Porter out to help Missouri in NCAA tourney, not stack stats


On a night when Jontay Porter and Jeremiah Tilmon's nine fouls were more than double the number of points they combined for, the onus fell on Robertson, who had carried the Tigers offensively at time this year, and Porter, who estimated he was only 65 percent healthy when he chose to play in Missouri's SEC Tournament game against Georgia.

Not that he minds at all. "I'll just talk to the people close to me", Porter said. Then Porter hurt his low back two minutes into Missouri's season opener and needed surgery. Missouri hasn't advanced past the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 2001.

Porter Sr., said despite the loss, his son - and player - played with confidence. This is Mizzou's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013.

Or as coach Leonard Hamilton calls it, a team effort.

"He's a tremendously talented youngster", Hamilton said on Thursday. He was one of only 2 Missouri players to finish in double figures in the loss. "We're facing a youngster that is tremendously talented, that's healthy". FSU basketball dropped a two point decision in their 1976 meeting on the road before winning neutral site games in 1977 (Orlando) and 1980 (Atlanta). He was MVP of the McDonald's All-American Game.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN: If the Porter Bros. don't return, Missouri is likely in for a rebuilding year next season. Then two minutes into a game against Iowa State on November 10, Porter's freshman season appeared over.

"Motion is a really hard offense to run, but we make it look pretty good the majority of the time", Cunningham added.

While Porter, considered a potential National Basketball Association lottery pick, returned from back surgery in time to appear in the SEC Tournament, Missouri will play without suspended forward Jordan Barnett, the team's second-leading scorer (13.7 points per game) who was arrested for DWI on Saturday.

Missouri played without second-leading scorer Jordan Barnett, who was suspended for the game after a DUI arrest last weekend, and dressed just seven scholarship players. "He's going to come in, play the game".

"That first half, I was very angry, because we didn't show fight", Martin said.

For the Seminoles, Porter has their attention.

"That's just what it is, when you're coming off of injuries, getting the rust off your body, getting the flow of games, getting the flow of situations", Martin said. "Everyone kind of knows he's a good player".

We get games like Duke-Rhode Island, Kansas-Seton Hall, Kentucky-Buffalo and more.

Tigers fans were hype when Porter, Jr. took the floor. He says he's not looking to boost any personal stats right now. He also was second on the team in rebounds and points.

As the the final 60 seconds ticked off the clock at Bridgestone Arena Friday night, Michael Porter Jr. - with a towel draped around his neck and his 6-foot-10 frame hunched over itself on the sideline - sat silently in his chair as Florida State delivered the final death blows to a season that brimmed with potential but ultimately ended with little more than whimper.