clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Michael Porter Sr. heads to Washington. What does this mean for Missouri?

New, 23 comments

Alternative Title: Landing the Big Fish Part 3. Recruiting stuff, roster stuff, and wishing the Porters luck in Washington.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brace Hemmelgarn - Getty Images

If you hadn't heard (where have you been if you haven't heard?), Michael Porter Sr accepted a job with his close friend Lorenzo Romar at the University of Washington, to join the coaching staff in Seattle, and is taking his family with him. Part of that family is Michael Porter, Jr and Jontay Porter, both are top recruits in the 2017 and 2018 classes, and standout basketball players at Father Tolton High School in Columbia. If you hadn't already read the writing on the wall when it came to Michael's recruitment, this should spell it out loud and clear: He's not coming to Missouri.

The odds were already incredibly long on landing Porter, and they basically just became impossible. In fact, I've learned that Missouri is already shifting gears on Porter to focus its attention on other players they have a better shot with. So the dream of Michael Porter Jr., Trae Young and maybe another top level player coming to Missouri and helping Kim Anderson resurrect the now moribund program is dead. Kim Anderson is going to have to find another way to kick start the Tigers and start winning games.

There are 70-something articles in Rock M Nation's history which mention the name "Michael Porter Jr.". So Porter Sr. taking his family to Seattle could be a good thing for Missouri. Not in the way that Porter Jr. coming to Mizzou would ever be a bad thing, but in the way where realistically he was never coming in the first place. So now Missouri can devote its attention and resources to players they have a real shot of landing.

Anytime you can land a player like Porter it will immediately elevate the profile of your program, but with finite recruiting resources, Mizzou will now spend time and energy on players it can land without having to worry about the politics of the local kid.

Let's face it, as long as the Porter family lived in Columbia, there was going to be an expectation and even pressure on them and on Michael to sign with Missouri. Despite it not really making any logical sense for the player himself. He could go play for John Calipari or Bill Self and compete for a national championship, or play for his godfather in Lorenzo Romar and likely compete for a Pac-12 title. Or he could take a chance on Kim Anderson, who may not make it to 2017-18, and sign at Missouri, then be locked into a Letter of Intent with a school not knowing who the coach would be. So Porter Sr. choosing Washington allows the Mizzou fanbase to move on.

Now that Mizzou gets to reprioritize its 2017 class, let's talk about where the Tigers shift:

Priority #1: Jordan Goodwin

A little ways back I said this about Goodwin:

Illinois is somebody to keep an eye on with some of Mizzou's targets as they already have DeMontie Williams (4* PG from Peoria) and Javon Pickett (3* combo guard from Belleville) on board. Those two, Tilmon and Goodwin are all friends. If Tilmon is swayed to commit early, that would be enough to pull Goodwin off the board, giving Illinois a heck of a 2017 class. The key in this obviously is John Groce's job status, but it will be interesting to see if he can be solid enough to lure all these early commitments, after all, he's already got two. Goodwin and Tilmon are likely to have Missouri in any final lists they release, but it doesn't appear the Tigers will land either.

I've got a bit of an update on this. I've heard from a couple sources that Goodwin's father has become concerned with the stability at Illinois. My first thought was the job status of head coach John Groce, but now I've learned that is has more to do with the arrests and the amount of questionable characters in the Illinois program (think Missouri a few years ago). This has led to some turmoil for Goodwin's recruiting as it looks like Illinois isn't the most likely destination at this stage. Yay for MIzzou, right?

Goodwin, his family, and Corey Tate have a very good relationship from what I'm told, but for me the giant red flag in the Goodwin mix is Tom Izzo and Michigan State. Goodwin is a tough, hard-nosed player who seems like a great fit for a program like Michigan State. Not that there are a lot of programs he wouldn't fit into, but would Goodwin be able to spurn a school like Michigan State, a perennial national title contender, to stay closer to home in Columbia? I'm certainly skeptical that Missouri can land Goodwin, but it does appear they can hold up their integrity and clean-ish record with the Goodwin family and stay in the game a little longer than previously thought.

Priority #2: Best available

Being in on Goodwin likely puts a kid like Jeremiah Tilmon back on the plate. Now before you get your hopes up, Tilmon could commit quickly, and is still friends with the other two commits at Illinois. I've heard Tilmon to the Illini could still happen, but the longer his recruitment goes on, the less likely he is to land at Illinois. With Missouri possibly landing one more post in the 2016 class, the priority for a post player lessens with the 2017 class, so it's possible the Tigers could target another guard like V.J. Bailey or Parker Stewart. Goodwin is more of a true wing who will play off the ball, so getting a bigger combo guard or point guard would seem like a good idea. Both Bailey and Stewart fit that mold. Another player to keep your eye on is Tray Hollowell, a 6'3 PG from Kentucky who has some rising stock this spring with Indiana, Notre Dame and Xavier all checking in, and has already been on campus for an unofficial visit to Missouri. I expect the second scholarship target to be a little in flux over the next few months as things tend to change, but right now it looks like Goodwin is priority #1, and then Mizzou wants the best available guy for the second open spot.

One place I wouldn't expect Mizzou to turn is to Springfield Kickapoo Forward Jared Ridder. To date, Missouri has not offered Ridder, and according to a few sources I wouldn't expect them to at this point. Not saying it will never happen, just as this stage it doesn't look very likely as Mizzou is looking for more versatility with so few scholarships to give out in the class.

Switching Gears to 2016

We know Missouri has 11 scholarship players on board for next season, we know they would like to give one scholarship to the NCAA sanction, and use one scholarship. After Cheickna Dembele committed to UNLV, it appeared that Mizzou was planning on landing a guard, and going with those 12 players next year. Now, they've switched gears. They've basically abandoned recruiting any guards, meaning Charlie Moore, Markell Johnson, Eron Gordon and Deshawn Corprew are no longer being recruited by the Tigers. They've turned their attention to the post position, and that's a place where there's not much to pick from. They've also stopped recruiting Omer Yurtseven, who recently started taking visits to colleges stateside.

But two other names have emerged, and one in particular seems fairly likely. So let's start with him:

Khalea Turner, 3-star Post, 6-9, 245, Reserve, LA Riverside Academy

If you watch the video, there are a few things that you can take from Turner and be hopeful he can help. Turner is the 32nd ranked center on 247sports and the 259th player overall. He's a big kid and appears to do a pretty good job of positioning his body to get his shot off against taller or more athletic competition. He's not particularly explosive or athletic, but with his size and soft hands he could be effective in the low block for a school like Missouri. At last check, Mizzou was trying to get Turner on campus for a visit, so stay tuned for that news when it breaks. Things are progressing to the point where Turner even got a Crystal Ball pick to Mizzou a few days ago.

Jordy Tshimanga, 3-star Post, 6'11, 270, Granby, MA, MacDuffie School

Tshimanga is big. He's still growing into his body a bit, but you can see how his size could be helpful. Tshimanga is currently the 22nd ranked center in the 2016 class according to 247sports and the 151st player overall. He has questions because of his conditioning and consistency of effort, but there's no doubt the ability is there. He's a space eater and a good rebounder who is capable of rebounding outside of his zone, which is a good thing for a big guy his size. Right now Tshimanga appears to be behind Turner on the wish list, but contact has been made to gauge interest.

So with Mizzou adding another post, let's look at the roster breakdown to get an idea of the 12 players would line up:

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Point Guard Terrence Phillips Terrence Phillips Terrence Phillips
Combo Guard Jordan Geist
Frankie Hughes
Jordan Geist
Frankie Hughes
2017 Signee
Jordan Geist
Frankie Hughes
2017 Signee
Wing Cullen VanLeer
K.J. Walton
Cullen VanLeer
K.J. Walton
2017 Signee
Cullen VanLeer
K.J. Walton
2017 Signee
Combo Forward Jordan Barnett
Willie Jackson
Jordan Barnett
Willie Jackson
Willie Jackson
Post Russell Woods
Kevin Puryear
Reed Nikko
Mitchell Smith
2016 Signee

Kevin Puryear
Reed Nikko
Mitchell Smith
2016 Signee

Kevin Puryear
Reed Nikko
Mitchell Smith
2016 Signee

The basic construction of the roster doesn't exactly inspire a ton of confidence that this is a team that will contend next season. However, I'm not sure contention is the expectation for the season from the AD. I spoke with Jeff Parles on the radio Saturday morning, and I said my expectation for 2016-17 season were for Mizzou to get in or around the top 100 in KenPom by the end of the season. Progress is going to happen with the guys on the roster right now, not by anyone signing in 2017. The 2015 class and Jordan Barnett are going to have to carry a big load for this to work out. Those are the guys that are going to save Kim Anderson's job or not.

One last thought on Michael Porter Sr: I've seen some pretty crazy comments regarding his decision to take the job at Washington. And frankly it's hilarious to read that stuff. Porter and his family do not owe you anything. They've been good for the community since moving to Columbia a few years back, two of Porter's daughters signed and are playing for their aunt, Robin Pingeton, on the women's side. They've helped elevate the program to a level it's not been in a long time.

Now Porter has a chance to take a job with his old friend in a beautiful city on a beautiful campus and make more money. The Porters are not lifelong Missourians, they moved here for a job, and now they're leaving for another job. And I'd like to say good luck to Michael, Michael, and Jontay. Don't worry about Cierra and Bri -- Columbia will take good care of them as they continue to help build what you helped to start: the rise of the women's basketball program at Missouri.