By Lucas Hann
Name: Michael Porter Jr.
Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
Dimensions: 6’10.75”, with a 7’0.25” wingspan, 9’0” standing reach, weighing 211 pounds
Stats (3 games played, 17.7 minutes per game): 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks per game; 38.3% field goal, 30% 3pt, 77.8% FT
It can be a little hard to pin down strengths and weaknesses for Michael Porter, because it’s all a tale of “what could have been.” Porter came in to his freshman season as one of the best freshmen in college basketball, ranked #2 in the ESPN 100 behind Marvin Bagley, a likely top-3 pick. Cole Zwicker of The Stepien in November called Porter “perhaps the best wing/combo forward to enter the draft since Kevin Durant.” He was being mocked as high as the #1 overall pick before the college season started—and then, 2 minutes into his college debut against Iowa State, he suffered a major back injury that would cost him almost his entire freshman season.
Porter was expected to miss the entire season, but was able to return early from his injury and appear in Missouri’s final two games of the season, including their first-round loss in the NCAA tournament. We didn’t see much from him in those two games, as he understandably struggled while returning from injury and trying to help his team. That’s precisely what makes it difficult to nail down his strengths and weaknesses—or at least the degree to which they’ll translate to competing at the highest level. ...