Southeast Missouri State returns three of their five starters from last season’s 15-16 team, with guard Marland Smith and forward Tyler Stone two reason why the Redhawks were picked to finish second in the OVC West.
But Southeast Missouri State does have to address the question of who fills the role left open by the graduation of forward Leon Powell, and unfortunately for the Redhawks one of the options was hit by the injury bug again.
6-6 junior forward Michael Porter, who has struggled with injuries throughout his college career, will miss at least six weeks due to a broken foot.
The injury occurred in practice on Thursday, and for Porter it’s the second injury of the preseason as he was also dealing with a torn labrum in his hip.
“We feel bad for him, but he’s a quick healer,” head coach Dickey Nutt said to Marty Mishow of the Southeast Missourian. “He’s certainly had a lot of bad luck. It’s a shame.”
How bad has Porter’s luck been from a health standpoint? It’s almost as if Porter would have no luck if it weren’t bad in that regard:
Porter began his college career at Missouri State. He missed all but six games of his freshman season in 2009-10 due to an emergency appendectomy and a torn hamstring.
The former Sikeston High School standout was involved in a single-vehicle accident in June of 2010 that resulted in hip surgery and put his basketball career in jeopardy.
Porter decided to transfer to Southeast. It took time to recover from the hip surgery, but he eventually was able to practice with the Redhawks during the 2010-11 season although he was ineligible for games due to NCAA transfer rules.
As noted in the story Nutt was expecting Porter, who averaged 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, to have to deal with the nagging hip issue all season long.
But if there’s a silver lining in the cloud that is his broken foot, maybe the time off allows Porter’s hip to improve as well.
As for the spot alongside Stone inside, Southeast Missouri State does have other options to call upon with sophomore Nino Johnson being the most experienced.
Wing Jacob Tolbert redshirted last season, and he’ll be joined by freshman forward/center Colin Ferguson when it comes to first-year front court players.
Southeast Missouri State plays its first exhibition on Tuesday night against Ouachita Baptist.
Photo credit: Southeast Missouri State University