COLUMBIA — For the first time since 1989, the Missouri men's basketball team had two players selected in the NBA Draft. Guards Kim English and Marcus Denmon, both seniors last season, were selected in the second round.
After more than three hours of waiting, English was the first Tiger to be chosen Thursday. He was picked No. 44 overall by the Detroit Pistons. Denmon was picked No. 59 overall by the San Antonio Spurs.
"It was definitely nerve-wracking because I know the teams I performed well in front of, and I knew a lot of things can happen," English said during a Thursday night teleconference.
"I knew I would be in a good situation, I'm blessed to play with any team. Detroit is a really good situation with me for my position."
The two players will join teams who had very different levels of success this past season. The Pistons went 25-41 and haven't made the playoffs since 2009. The Spurs, meanwhile, went 50-16, tied for the best record in the NBA.
Missouri coach Frank Haith said he actually spoke to both teams about both players during the pre-draft process, so he wasn't surprised when those teams picked them.
"They were a huge part of the last four years of success in Missouri basketball," Haith said. "While I was watching the draft, I kept hearing the word character, and both of those guys can provide that."
The Tigers won 107 games during the four years English and Denmon played, the most during any four-year span in program history.
"What a great night for Mizzou basketball," Haith said. "I'm really happy for both guys. They have an opportunity to continue their dreams in the NBA, and I'm really excited for both of them."