Kansas City, Mo. — Outspoken Missouri guard Kim English figures to hear some jeers from Kansas University fans if the rival teams advance to Saturday’s Big 12 tournament finals.
Check out his comments in Wednesday’s Columbia Missourian that have made their way to various Internet message boards: “I respect Kansas basketball to the fullest. I respect their players. I respect their coaches big time. I just hate their fans,” English, a 6-6 senior from Baltimore, said.
“Their fans kind of have a false sense of security about what Kansas basketball is. It’s not Kentucky. It’s not UCLA.”
He sees it as KU has three national titles, not five. “If they want to count championships from 1922 and ’23, then that’s fine,” he told the paper, referring to Helms Foundation titles.
English on Wednesday jokingly thanked KU and Kansas State fans for spending money in the state of Missouri while attending the 2012 Big 12 tournament. He also referred to K.C. as “our town.”
KU coach Bill Self was not bothered by English’s comments.
“He’s got a little Norm (Stewart, former MU coach) in him. There’s nothing wrong with that,” Self said after Wednesday’s short practice in Sprint Center.
“Everybody loves and respects Norm, especially after Norm retired,” the coach added with a laugh. “That’s one thing that does kind of crack me up. There’s been so many things that have been said innocently that aren’t stories that people can take the ball and run with because they are leaving (for SEC). I’ve not followed what everybody is saying. That’s a pretty good quote by Kim.”
Self said earlier in the week that “Kansas City is more of a K-State, KU town than it is a Missouri town, at least the way we see it.”
On Wednesday, Self said: “I actually had people do some research. If you add K-State and KU alums that have graduated and alums that did not graduate but at least went to school there for a brief period of time, they’re not close,” he said of fans of the three schools that live in K.C.
“I don’t know what I said that is even remotely controversial. I always thought controversial statements were things that could be taken one way or another. To me, if it’s fact, I don’t see what’s controversial.
"I don’t think the numbers lie. We are only 45 minutes from here. We have 88,000 alums that live in the five-county area. This is a big deal to come play in Kansas City. That’s why the tournament will be great here no matter what. ... We need to sell it. That’s all I’m trying to do is sell it. This is the place to have the Big 12 tournament, period.
“If Kansas and Missouri are not playing Saturday, it’ll still be a full house. That’s why the tournament always needs to stay here.”
Recruiting: Jordan Tebbutt, a 6-5, 230-pound small forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., attended Saturday’s Senior Night game against Texas as part of an unofficial recruiting visit. Tebbutt, who is originally from Tualatin, Ore., has received scholarship offers from USC, UCLA, Virginia, Oregon State, Portland, Virginia, Washington and Washington State.
“I loved it and the fans at Kansas are amazing,” Tebbutt told Rivals.com. “It was a fun night and a great atmosphere.”