ve came such a long way and still have such a long way to go," said English, who is black. "It’s a conservative state, close to the South. I wasn’t blinded to the fact coming out here. I mean, it’s happened two years in a row. I hope they catch the guys and kick them out of school, because what that guy does doesn’t represent what most people at the University of Missouri, or the state of Missouri, feel.”
Following Missouri’s win 84-61 win over Oklahoma on Saturday, English posted a message to his Twitter account. The message was simple. Those responsible for the spray painting were cowards. It wasn’t long before responses from some of his 4,926 followers started showing up.
“When I tweeted that I got probably a couple hundred responses from my followers saying that 'That's not Mizzou,'” English said. “I respect that, and I understand that. We have a black head coach, a predominantly black team, a black president. Most of the nation doesn’t feel that way, but one idiot did.”
Anderson expects Denmon to play Tuesday:
Missouri coach Mike Anderson said Monday that he expects guard Marcus Denmon to play against Texas Tech on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.
“Marcus is doing OK. He came around and shot yesterday,” Anderson said. “He’s one of those tough kids, and, as of right now, he’s going to practice today, and I’m more sure he’ll be available tomorrow.”
At the beginning of the second half in Saturday’s win over Oklahoma, Denmon was under the basket when teammate Laurence Bowers came in to block a layup attempt by an Oklahoma player. When Bowers came down, his elbow hit Denmon just below Denmon’s right eye.
“I came in to block a shot, and it just so happened that Marcus was right under there,” Bowers said. “I felt it and knew I hurt him as soon as it happened. It was just one of those plays where it was inadvertent and it just happened.”
Denmon covered his face while he lay underneath the basket following the hit. When Missouri trainers finally got Denmon up to his feet, the fans at Mizzou Arena could finally see the blood dripping down his face.
“I felt terrible,” Bowers said. “Marcus is like my brother, and you never want to hurt anybody in your family.”
Denmon left Saturday’s game and has since received several stitches underneath his right eye. He practiced on Sunday and Monday.
Denmon, who is the team’s leading scorer this season, scored 20 points last season in Lubbock, Texas, against Texas Tech.
Texas Tech at a glance:
Before the start of the season, Anderson said he thought Texas Tech was a team that might exceed expectations.
"I thought they were one of the dark horse teams because of how they played last year," Anderson said. "They really got off to a great start last year."
In addition, the Red Raiders were well stocked in the leadership department. Four of the team's starting five players are seniors.
But, Texas Tech has struggled and finds itself sitting in 11th place in the Big 12 Conference, with its three conference wins coming from defeating Nebraska, Iowa State and Oklahoma State in overtime.
Two of the team's seniors lead the Red Raiders' offense. Guard John Roberson and forward Mike Singletary are each averaging 13 points.