For the second season in a row Missouri has been expected to make some noise in the SEC and possibly compete in the NCAA tournament. Each season has been highlighted by the Porter family to lead the way. Last season Michael Porter Jr., a preseason first round draft pick, played just two minutes in the season opener against Iowa State before being sidelined with a back injury. Porter looked to be out for the season but happened to return for the last two games against Georgia and Florida State before Porter Jr. entered the NBA draft and was selected by the Denver Nuggets as the 14th overall pick in the 2018 NBS draft.
Jontay Porter, Michael’s younger brother, reclassified to play with his brother at Missouri for the 2017-2018 season and without him Mizzou may not have been able to make the NCAA tournament. Porter was the teams third leading scorer averaging 9.9 ppg while also leading the team in rebounding at 6.8 rpg. Porter entered the NBA draft and decided in late May to return to Mizzou to play another year giving the Tigers high expectations for the upcoming season, as well increasing his draft stock.
Porter went down in a secret scrimmage against Southern Illinois on Sunday tearing both his ACL and MCL in his right knee. This is heart breaking for both the Porter family as well as Mizzou as they were considered a bubble team heading into the season. Mizzou was picked to finish 9th by NCAAM reviews Collin Speicher in the SEC reason poll. Porter was picked as a First team All-SEC by both Lindy’s Sports and Athlon Sports and was believed by many to contest for SEC player of the year. Going into this season Porter was listed as a top 15 NBA draft prospect by Sports Illustrated.
Mizzou will have a tough road ahead as they open the season at home against Central Arkansas on November 6th and will see their first true test when they head to Iowa State on November 9th. Porter will be tough to replace but the Tigers now need to move past and look to continue to battle in the non-conference and continue it into SEC play.