Mizzou got a top talent out of high school, who brought attention to the Tigers. People started paying attention to Missouri after the commitment. MPJ helped draw people to the arena even though he only played two minutes there. You could not give away tickets just one year prior. Now you have a solid crowd at every game.
Porter’s choice to join the Tigers intrigued other prospects to look at Mizzou. Kevin Knox came to visit. Blake Harris and CJ Roberts both committed after learning that MPJ would be in Columbia. Ultimately, the impact of the former No. 1 recruit had on Mizzou is massive but the biggest effect on the program was his choice not to return for his sophomore season.
I, like many Tiger fans, never expected the eldest Porter to return for next season. His fate was sealed even with a bad back. Even out of high school, MPJ was expected to go high in the lottery in the NBA Draft. There was no need for him to return. Just like the founding fathers, all must leave office someday.
As mentioned before, MPJ brought talent with him, but a player I didn’t mention earlier is his younger brother. Jontay Porter was the hidden savior for the Tigers last year. The SEC Sixth Man of the Year averaged almost 10 points a game with nearly seven boards and just over two assists and is set to lead next year’s team. If MPJ would’ve stayed for his second season, it would have hindered his brother’s growth. He lets his brother take the reins and control a team that had once been his.
Mizzou will forever be attached with MPJ. Porter will become the most noticeable Mizzou basketball alum since Anthony Peeler. Although he played only three games in the black and gold, prospects and fans will know Porter was a part of the Missouri program and he cared very much about it (as seen at the end of the Florida State game). Being from Columbia and having his family so intertwined in the university is great for the future generation of basketball players at Mizzou.
The hype around last year’s basketball team was the largest in recent memory. Not since the 2011-2012 Phil Pressey Tigers have I been that excited for a season, but now I think this year rivals that. With Jontay, Kevin Puryear, and Jeremiah Tilmon returning and the additions of Xavier Pension and Torrence Watson to the team, the sky is the limit. Next year is this way because MPJ brought recognition to the Missouri program.
I wish Michael Porter Jr. the best of luck in the NBA and thank him for everything he did for the Missouri Tiger basketball program. Do I wish we could’ve seen more of him in tiger stripes? Yes, but by only stepping on the floor three times, MPJ took a program in a coma and brought it to national attention.
It’s always a pleasure to talk about Mizzou sports and thank you to mizzodcast.com for letting me do it on this platform.
Tucker Franklin is the founder of Nosebleed Knowledge. For more content similar to this please visit him at nosebleedknowledge.wordpress.com