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 SNY.tv 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 JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_