Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Mizzou Basketball: Michael Porter Jr is back on the court

Emil Lippe  The Missourian    
      NCAA Basketball      Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. Ready To Play Thursday
     
     
       By Anthony Di Moro Emil Lippe The Missourian NCAA Basketball Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. Ready To Play Thursday By Anthony Di Moro
Sergio Cook | 10 March, 2018, 02:03

"After two more practices since coming home from Nashville [for this week's Vanderbilt game], the coaching staff and I feel that it is in the best interest of the team and myself to not play tonight", Porter said in a statement before the Arkansas game. Porter's ability to put the ball in the basket from anywhere helped create all the notoriety, and that's what made the news of his surgery so upsetting.

Without Porter in the lineup, Missouri has rallied to a 20-11 record.

Porter has built an impressive 10-game run, averaging 13.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 blocks in that stretch of games. And while Martin said Missouri's offense didn't flow as well, he attributed that to foul trouble, rather than Porter's return.

Porter joins current junior Kevin Puryear (Blue Springs, Mo.) as Tigers to have earned SEC All-Freshman Team recognition.

The SEC Tournament will be carried on SEC Network and ESPN, with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game on the main network. A few of the more optimistic fans even allowed themselves to think about a national title, and those are the ones who'll blame themselves after Thursday's loss for the sin of psychological greed. The star freshman and his teammates will now await their seeding for March Madness and he will return to action either next Thursday or Friday.

As he did in the first half, Jontay Porter did everything in his power to will the Tigers to victory. Porter Jr. ended a seven-minute scoreless drought with a three-pointer, the first of his collegiate career. No, he didn't get the start-he entered with 17:22 remaining in the first half.

"Maybe a step slow", Martin would say, evaluating a program-altering player who has now played 25 total minutes for that program. It's just all those things, and just really going through it. But it doesn't seem to be affecting the team, as they are the fifth seed in this week's conference tournament and will most likely reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years.

Georgia held Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett quiet all game.

The school said he would be out the entire season, Porter Jr. refuted that and said he would be back this season.

Maybe, but now what?

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