In a continuing quest to simultaneously manufacture hype and controversy during the talking season, ESPN attempted to assemble “the absolutely perfect college basketball team”.
Michael Porter Jr. — the consensus No. 1 overall recruit in 2017 and a prospect many national experts predict to go first overall in the 2018 NBA draft — is the second name off the board.
According to their scouting report,
“By all accounts, Porter on any team would dramatically elevate the potential of the program. He's a big, polished athlete who can handle the ball, shoot 3-pointers, block and alter shots, and create a 40-minute offensive monsoon in transition.”
They pointed out that head coach Cuonzo Martin described Michael Porter Jr. as a hybrid of Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett.
I’m unfamiliar with having a star player’s name appear on the world wide leader in such a positive light. My gut instinct is to feel disrespected that Michael Porter Jr. wasn’t selected first. If this was a pickup game at the rec center, or I was starting a franchise in NBA 2k18, my first pick would obviously be the “big, polished athlete” who can do everything and you just compared to a literal force of nature.
Hold on, my producer says we have footage of him in action:
To be continued..... November 10th pic.twitter.com/cwdX4wqsgA— Terrence Phillips (@FloorGeneral03) July 19, 2017
The starting five would purportedly consist of UNC point guard and top overall pick Joel Berry II, Duke’s Grayson Allen, Texas’ five-star freshman center Mohamed Bamba, and Michigan State’s sophomore forward Miles Bridges. DeAndre Ayton, ESPN’s No. 2 recruit in 2017, is first off the bench.
This list is mostly fine. It’s a good mix of experience at the key positions and athletic young talent, to which you can draw parallels with Missouri’s own roster if you were so inclined. Even the inclusion of Allen didn’t trip me up — teams needs agitators; the Golden State Warriors had Draymond Green, and Missouri has Jordan Geist.
The phenomenon of basketball super teams doesn’t appear constrained to Durant joining the Warriors. ESPN just had a video feature on the rise of high school recruits trying to build super teams in college. Even though Kevin Knox ultimately joined Kentucky (where John Calipari has patented the concept), the allure of joining up with Michael Porter Jr. played a significant role in Missouri getting into the conversation for him.
Since we have already picked Missouri Basketball’s lineup for this fall (that obviously would need to be re-visited if Jontay Porter re-classifies) and attempted to craft the best team of Mizzou greats, I guess I would be remiss for not asking who would be on your 2017 college basketball super team?