After the darkest of three dark winters, a light emerged.
The hiring of Cuonzo Martin lifted the veil. Martin’s subsequent hiring of Michael Porter, Sr plugged the light in. Then, both as loud and as quiet as possible, the number one recruit in the country sent out a tweet to the world. Turning the brightest light on for the entire college basketball world to see.
It’s easy to overlook now because we lived the experience of Porter’s injury and the mostly lost season. But landing Porter was a sea-change for what the program had endured for three seasons under Kim Anderson. Plus the opportunity to watch a potential lottery pick lead the team back to the NCAA tournament was exciting.
Of those guys, MPJ is far more likely to be Mizzou’s Kevin Durant than Harrison Barnes. A line like 32 minutes, 22 points, nine rebounds, and two assists per game feels realistic for MPJ’s season next year.
Porter, the player, is a 6’9-10 wing with elite athleticism and the ability to stretch the floor with his jump shot. He might be the best player in college basketball next year, and just about everyone predicts he’ll be the top overall pick in the NBA draft in 2018.
Bill also penned a piece which talked about how the timing finally worked out for Missouri, unlike years past:
I wrote that last February, when Mizzou was mired in Year 4 of a slow-motion collapse. The odds of the Tigers landing Michael Porter Jr. at that point were minuscule, and that was before Michael Sr. took an assistant coaching job on Romar’s staff.
But after five years of getting everything wrong, Mizzou spent the last week and a half getting every single little detail right.
Then he won the MVP at the McDonalds All-America game, and we allowed ourselves to dream.