The coaching carousel looks certain to change the fate of a potential 2018 No. 1 NBA Draft pick, and, perhaps, that of a downtrodden program and a coach starting his fourth job in six years.
When you have the talent of Michael Porter, Jr., you can change a lot of lives.
The dominos are falling fast, so to recap on how the coaching, recruiting and draft landscape is shifting here’s what’s gone down.
First, came news that Missouri had offered its head coaching position to Cal’s Cuonzo Martin. Later that afternoon, Cal announced that Martin had resigned from his position, and a little later the Tigers made it official it was to join them in Columbia.
Then, not long after, Washington ended the Lorenzo Romar era in Seattle, putting his assistant, Michael Porter, Sr., – and his son – presumably on the market.
Within minutes of Romar’s firing going official, ESPN’s Paul Biancardi reported that Porter, Sr. would would be joining Martin’s staff at Mizzou. From there, it’s not hard to connect the dots that his son, an elite recruit and serious option atop the 2018 draft, won’t be far behind.
It’s a lot, but it’s not exactly surprising to see how it unfolded once things spun into motion, first with Martin’s decision and then with Washington’s.
You see, the Porter family has extensive roots in Columbia, as NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster documented this summer in a profile about the family.
The family lived there for seven years. It’s where Porter, Jr. grew up. His two sisters play on the Mizzou women’s team, which is coached by his aunt.
This move makes sense for everyone involved.
Yes, it may feel a little dubious that Porter, Sr. has seemingly parlayed his son’s talents into a pair of job opportunities, but Porter, Jr. is a program changer. Martin is counting on it.
The situation that the new coach is inheriting is a pretty poor one. The three-year Kim Anderson era was an abject failure with a total of 27 wins to show for itself. The program is also not far removed from NCAA penalties stemming from an impermissible benefits case.
If there’s one way to jump-start a program and a new tenure, it is to add one of the best players in the country. It gives Martin and Missouri some cache on the court and on the recruiting trail, should Porter, Jr.’s presumed one-year tenure end with his name among the first called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver in June of 2018.