On Monday night, Jontay Porter announced his commitment to the Tigers. I’d post his tweet, but people are awful and Porter has since removed his twitter and instagram accounts, thus erasing the announcement from the interwebs. But safe to say, I’m pretty sure he’s still committed.
The question at this stage becomes whether Jontay will be a part of the 2017 or the 2018 class. Momentum is certainly headed towards Porter reclassifying and making the 2017 class a dream class for Missouri. So we’re going to approach this post as if he has already announced.
The scholarship count graphic is important to all of us (okay, maybe only me and Brandon Kiley). Adding Jontay to next year’s class would fill the roster for the first time in what feels like a while. I don’t know how long Jontay will be in college, but I don’t think he’s quite a one-and-done player, so I think Mizzou likely has him for at least a couple years.
Unlike his brother, the uncertainty surrounding his stay means he gets included on the scholarship count for the next three years. But understanding most top-10 players are gone after a couple years in college, it’s probably safe to assume that Porter declares after 2018-19. That is certainly a bridge we can jump off when we need to, but it changes up the wants and needs of a roster in the future.
As for next year, our primary concern at this stage:
Adding Jontay to a drastically improved roster makes the Tigers more of a contender than they already were, and that’s why he’s almost certain to reclassify. Mizzou is planning on making as big a run as it can with its one year of MPJ, and head coach Cuonzo Martin needs Jontay Porter to be ready for a big role.
One area that shouldn’t be overlooked is how quickly a really unprecedented recruiting class came together.
If Jontay reclassifies, that would give Mizzou two 5-star players in the 2017 class. The Tigers also have three 4-star players (or two plus a 3-star, depending on your recruiting service of choice) to round out the rest of the class. For Missouri, a school with a good (but not exactly great) recruiting history, to land a class like this is a bit unprecedented.
Dave Matter looked at some of the top recruiting classes in Missouri history yesterday. He looked into the 247sports team rankings since 2003, and only four times since then has Mizzou had a top 20 hoops class.
2003 (Linas Kleiza, Thomas Gardner), 2004 (Marshall Brown, Jason Horton, Kalen Grimes), 2011 (Tony Mitchell, Phil Pressey) and 2014 (Teki Gill-Caesar, Jakeenan Gant, Namon Wright) were all ranked outside the top 10. Missouri’s class currently sits at seventh in the country and would likely get bumped to at least fifth by adding Jontay.
So it really is a historical class from Mizzou’s perspective, and since that’s the case I thought I would look around the country and see where Mizzou’s class sits comparatively to other schools (not named Duke or Kentucky).
My stipulation was a simple one: the school must have landed two 5-star players and at least one 4-star in the class to be considered. (I only went back to 2010 because that was already plenty of work.)
Other awesome basketball recruiting classes
|Year||Team||rank||5 star||rank||4 star|
|Year||Team||rank||5 star||rank||4 star|
|2016||UCLA||3||Lonzo Ball||47||Ike Anigbogu|
|2016||Auburn||19||Austin Wiley||93||Jared Harper|
|2016||Arizona||23||Rawle Alkins||29||Kobi Simmons|
|2016||NC State||7||Dennis Smith Jr||57||Ted Kapita|
|26||Omer Yurtseven||59||Markell Johnson|
|2016||Mich State||12||Miles Bridges||34||Cassius Winston|
|20||Joshua Langford||42||Nick Ward|
|2015||Arizona||13||Allonzo Trier||52||Chance Comanche|
|19||Ray Smith||34||Justin Simon|
|2015||LSU||1||Ben Simmons||56||Brandon Sampson|
|2015||Kansas||5||Cheick Diallo||88||Lagerald Vick|
|2014||Kansas||8||Kelly Oubre||99||Devonte Graham|
|2014||UNC||9||Justin Jackson||30||Joel Berry|
|2013||Kansas||1||Andrew Wiggins||35||Brannen Greene|
|13||Wayne Selden||43||Connor Frankamp|
|2013||Arizona||3||Aaron Gordon||100||Elliot Pitts|
|2012||UCLA||2||Shabazz Muhammad||65||Jordan Adams|
|2012||Arizona||8||Kaleb Tarczewski||64||Gabe York|
|2012||NC State||13||Rodney Purvis||47||Tyler Lewis|
|2011||Arizona||11||Josiah Turner||60||Angelo Chol|
|25||Nick Johnson||89||Sidiki Johnson|
|2010||Ohio State||3||Jared Sullinger||38||Jordan Sibert|
|19||DeShaun Thomas||94||Aaron Craft|
|95||Lenzelle Smith Jr|
|2010||Memphis||13||Will Barton||24||Jelan Kendrick|
|20||Joe Jackson||60||Tarik Black|
|2010||Syracuse||14||Fab Melo||84||CJ Fair|
|2010||UNC||1||Harrison Barnes||26||Kendall Marshall|
Arizona is on this list five of the seven years. At this point I think you can consider Sean Miller to be the top recruiter in the country behind Coach K and Calipari. And Duke and Kentucky are just playing on a different level.
Kansas has the next most appearances with three, NC State two, UCLA two, UNC two ... I mean, it’s not easy to make this list. No Louisville, Florida, Florida State, UConn ... yet Missouri is on the list.
The No. 1 overall player has three times signed with a team from this list: Harrison Barnes, Andrew Wiggins and Ben Simmons. Only Simmons signed with what you would consider a non-blue blood.
That’s my advice. Missouri doesn’t do this and probably won’t again for a while.
I expect that with Cuonzo Martin leading the charge, Missouri’s recruiting will pick up and be fairly consistent from here on out, but not top-five level, not unless the Porters have another set of Jontay and Michael Jr. coming down the pipe. (They don’t at least for a few years.)
Even next year’s class could be exceptional and still barely break the top 20 because the featured player in the class is only in the top 70 players.
But Martin doesn’t have to hit home runs every year like he has this year to find success at Missouri. If he can build consistent rosters with minimal turnover, he’ll do fine. The Michael Porter Jr. show and the top-five band of recruits are about to hit Columbia. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.