The news everyone was expecting, that Jontay Porter himself had all but previously confirmed, became official Wednesday.
Porter, younger brother of Missouri forward and potential 2018 No. 1 NBA draft pick Michael, will reclassify to 2017 and join the Tigers program, he announced via social media.
Missouri later sent out a release confirming the news.
“We’re very excited about Jontay’s decision, which was a big one for him and his family,” Cuonzo Martin said in a statement. “Jontay is certainly a talented basketball player, but his
outstanding work in the classroom should not be overlooked. The ability to reclassify requires a serious commitment to your academics. Jontay is a young man who takes pride in being a great teammate and communicator. He has the skill and knowledge of the game
to contribute from day one, at both ends of the floor.”
The announcement is significant yet in no way surprising. With Michael Porter destined to be a one-and-done player, it just made too much sense for Jontay to join up, not only with his brother but with his dad, Michael Porter, Sr., who is an assistant on Cuonzo Martin’s staff.
It’s also not the least bit surprising because Jontay himself called it a “safe assumption” that he would reclass just last month.
So no, not a shock here. But it is significant.
The younger Porter is a 6-foot-10 center that was a top-15 player in 2018. Adding him to the roster is a big deal when you’re teaming him not only with his older, uber-talented brother, but another highly-ranked recruit in Jeremiah Tilmon, another 6-foot-10 player and top-50 recruit.
It’s going to be extremely fascinating to watch Missouri’s transformation this year. Under Kim Anderson, they were one of – and maybe the – worst Power 5 programs. They won just 27 games – just eight in the SEC – in three years. Now, just months after Martin’s hire, they’ve got one of the country’s best recruiting classes and an instantly dynamic roster.
It also could sting some for Washington fans, who had Michael Porter, Jr. committed and likely would have had Jontay as well before they fired Lorenzo Romar, who had previously added Porter, Sr. to his staff. Romar’s success had dwindled significantly even with high-end talent on the roster in recent years, but, still, watching this kind of talent that seemed destined for Seattle end up in Columbia can’t be easy.
“Coach Martin and his staff are awesome, and they are definitely one of the things I look forward to most about playing for Mizzou,” Jontay said in a statement. “Moving up to college will be an easy transition for me, especially with my family here in Columbia. Mizzou Basketball will be something really special, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Now, though, Missouri has a chance to be immediately ascendant in the SEC, reinvigorate a defeated fan base and begin the Martin era with some dynamism.