Close your eyes.
(Ok, don’t do that because how you could read the rest of this amazing piece but you get the point)
Imagine a kid in high school that plays his final game at Mizzou Arena and wins a state championship in front of his hometown.
That same kid goes on to become a McDonald’s All-American, a top-10 recruit who shatters high school records in the process and, by some modern miracle, turns down Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and that treacherous school to the West and decides to stay home and play Mizzou. That kid would be a folk hero, right? He’d arguably be the most significant recruit in the history of the program, no?
That kid I just described is currently on the team. His name is Jontay Porter.
I feel pretty confident in saying that Jontay was set to do all those things had he not reclassified to play in 2017-18.
Just for comedy’s sake it would be fun to see Jontay Porter playing Grandview, Borgia and Blair Oaks, which were supposed to be his first three games this year.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) November 23, 2017
No disrespect to any of these three times that Gabe mentioned, but they weren’t stopping Jontay. I doubt any team in Class 3 was this season.
Jontay was set to have a monstrous season: state title, McDonald’s game, Jordan Brand Classic; the full works and accolades that great high school players receive in their senior year. Obviously, he decided to forgo all that this season and join the current edition of the Missouri Tigers. I’m glad that he did.
While our eyes are still closed ... if we had never heard or seen the legend of Michael Porter Jr., Jontay is probably the most impactful recruit in the history of the program with all those accolades and where he’s from. All the buzz and excitement that existed for Michael’s debut would have been there for Jontay: the five-star kid from Columbia who decided to stay home, claim the black and gold, and reignite the fanbase.
Jontay is so skilled for his age. He can do a little bit of everything at such a high level.
- You need a strong rebounder? He’s that.
- What about a big man that can run the floor and finish around the rim? He’s that, too.
- Oh, you want to double him down low? He’ll kick it out to the open shooter for the three.
- You want to pull up for a mid-range jumper? He’s blocking it.
- Did I mention that he can step out and knock down threes?
I saw someone say they reminded him of Al Horford. He’s baby Kevin Love to me. I asked Cuonzo about it last week, and he said Stacey King. I’ll take the comparison to a guy that went onto be the sixth overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Obviously, time will tell what Jontay goes on to become, but I’m going to enjoy it for as long as possible. I don’t think he will be in Columbia for the full four. We might not even get to see junior-year Jontay in a Missouri uniform, after all, he is used to developing faster that people anticipate.
You can open your eyes now. See, we still got to see a potential once in a generational type player at Missouri this year even if it wasn’t the one we were all expecting.