Mizzou’s English, Denmon drafted in the second round Thursday
Two of Missouri Basketball’s biggest stars from last season’s 30-win campaign will begin their professional careers this summer in the National Basketball Association as Kim English (No. 44 to Detroit) and Marcus Denmon (No. 59 to San Antonio) were each selected in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday.
It’s the first time since 1989 that two Tigers have gone in the same draft. Byron Irvin went No. 22 overall to Portland that year and Gary Leonard went No. 34 to Minnesota.
A native of Baltimore, Md., English is the 41st Tiger drafted all-time. He is coming off a spectacular season which saw him win Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors, averaging 23.0 points in the three championship victories, while also shooting 78.8 percent (26-of-33) from the floor. A 6-foot-6 shooting guard that played in the paint last season due to a shorthanded bench, English averaged a career high 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the floor and 46 percent from beyond the arc.
English is tied with his former teammate, Denmon, as the MU career record holder for games played (141) and he made 107 starts over his four seasons. In addition, he was a pivotal part of a senior class that won a school record 107 games since the 2008-09 season, including 31 victories in 2008-09 and 30 in 2011-12.
English finished his career ranked among Missouri’s all-time leaders in several statistical categories. He is No. 13 all-time in career scoring (1,570), No. 4 in three-point makes (239) and No. 3 in three-pointers attempted (606).
“I’m so happy for Kim and his family,” Head Coach Frank Haith said. “I said it earlier in the week, but I have never been around a better leader on the court and in the locker room than Kim English. He works so hard at his craft and he is always working to make himself and the teammates around him better. I also want to congratulate Detroit on the great draft selection. Obviously they are bringing in a great talent on the basketball court, but they are also bringing in someone with great character and the appropriate drive to succeed in this league.”
Named Second Team all-league by CBS Sports last season, English led the conference in three-point percentage (.459), ranked seventh in three-point makes (2.2), 10th in steals (1.3) and eighth overall in scoring (14.5). He topped double figures 26 times in 35 total games, including a career high 29 points in a win against Binghamton where he hit 7-of-10 treys. English also topped 20 points in wins against Oklahoma (23), Texas Tech (22), Texas A&M (21), at Texas Tech (20), Oklahoma State (27) and against Texas (23).
In addition to playing in the paint as a senior, English also contributed 56 assists and 45 steals. The 45 steals equaled a career high and his 4.2 rebounds per game last season were the highest of his career.
Denmon, drafted No. 59 by San Antonio, comes off a spectacular collegiate career where he finished his tenure as a Second Team All-American after averaging 17.7 points and 5.0 rebounds. The Kansas City, Mo., native ranked among the league’s Top 10 in seven different statistical categories last year, including scoring (No. 3), three-pointers (No. 2) and steals (No. 3) and he finished his Missouri tenure ranked among the school’s all-time greats for scoring and games played.
A product of Hogan Prep High School, Denmon scored 1,775 points (No. 5 in school history) over the course of four seasons. He also ranks among Mizzou’s career leaders in three-point makes (No. 2 – 283), steals (No. 5 – 178), free throw percentage (No. 6 – .800) and field goals made (No. 8 – 587). He is also tied with English as the school record holder for career games played (141).
Few players in college basketball were as consistent and explosive as Denmon last year. He reached double figures in scoring in 30-of-35 games, which included 12 20-point outbursts. He scored a career high 31 points in a win against Northwestern State and poured in 28 points at Madison Square Garden against Villanova, 29 in a home victory against Kansas and 28 at Kansas on 10-of-15 shooting.
“What an incredible moment for Marcus, his family and all of us here at Mizzou,” Haith said. “Marcus worked tremendously hard for this opportunity and San Antonio is getting a tough, gritty player to add to their roster. Marcus is a warrior. He plays so hard and does whatever it takes to win, and as a head coach, you can’t ask for anything more. You can’t have enough players like Marcus Denmon on your team.”
Denmon burst onto the national scene as a junior when he led the club with 16.9 points per game. He shot 50 percent from the floor and led the club with 82 treys and 45 percent shooting from bonus distance. Over his last two seasons Denmon hit 181 three-point field goals, connecting on 42.5 percent of his treys during that remarkable 69-game stretch.
Denmon joins his uncle, Martinez Denmon, as NBA draftees. The elder Denmon was drafted out of Iowa State in 1973 by the Boston Celtics. He was selected in the third round (No. 52 overall).
— MU Sports Information —