The Columbia Tribune’s Steve Walentik’s recap of last night’s 92-53 CBE Classic championship victory profiled the role of senior guard Kim English:
He scored eight of his game-high 19 points before the break, but just as significant, took four charges and came up with a steal, frustrating California as MU built a 45-26 lead at intermission. He was named to the all-tournament team.
“I thought the coaching staff has done a great job of getting Kimmie to understand the things he needs to do to help us win,” classmate Marcus Denmon said. “He’s been doing it great.”
English’s improvement has been absolutely vital to the Tigers since forward Laurence Bowers tore his ACL in October. Bowers was the team’s second-leading scorer in 2010 behind Marcus Denmon, and his absence created a major size disadvantage for Missouri against bigger teams.
The Tigers haven’t missed a beat without Bowers, largely due to English’s improvement. He has increased his field goal shooting percentage from 36.6 last year to 56.5 percent this year. His three-point success rate is 60 percent, an improvement of 23.4 percentage points from 2010. He is averaging five rebounds per game, and is on pace to score 496 points this season.
As long as English keeps it up, the Tigers will continue to prove true a certain famous movie character’s proclamation that “Size matters not.”