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Friday, October 31, 2014
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Ratliffe's squad wins, English's loses in opening rounds of Portsmouth Invitational

For now at least, senior forwards Ricardo Ratliffe and Kim English will not play on the same floor as they did this past season, when they led the Missouri men’s basketball team to a thrilling 30-5 season before it ended abruptly in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The two would have played against one another Friday in Portsmouth, Va., at the 60th annual Portsmouth Invitational, the senior showcase taking place through April 14.

But after English and his squad lost an 85-79 decision in the opening rounds of the tournament Thursday night, that matchup will not happen.

English will play in the consolation bracket at 1 p.m. Friday, despite notching 22 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Ratliffe will move on in the winner’s bracket in a matchup scheduled for 8 p.m. Ratliffe led his team to victory in the game prior to English’s, scoring a team-high 13 points and snagging 10 rebounds.

Ratliffe has taken advantage of his opportunities to impress after Missouri’s season’s end. On March 30, he was named Most Important Player of the West for his 21-point, 10-rebound performance in the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star Game.

The Portsmouth Invitational takes place at Churchland High School, about 23 miles from where Ratliffe went to high school in Hampton, Va. The showcase allows seniors from across the country to play “in front of representatives from every NBA team,” according to the event’s website.

"For Ratliffe, this is a perfect opportunity," NBA director of scouting Ryan Blake told cardocontinues.com. "This is going to help him tremendously, just by showing up."

English and Ratliffe are among many NBA hopefuls invited to Portsmouth, including Syracuse’s Scoop Jardin, Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates, Georgetown’s Jason Clark and Norfolk State’s Kyle O’Quinn, who led the Spartans with 26 points en route to the NCAA Tournament first-round stunner over Missouri.

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