One year ago, Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin made a huge splash when the Tigers landed Michael Porter, Jr. Now, the Tigers await the future of his younger brother, Jontay.
Martin is well known for his abilities as a recruiter. He’s also one of the mid-range names among coaches who can turn a basketball program into a winner. In his first year as the Tigers’ head coach, he accomplished both.
Of course, Martin had a little help from the University of Washington when head coach Lorenzo Romar was relieved of his position, and the Huskies opted to move on without Michael Porter, Sr.
So, Martin did what any good recruiter would do: He made a play to hire the father of Jontay and Michael Porter, Jr., both of whom were previously committed to play at Washington.
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It’s safe to say we knew that, more likely than not, MPJ would be a “one and done” recruit for the Tigers, but if Jontay reclassified, there was a good chance he would stay for a majority of his four years at Missouri.
When news broke that Jontay Porter had declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, I was slightly surprised, mainly because he has raw, unrefined talent. Talent which, at the collegiate level, has a very real chance of developing into a well-rounded specimen.
There’s a small catch, however. While Jontay Porter declared for the draft, he did not hire an agent, which will allow him to retain his eligibility with the NCAA, should NBA teams temper his expectations.
As has been the case for both Porter brothers, decisions on their respective futures are well-planned and thought of in advance of making a major decision. Likewise, Jontay Porter plans to do the same, as he shared with Dave Matter, of The St. Louis Post.
"While I am not making any final decisions at this point I am not hiring an agent and will be diligent in complying with all NCAA rules to ensure that I maintain my eligibility to compete at the NCAA level for Mizzou in the future."
Currently, Michael Porter, Jr. is a projected a top-10 pick, while Jontay fell out of the first round. Recently, MPJ was projected as a top-5 pick, and Jontay was projected to be drafted at No. 16, which, if that scenario pans out, could be enough for the younger Porter brother to walk away from Columbia, as well.
At this point, Missouri fans are both excited and rife with anxiety over the program’s future. However, if Martin’s first year as the Tigers’ head coach is a litmus test for the program’s future, the Tigers should become stronger in 2018-19.