Kim English

Kim English makes bold prediction, thinks Missouri Tigers will win 2013 NCAA title


Kim English was a key piece to Missouri’s 30-5 team this past season, though the Tigers fell short of expectations and lost in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament to underdog Norfolk State.

English has now moved on, looking forward to forging a path as a professional, which begins with workouts that lead up to this week’s NBA draft.

But one sound bite has caught some attention and it has little to do with his professional prospects. English told Adam Zagoria of that he thinks Missouri will win the 2013 national title.

“I can say this now that I’m gone, but I expect them to win a national championship without a doubt,” English said. “We should’ve at least went to the Final Four this past year and it definitely left a sour taste in a lot of guys’ mouth out there, but they should win a national championship. They’re the best team in the nation heading into next season.”

It’s bold, statistically speaking, but you can’t knock a player’s confidence in his former team.

Bovada says Missouri has a 50-1 shot of winning a national title, the same odds as Creighton, Alabama, and Cincinnati.

Could they do it? Backcourt duo Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon return, but the Tigers will have to compensate for the loss of graduating seniors Marcus Denmon and Ricardo Ratliffe.

Transfers will be able to patch up some holes, though, including special APR transfer Alex Oriakhi from Connecticut, Jabari Brown from Oregon, and Keion Bell from Pepperdine.

Missouri moves to the SEC in 2012-13, so the road to a championship would include in-conference battles with Kentucky and Florida, much different than traditional Big 12 battles with Kansas or Texas.

And if you’re one to bet and want to take some advice from a former player, put something down on Frank Haith’s Tigers.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.