COLUMBIA — Kim English made 3-point shots look effortless Sunday.
He was a picture of calm from behind the arc; he stood with his feet together, lowered his elbow to push the ball into the air and finished with a flick of his wrist.
English, a senior on the Missouri men's basketball team, used that 3-point shot over and over again to break two of his career records and lead the No. 21 Tigers to a 88-59 victory against Binghamton on Sunday at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers are now 6-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
English scored 29 points with 21 of them coming from behind the arc. He scored his previous career high for points in a game against Chattanooga in November 2009 with 26 points. His previous career high for 3-pointers in a game was six, and he topped that Sunday against Binghamton with seven.
Still, he wasn’t satisfied with his performance. Going into halftime, he had no rebounds. At the end of the game, he was still thinking about those statistics and how he wasn’t pleased with how he guarded Ben Dickinson, a Binghamton forward, in the first half.
However, he praised his teammates highly, especially sophomore guard Phil Pressey.
“When you get to this level, and you have really good teammates and especially a really good guard, it gets easier and easier because Phil did an amazing job of finding me and Marcus (Denmon) and Steve (Moore) and Ricardo (Ratliffe), as well,” English said.
With seven minutes left in the first half, Phil Pressey stole the ball and kept it from going out of bounds by throwing it behind his head and high into the air. Ratliffe, a senior forward, grabbed the ball and completed a layup with no Binghamton players in the vicinity.
Although Pressey didn’t put any points on the board, he tied his career-high record for assists with 11. He helped set the pace for the Tigers’ ball movement, as seven Tigers had at least one assist each, combining for a team total of 23 assists.
“It’s about buying in,” Missouri head coach Frank Haith said. “Marcus and Kim, guys that we look to to do a lot of scoring, when those guys pass up shots and make the extra pass, it becomes contagious.”
English compared this year’s team to the Tigers during his freshman season, describing them both as selfless. The difference, he said, is that this year, Haith has implemented a structure for the team to work freely within.
“The difference from my freshman year was just one hundred percent freedom. We were just really, really unselfish,” English said. “Now, we’re really selfless. Add that selflessness with a structure. It’s just … I love it. I love it.”