Michael Porter, Jr., the No. 1 overall recruit in Missouri’s 2017 recruiting class, stated that a second year stay with the Tigers is ‘serious.’
Some good news came down the pike for Missouri and Tigers fans, alike, today, as Michael Porter, Jr.’s taking serious consideration to play two years for Missouri.
Throughout Michael Porter, Jr.’s recruitment, and even long after he’d realigned his commitment to play for Mizzou, it was widely anticipated, and expected that he would be a “one-and-done” player for the Tigers.
Then, Michael Porter, Jr.’s younger brother, Jontay Porter, began toiling with the idea of reclassifying to play for Missouri in 2017-18. We all began to wonder, if Jontay held out and committed for the 2018-19 season, then maybe Michael Porter, Jr. would play a second year, to get the chance to play with his younger brother.
Missouri Tigers Basketball
But then, Jontay Porter re-classified, and came to Missouri. Most of us expected, after playing a year with his younger brother, Michael Porter, Jr. would declare for the NBA Draft.
While Michael Porter, Jr. hasn’t affirmed, 100%, that he will return for a second year, we’re closer to his decision on the matter than we were yesterday, even. I do wonder, as I’m sure most of you do, how Missouri’s performance will affect his decision.
Without a doubt, if Missouri makes the NCAA Tournament and plays in the National Championship game, and for argument’s sake, wins the championship, I think we’ll be hard-pressed to see Michael Porter, Jr. return for a second year.
However, if the Tigers get to the NCAA Tournament and bow out at some point along the way, then maybe he returns for a second year. Fortunately, this isn’t just hyperbole and me throwing around some “what if” scenarios.
In a recent interview during the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball media day, Michael Porter Jr. told FoxSports.com, despite popular opinion over his future, “Everybody thinks I’m not serious when I say that, but I actually might spend more than one year in college.”
"I always kind of wanted to be the type of player that could go to a school that could make a difference. I didn’t want to go to a Kansas or a Kentucky where I could be just another great player. I wanted to go to a school where I could make a difference and leave a legacy."
The key word in Michael Porter, Jr.’s comment, is legacy. A player can start a legacy after one good season. But to foster and grow his legacy, he might want to stick around for at least two years, to make sure it is fulfilled.
In another interview in the same setting, Michael Porter, Jr. told ESPN, “I feel like I have more talent around me, than those guys (Ben Simmons-LSU, and Markelle Fultz-Wasington) had.”
In the same interview, he also made similar overtures, about not being a “one-and-done” athlete at Missouri. Again, he stated he wants to leave a legacy, and “be the best player in Mizzou history.”
"If I do what I think we can do this year, in terms of the team — not individually but as a team — then I would consider [being one-and-done]. But if we don’t do as well as I believe we can do as a team, but I still do great individually, projected top-five, top-three, whatever, I don’t know if I would go. I might come back just because I want to leave a legacy and help the team get back on course. It’s not for sure one way or the other. Everybody thinks I’m not serious when I say that. But I actually might spend more than one year in college. At the end of the season, I want to say I helped Mizzou turn it around."
Right now, it’s a big decision to commit to, and the season hasn’t even begun. The Porters have proven to be people who make sound, weighed decisions. What’s more, Michael Porter, Jr. has plenty of experience at home that will guide him to decide what’s right for him and his future.
Until he decides, Missouri plays kansas in exhibition game, this Sunday, so that will at least give him an opportunity to have a taste of the collegiate game, and should help settle him in to the season.