English Ready to Make a Statement
Following a post-grad year during which his stock exploded and his game improved by leaps and bounds, Missouri basketball recruit Kimmie English isn't lacking for confidence. That much is apparent when he speaks about this year's team in comparison to next year's, which will be injected by a talented group of freshmen including English, who has been planning the next four years with his teammates to be.
"I talk to Marcus [Denmon], Laurence Bowers and [Keith] Ramsey a lot on the internet," said English, who recently finished a prep year during which the 6-6 wingman averaged 17 points, six rebounds and four assists for Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) "I've been watching. They've been good enough to win all of the games but [at Kansas and Kansas State]. They had the lead in, like, four or five and just folded late. The difference next year is, when we get a team down, we're going to turn it up another notch and try to step on their throats.
"We want to send a message every time we get on the floor," he continued. "We're really excited to turn the program around and work hard from Day One when we get there. And we want to inject some life into the program down there. Some of my friends back home, they read some of the message boards and they say the fans there are really excited about our class coming in."
English has been on a mission since last summer, morphing from a kid who had a very nice but unheralded career at suburban Baltimore's Randallstown High, to a more polished, consistent and mature player who attracted interest from quite a few major programs. He had a bit of mid-major interest prior this his extra year of school, and by the winter he had offers from Mizzou, Tennessee and Florida State, among others. "I knew going into the summer that if I was going to fulfill my dreams and go to a high-major and explode, I was going to have to work hard, and day by day I was going to have to outwork somebody. So I worked really hard and then the accolades started to come," he said.
English won MVP at the Big Apple Basketball Classic in New York as well as at another tournament in Rochester, N.Y. he was also named to the all-tournament team at the Maine Central Invitational. He said he's preparing to begin a rigorous offseason training program in order to give himself a better chance at playing heavy minutes right out of the gate next season, With his ability to knock down the three-pointer, rebound and defend – along with his prototypical length from the small forward spot – it seems he's in great position to play a big role.
He'll arrive in June, begin summer school and start preparing to make his next statement.
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