Jontay Porter says it's a 'safe assumption' he'll play at Missouri this season
Michael Porter Jr.'s younger brother will reclassify and enroll at Missouri soon
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- There is no formal announcement scheduled. So don't expect a press release from Missouri officials in the coming minutes. But the assumption for a while has been that Class of 2018 star Jontay Porter will reclassify and enroll at Mizzou soon so that he can play alongside his brother, Michael Porter Jr., this season.
So I asked Jontay if that's a safe assumption.
"Yeah, for sure," he answered with a smile at the Nike Peach Jam event here on the Georgia-South Carolina border. "That's a safe assumption."
In other words, congratulations, Mizzou fans.
Your 2017 class that's already ranked eighth nationally is about to improve. The Porter brothers will play together. And has a program that's gone 8-46 in league games in the previous three years ever had more to be excited about than this Missouri program has now? Answer: Probably not. And it's all the byproduct of Mizzou removing Kim Anderson after three dreadful seasons and replacing him with Cuonzo Martin, who immediately hired Michael Porter Sr., who subsequently and predictably brought his two sons to Columbia.
Back to Columbia, I should say.
Diehards know the story. But for the rest of you, here's the deal: Michael Porter Sr. was an assistant in the Missouri women's program from 2010 to 2016. So his sons were raised in Columbia. But he left Missouri last summer to accept a position on Lorenzo Romar's staff at Washington, at which point the family moved to Seattle and Michael Porter Jr., the No. 1 player in the Class of 2017, committed to Washington.
Then Washington fired Romar in March.
And Martin left Cal for Missouri the same day.
Within hours of those developments -- and it really might've been minutes -- it became known that Michael Porter Sr., suddenly unemployed, would become a member of Martin's staff, and that both of his heralded sons would commit to Missouri. But what wasn't clear at the time was whether the brothers would ever play together because Michael Porter Jr. is a one-and-done prospect who, and Jontay Porter isn't scheduled to graduate high school until May 2018.
Things are clearer now, though.
Jontay Porter is going to reclassify, enroll at Missouri this Fall and play for the Tigers this season. So Mizzou's recruiting class will ultimately include three top-40 national recruits -- the other is East St. Louis native Jeremiah Tilmon -- and theoretically put Martin in a position to make the NCAA Tournament in his first season with the school.
So is Jontay Porter ready for college basketball?
"I wouldn't enroll early at Mizzou unless I felt that way," he said. "So I'm pretty confident."
And he should be because, first and foremost, Jontay Porter is 6-foot-10 and 225 pounds -- meaning he's not some skinny kid who will get pushed around by older players. His body is college-ready. Plus, he's a legitimate five-star prospect -- I have him as the 10th-best prospect in the Class of 2018, right now -- who can really, really play, which was obvious Wednesday night when he got 14 points and 12 rebounds in his team's Peach Jam opener.
Bottom line, Mizzou fans are in for some fun.
After suffering through three long and awful seasons, hope has arrived and help is on the way. The top-rated player in the Class of 2017 will play for the Tigers this season. And what we now also know is that his younger brother is planning to do the same.
A formal announcement isn't scheduled.
But it is imminent.
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