Salutations Posting and Toasting, Ross Bernhardt here again. We're going to get inside the mind of another viable candidate for the Knicks with the 48th selection in the NBA Draft. His name is Kim English, and when discussing the prospect of writing this review with Seth, he included this in an email: "English 4 tomorrow sounds wonderful..." To that, I replied, "English 4 Tomorrow sounds like a sketchy second-language program run out of the back of some van." That produced this fake advertisement for "English 4 Tomorrow" in two acts:
Anyone interested in this terrific program can contact me or just look for the awesome van down the alleys. You will know it when you see it. Now, on to the next prospect.
Kim English Jr. is a senior who played for the Missouri Tigers. A 6'6" shooting guard hailing originally from Baltimore, English definitely fills one potential need for the Knicks. With all the uncertainty surrounding J.R. Smith, Landry Fields, the guard situation in general, and resident three-point specialist Steve Novak, finding a replacement guard/shooter makes a lot of sense. English can definitely shoot, and that's something the Knicks could use even if he might be lacking in other skills. He will get a chance to prove his worth at the NBA Draft Combine in a week and change, so we will know some more specifics then. But here's what we know now.
Measurements: Height - 6'6" with shoes, 6'3.75" w/o shoes; Weight - 191; Wingspan - 6'7"; Lane Agility - 10.51 (4th fastest in the draft, so take that for what it's worth).
Projected Draft Position (as of right now): 48 at NBADraft.net (which hasn't been updated in two weeks), and not listed anywhere else...
Amateur Take - Offense: English can do one thing really well on offense: shoot the three. While he was an average three point shooter his first three years at Missouri, English flourished in his senior year by shooting 45.9% from long range on the season. That was good for tops in the Big XII and16th in the nation. His Effective FG percentage (64.0) and True Shooting Percentage (65.8) were both in the top-20 nationally. He averaged 14.9 points, but was prone to scoring outbursts, especially from deep. He made four or more threes seven times as a senior and was held without a three in only four games. He knows how to get his looks.
English also knows how to score inside the arc. He shot 58.9 percent on two-point shots (52.1% overall from the floor) which shows just how reliable a shooter he is. While his game isn't that well-rounded, he's improved his one defining skill to the point where it is NBA ready. While he has the potential to improve other facets of his offensive game, he really hasn't.
From the Scouts: Here is an excerpt on English's offense from the Draft Express profile linked above.
On tape, English continues to show excellent mechanics including a quick, fluid release and solid elevation. He excels as a catch-and-shoot option, where he sees nearly half of his offensive possessions and where he currently converts an amazing 52% of his attempts. He has improved shooting off of screens, as well, doing a much better job of getting his body squared and feet set prior to leaving the floor.
[...] While English may be the best spot-up shooter in the country, he has never developed his game elsewhere to the extent that suggests he can be more than a shooting specialist at the next level. For one, his average physical profile and his below-average ball-handling skills limit his abilities as a slasher, and he has yet to demonstrate that he has developed, much beyond flashes of potential, in the way of an efficient mid-range arsenal. Despite taking far fewer pull-up jumpers this season, his accuracy on these types of shots has only increased marginally, from a horrid 15.5% to 24% this year.
Amateur Take - Defense: English is an average defender, at best. He lacks the strength to really match up well with NBA shooting guards and his athleticism is just average. While he again has the tools to be a competent defender, he really just isn't. His offensive skills have made up for his lack of defense on the college level, but he would have to keep his offensive production at this insanely high level to compensate for it in the NBA. Even though he might not be blessed on that end of the court, English knows how to play defense and still gives maximum effort.
Random Red Flag: After absolutely torching some excellent competition late in the regular season and in the Big XII Tournament, English completely disappeared against Norfolk State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He shot just 1-7 (0-5 from three) in 37 minutes in Mizzou's opening round loss.
The Clyde Factor: Kim English seems pretty foolproof on the surface, but we all know Clyde can construe even the easiest of names. "Englersh" might slip out, and even his first name could undergo some changes. My best guess is "Kimbra", and you know if he got hot there would be a "Perfect English" type pun or salute from Mr. Frazier.
- His MU Tiger profile was just loaded with goodies about Mr. English. Here are a few. He majored in general studies, and after graduation he wants to become president of English Concrete Contractors (likely the family business). His favorite player is Larry Bird. He is nicknamed "Sniper" because of his long-range shooting (real original, guys). His favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption and his favorite actor is Morgan Freeman. He is also a big John Legend fan.
- He has impressed scouts this offseason at pre-draft workouts and at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where he was even forced to play a little point guard for his team.
- He will be 24 years old before the season starts. Apparently that's like 30 in NBA years or something.
- There can be more than one person named Kim English, everyone, and there happens to be another Kim English who is a quasi-popular singer/DJ.
Kim English Reads Kipling Poem (via ESPN) - We need to hook Kim up with our boy Edgar Allen Poe ASAP.
Kimmie English 2009-2010 Season Highlights (via MISSOURIHOOPS) - The closest thing I could find to a highlight reel, and it's from his sophomore season. At least we get to listen to LL Cool J.
Unspeakable Joy / Kim English - Radio Shot Edit (via REDRIBBONXXX) - Kim performing one of his hits.
Kim English is "The Science" (via BlumbergOTB) - THE SCIENCE.
Things To Take Away
- This big cat (no pun intended) is well spoken and confident, two things that go over well in New York.
- His jumper is smooth, and he has a nice quick release on the catch-and-shoot.
- He doesn't appear totally lost attacking the basket and definitely hit some wild shots, but boy did that handle look suspect at times.
- The singing voice is just meh.
- You can see how much intensity he plays with just in those brief highlights. He's got passion.
In Conclusion: I like English quite a bit. The guy definitely fills a major need and although his ceiling might not be that high, the Knicks need players with discernible skills to contribute right away. Here's one quote from the NBADraft.net profile that stood out: "He still needs to put on bulk so he can body up with stronger 2-guards, but with a high basketball IQ and appealing complimentary features, English should land a job from a team looking to support its ball-dominant scorers..." That sounds mighty familiar. The Knicks lack reliable options that can spread the floor and make teams pay for concentrating on Carmelo Anthony. English seems like a guy that is confident in his shot and isn't afraid to let it fly. Sure he might not get much better, but if he can still shoot as effectively as he did in college, he is a nice complimentary piece. Would anyone be upset with a shooting guard version of Steve Novak? I certainly wouldn't be. I think if this guy is around at 48, he is well worth the consideration.
What do you guys think?