As one of the top players in the Class of 2017, 6-foot-8 small forward Michael Porter Jr. has been on the receiving end of attention from many high-major programs. Monday night Porter, a native of Columbia, Missouri who’s ranked second in the class by Rivals.com, revealed his top five schools at this point in time.
The five schools that made the cut (in alphabetical order): Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington.
Of the five schools on Porter’s list Missouri and Washington may be the most interesting given the family connections. Not only is Missouri the hometown school, but Porter’s older sisters Bri and Cierra are members of the women’s basketball team.
And one of the assistants on that coaching staff was Porter’s father, who earlier this spring joined Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington. The elder Porter isn’t the only Washington connection either, with Michael’s younger brother Jontay being a commit in the Class of 2018.
Saturday’s national semifinal between No. 2 Villanova and No. 2 Oklahoma was a rematch of a game played in Hawaii on December 7, with the Sooners winning by 23 points in a game that wasn’t all that close. The second meeting of the season was even less competitive, with Jay Wright’s Wildcats rolling to a 95-51 victory to advance to Monday’s title game.
Following the game Wright made note of that first meeting, saying that it helped his team when it came to the rematch.
To say that things didn’t go as planned for No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday would be a major understatement. The Sooners couldn’t get much going offensively and they had an even tougher time defensively as they lost 95-51 to No. 2 Villanova. Of course with social media being what it is today this opened the door for the “crying Jordan” memes, one of which being the head being attached to the body of dancing Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Buddy Hield, who’s won multiple national Player of the Year awards over the last few days, scored just nine points and shot 1-for-8 from three against a Villanova defense geared towards slowing him down. A bad night in the most important game of the season can led to some ignoring the overall body of work, but Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine was quick to remind people of what Hield’s managed to do this season.
Valentine’s been right there with Hield when it comes to the national Player of the Year awards, and with good reason. They’ve been the two best players in college basketball this season, and an off night for either doesn’t change that.
h/t For The Win
No. 2 Oklahoma was on the wrong side of history Saturday night, as they lost 95-51 to No. 2 Villanova in what now stands as the biggest blowout in the history of the Final Four. After a solid start to the game nothing seemed to work for the West Region champions, with guard Buddy Hield shooting 1-for-8 from three and the team shooting just over 31 percent from the field.
By comparison Villanova shot 71.4 percent from the field, a number that’s second in Final Four history behind the 78.6 percent the 1985 Villanova team shot in its win over Georgetown. And it should be noted that Jay Wright’s team shot as well as they did with the three-point shot, which wasn’t a part of the college game in 1985.
Both Hield and Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger were highly complimentary of the Wildcats, with Hield stating that he believes Villanova has what it takes to win Monday night.
No. 2 Oklahoma made a run at No. 2 Villanova to start the second half, closing to within eight, but just like that Jay Wright’s Wildcats regained control of the game. One of the plays that helped: Mikal Bridges going deep for a pass over the Oklahoma press and dunking on forward Jamuni McNeace.
Just as good as the dunk is the pass by Kris Jenkins, who hit Bridges on the money with a baseball pass thrown flat-footed.
And the questions of how NRG Stadium would impact the teams’ shooting haven’t applied to the Wildcats, who halfway through the second half were shooting 70 percent from the field.
Faced with their largest halftime deficit of the season, No. 2 Oklahoma needed a spark to start the second half against No. 2 Villanova. Lon Kruger’s team came out with much greater effort, with that best exemplified by guard Jordan Woodard rebounding his own missed free throw and converting the put-back.
And he did it all in one smooth motion, too.