Denmon, English Prepare for Team USA Trials
COLUMBIA - It's a big week for Mizzou Basketball standouts Marcus Denmon and Kim English. As both players finish up their final summer in Columbia, it's hard for the 1,000-point scorers not to peak ahead at this weekend's World University Games team training trials in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Denmon and English are two of 20 participants at this weekend's event and will compete against college basketball's top players to represent Team USA in Shenzhen, China, August 13-23.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Denmon said. "I think we all look forward to the competition and having a chance to represent our country over in China. I just want to go out there, play well and do whatever I can to make the team."
The eventual 12-man Team USA roster has taken a hit over the last week. Xavier's Tu Holloway and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor will not attend the trials. Both players are known for their ball-handling ability, but recent trips to skills academies for Denmon and English could go a long way in helping the pair state their case to be part of the club.
"I don't think that experience can hurt," English said. "(Improved ball-handling) has been a focus of mine this off-season and I know Marcus has emphasized that area as well during his workouts. We are just both excited to get to Colorado and have a chance to make this team and represent the USA in international play."
Trials for the World University Games begin on Friday evening and run through Sunday morning. The 12 finalists will be announced Sunday afternoon. Workouts for the finalists continue through August 7 and the team departs for Shenzhen, China, on August 8. The club will play an exhibition game vs. New Century of the Chinese Basketball Association on August 12.