Michael Porter Jr. leaves the door open for potential return to Missouri

Mar 18, 2018, 02:47
Michael Porter Jr. leaves the door open for potential return to Missouri

In Missouri's first round game against Florida State, many would see Michael Porter Jr.'s statline of 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals and stop there, having already decided that those numbers are worthy of a top National Basketball Association prospect.

Going into Friday night, it had been almost 3,000 days since the last time Mizzou won a NCAA tournament game.

Much of that dominance waned in the second half, when Mizzou rattled off seven straight points in the first 1:18 and went on a 10-1 run before Kabengele stemmed the tide, hitting a three with 16:28 to go to keep the lead at a comfortable 46-30.

Porter, who injured his back two minutes into the first game of the season and missed the entire regular season recovering, estimated that he was roughly 65-70 percent of his normal ability against Florida State. Don't get me wrong, I really like the talent and potential Porter Jr. has (we even share the same name!) However, I strongly suggest that he remains in college one more year to get in shape, relearn the speed and flow of the game, and to learn to trust his body again. "I was just doing a good job trying to find them in the spots they were most comfortable with". Kassius Robertson led the Tigers with 19 points. With 42 points attributed the the Seminoles" bench, redshirt freshman Mfiondu Kabengele propelled the "Noles to a first-round victory in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida State is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against the SEC and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 non-conference games.

After sitting out almost the entire season, Missouri freshman phenom Michael Porter Jr. struggled immensely, failing to catch rhythm in the first half.

After Missouri made its run at the beginning of the second half, "we came back to the huddle and kept encouraging guys", Cofer said.

"I'm feeling fine", Mann said after the game. Florida State followed with a 11-0 run. Porter's two free throws capped the outburst and drew the Tigers within two possessions.

And it didn't matter that Porter showed those flashes of brilliance that gave the Missouri fans in attendance hope that maybe, just maybe this group could pull it off.

Forrest led the way with a near triple-double, finishing with eight points, six rebounds and eight assists.

"Spring break is coming up, so I'll probably relax at the beach a little bit", Porter said.

Now, FSU - especially after their performance late Friday night - has a chance at redemption against the team that ended their historic campaign last season. Missouri's improved effort on the defensive side became apparent as well, as the team became more aggressive in getting around the Seminoles off-ball screens, contested more shots and even forced two shot clock violations.

Frericks' return was a large reason the Tigers said they were the best team Pingeton has had at MU, one that could make a deep NCAA Tournament run, but instead Missouri bowed out in the opening round. Both said they'll take some to think and talk to friends and family before making any decisions. "But, you know, I'm beyond proud to call these guys my teammates and beyond proud to call these coaches my coaches".

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