Two of Mizzou’s leaders from last season’s 30-win basketball season were picked in Thursday night’s NBA draft. Kim English (44th to Detroit) and Marcus Denmon (59th to San Antonio) were each selected in the second round. 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.
English is coming off a senior season where he won the Big 12 Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honors, averaging 23.0 points in the three wins while also shooting 78.8%(26-of-33) from the floor. English averaged a career high 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 52% from the floor and 46% from beyond the three-point arc.
English is 13th all-time in Mizzou career scoring (1,570), 4th in three-pointers made (239) and 4th in three-pointers attempted (606).
“I’m so happy for Kim and his family,” said Mizzou Head Coach Frank Haith, who recruited Kimmie when he was at Miami. “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.”
Denmon was drafted 59th by San Antonio. He finished his Mizzou career 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 (3rd), three-pointers (2nd) and steals (3rd) and he finished his Missouri tenure ranked among the school’s all-time greats for scoring and games played. Denmon also scored 1,775 points (5th in school history) over four seasons. He also ranks among Mizzou’s career leaders in three-point makes (2nd with 283), steals (5th with 178), free throw percentage (6th with .800) and field goals made (8th with 587). He is also tied with English as the school record holder for career games played (141).
“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.”
The Southeastern Conference, known for football, had the first three players drafted. Kentucky’s Anthony Davis went first to New Orleans and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went to Charlotte. The Washington Wizards took Florida Gator and St. Louis, Mo. native Bradley Beal third. The SEC had a great showing with a first round total of eight picks coming from that conference. In all, the SEC had a total of 13 of the 60 picks. Six players were chosen from Kentucky, three from Vanderbilt, plus picks from Florida, Mississippi St, LSU and Georgia.
From the Big 12, Thomas Robinson of Kansas went fifth overall to Sacramento. Royce White of Iowa State was drafted 16th by Houston, Perry Jones of Baylor went 28th to Oklahoma City in the first round. Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller went back to back for Baylor getting picked 37th and 38th respectively. Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas was picked 41st by Portland.
Kyle O’Quinn, the center from Norfolk State who helped knocked off Mizzou in the NCAA tournament, heard his named called with the 49th pick, going to Orlando.