The work Kim English put in to his offensive game over the summer has not translated into success with Mizzou this season. (Photo by Nick Gerhardt))
Kim English spent his summer with big names from the NBA working on his game before NCAA play began. Yet this season his scoring numbers have dipped and his performances have been inconsistent.
He followed up a six-of-nine, 16-point effort at home against Baylor with a four point outing in the Little Apple on Saturday, where Mizzou lost by 10 to Kansas State.
Training with the likes of Carmelo Anthony does not necessarily translate into the style of play at Missouri. English attributed the change in his production this year to having to re-learn how to play in the Tiger offense when he returned to Columbia.
“I kind of subconsciously worked on a lot of next level stuff: isolation situations, post moves, things that this offense doesn’t lend itself to; it’s a motion offense,” English said.
In this offense, a guard must come off screens effectively and move the ball until someone has enough space to drive or take a set jump shot.
“All I should have been working on was strictly coming off screens, getting my feet together. So I’m kind of doing that now, during the season, changing that around a little bit,” English said.
To be fair, English has nearly doubled the number of assists he gives out per game and continues to work hard for rebounds. Last season, he took nearly a third of the Tigers’ shots, and this year he is tied for third on the team with Laurence Bowers, jacking up approximately one of every five attempts for the team.
It may appear that his offense has gone backward, but English’s efficiency as a shooter has only dipped a fraction from 2009-2010, which may result from fewer touches to find his shot. The isolation game English worked on over the summer leads the guard to dribble down more often and drive the lane in one-on-one situations. As he develops that skill set, more turnovers and charging fouls may ensue.
The isolation game stops the rhythm of the offense because the ball stays in one player’s hands. It runs counter to head coach Mike Anderson’s preferred method of playing basketball, so English does not have many opportunities to improve that fresh facet of his game.
The 6-foot-6 junior from Baltimore plays his best when he finds space around the perimeter and shoots within the flow of the offense, as he did in Wednesday’s win over Baylor.
“It works when that ball is moving and never gets stuck with one guy. The ball dictates who’s going to be the guy that night,” English said.
Quotable:: Kim English on if his game compares to friend Carmelo Anthony’s, the new Knick: “I work out with Carmelo a lot, but it’s two different games. He’s a big, big man–lot of post-up stuff, lot of power down low. I try to do that somewhat, but I’m more finesse. I love to come off a lot of screens and get easy shots.
“If (Mizzou’s offense) was an opportunity for me to have some iso situations, I could see the comparison.”