Kim English is just beginning a coaching career likely to be a long one.

Chances are, the first-year assistant with the Colorado Buffaloes never again will get in the middle of a play as odd as the situation he found himself in Friday night.

Colorado trailed Iowa by just six points with 4 minutes, 48 seconds remaining when CU freshman Tyler Bey missed a pair of free throws. As Bey was shooting the second one, a water bottle escaped the Buffs' bench and rolled on to the floor. English reacted instinctively and eased on to the floor to retrieve it.

However, just as he did a CU player swatted an attempted offensive rebound toward the CU bench. The ball hit English while he was on the floor, resulting in an automatic technical foul.

Embarrassing as it was to have the entire pro-Iowa crowd chirping at him, it proved to be a no-harm, no-foul mistake for English. The ball would have been out-of-bounds to Iowa anyway, and the damage was mitigated when Iowa missed the technical free throw.

Pat Rooney: or