Aug. 4, 2009
Kim English Q & A
Q: You had a chance to go back home for a few weeks this summer and work out in Carmelo Anthony’s Gym. What strides did you make in your game during that time?
KE: The biggest strides were in basketball IQ. There were a lot of great players that came through the gym and I really just tried to be a sponge. I wanted to learn as much about the game as possible and just improve my overall basketball IQ. If anything, I think this summer helped me become more of a student of the game.
Q: Going away for college can really change your perspective. Was it any different being back home after a year at Mizzou and the experience you gained in the Big 12 Conference and playing in the NCAA Tournament?
KE: Home? Home is more like vacation and school is now more like home. Vacation is great, but I went to the gym everyday and focused on one particular aspect of my game. One day might have been turnaround jumpers, so all I did that day was work on my turnaround. My goal was to make my game flawless and you can only get closer to that goal by working.
Q: You never know who’s going to walk into a gym during the summer. Were there any interesting names people might know that you played against?
KE: Oh there were a lot of guys in and out of there. Sam Cassell, Rudy Gay, Juan Dixon, Carmelo Anthony and others. I was just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible from those guys.
Q: You talked about strength a lot after the season completed. Have you made the type of strength gains you were hoping for this off-season?
KE: I have. Strength really slows the game down for you mentally. The stronger you get, the more plays you can make. I think it makes you more poised and you can play under control. Coach Anderson likes guys who play with poise.
Q: You have three seniors on this team and each guy brings something a little different to the table. In a word, describe each senior:
Q: If those three guys were an animal, which animal would they be?
- Keith Ramsey: Orangutan. Keith has those long arms and he’s always jumping all over the place. And I know this much, you wouldn’t want to drive the lane on an Orangutan.
- Zaire Taylor: Zaire is like a panther. He’s smooth, agile, serious, quiet, but very vicious on the court.
- J.T. Tiller: He’s the Tasmanian Devil. A more tamed version of a Tasmanian Devil.
Q: You are back sleeping in the players lounge again and heck, we made the Elite Eight last year so it worked. But seriously, is that couch really that comfortable?
KE: The couch, no, the couch in here is not comfortable. I sleep on the floor a lot, but hey, it works. A lot of guys stayed in here this summer. Laurence (Bowers) was in here and we shot late at night and then got up and shot early in the morning. Mike (Dixon) has been in here a couple times and we lifted and shot in the morning. Zaire has been in here and we shot late and then shot early in the morning, so it’s a great place to be.
Q: This has been a family atmosphere and you already have a couple of new teammates fitting right in with Tyler Stone and Mike Dixon. What has each guy done to impress you this summer?
KE: Mike and Tyler are fitting in great. Both guys have come in hungry and are really listening to the seniors and wanting to get better. One thing about Mike, he goes 110%. If he makes a mistake, he’s making it at full speed. I really like Tyler’s dedication. One thing about being a freshman, you don’t have a car and you have to walk everywhere. It’s not easy to get up and come workout in the mornings and those guys are doing it.
Q: Video of the LeBron James surfaced last week. What did you think of the dunk? Was it that big of a deal?
KE: I mean it was a nice dunk. It was LeBron James Jordan Crawford was dunking on. It wasn’t a Top 10 dunk of all time or anything, but it’s still a great play.
Q: You are taking up the game of golf. What prompted that move?
KE: You know, I’m not sure why I picked it up. It was just something I wanted to try while watching Tiger Woods one day. The thing I really like most about golf is that I can find a little bit of basketball in it. I find basketball in everything, but golf is a game of patience. I think that lesson will help me in basketball.
Q: Have you played with anyone besides your teammates?
KE: I have some friends, students that I play with. On the team I have played with Zaire, J.T. and Keith. Marcus is even wanting to take it up, so I’ll show him a couple of things.
Q: Of course you and Zaire have gotten close and he’s shared his love of writing and poetry with you. How often do you write and where do you find your inspiration?
KE: I got started writing when I saw him at an open mic night on campus. He’s so talented and I just felt like it was a great form of expression. I was listening to Zaire and Danario Alexander cut a song the other night. It was great. Both of those guys are talented.
Q: Speaking of Zaire, I understand you have a pretty close 1-on-1 contest in the works after workouts?
KE: The 1-on-1 competition isn’t even close. I’m not quite sure why Zaire is saying that to these good people. I don’t think he’s won a game in the last month. Zaire, I hope you are reading this, because we only play so I can try new things out on the court.
Q: Talk about the Marquette game. Right before the free throws, what did you say to yourself? Be honest.
KE: Believe it or not, I was more nervous shooting a free throw in practice in front of Coach Anderson than I was that game. I have shot that free throw so many times (in my mind) over the season, that it was just another free throw to me.
Q: How many new Facebook friend requests did you have after that game?
KE: Mizzou fans are great. Win or lose, I always have new facebook friend requests.
Q: Football season is just around the corner. What do you say to Tiger fans still on the fence about getting season tickets?
KE: I would ask them what are they waiting on? The program is coming off two great years. Two Big 12 North titles. Cotton Bowl and Alamo Bowl Champs and we have an infusion of great sophomore talent. Blaine Gabbert, Wes Kemp, Aldon Smith, Jacquies Smith, Kip Edwards, tons of young players waiting to make their mark. I tell you this much, I’ll be at every home game this year and hopefully the Illinois game too.
Q: What would you rather do, star in an episode of MTV's "Jackass" TV Show or return a punt knowing Sean Weatherspoon is coming at you?
KE: I’ll return the punt. No Fear! Of course I can always lateral the punt to a teammate.
Q: Which teammate would you like to see play some football?
KE: Oh no question, J.T. Tiller. Can you imagine Carl Gettis on one side and J.T. Tiller on the other? J.T. could be the next Justin Gage. In fact, I’m going to email Coach Pinkel and see if we can make that happen.
Q: Have you seen any movies this summer and if so, what was your favorite so far?
KE: I’ve seen a few. Public Enemies, the John Dillinger story. The Hangover and a DVD of Poet Pride, the story of the Dunbar High School Basketball program. It’s excellent. So many great players out of that program.
Q: There is nothing more annoying than going to a movie with friends and one of your friends is “the movie talker”. Which guy on the team talks during movies?
KE: Zaire Taylor! We went the other night to see Public Enemies. I had seen it, but Zaire really wanted to go and he asks a lot of questions. It doesn’t really bother me, but it could bother other people. Plus he’s a loud eater. He was eating nachos. In fact, why is all the food at theaters loud? Nachos, bags of candy that are loud to open. Popcorn. Why not nice quiet food?
Q: If they were making a movie about your life, who would you cast as the leading actor? And who play your wife?
KE: The actor would be Jesus Shuttlesworth. And my wife … basketball!