For Missouri fans hoping to get a miracle run out of the Tigers with Michael Porter Jr. back in the mix look like they are going to end up being disappointed.
In Porter’s first game back from back surgery, he finished with 12 points on 5-for-17 shooting off the bench as the Tigers lost to Georgia in the second round of the SEC tournament, 62-60. Porter missed a three that would have put Mizzou ahead with less than a minute left in the game.
Hell, he didn’t even look like the best Porter on Thursday night.
Jontay did. He finished with 20 points and eight boards on 5-for-8 shooting with four threes. He was terrific.
Frankly, this is what we should have expected. This is the way this was always going to play out. I’m not sure there is a 19-year old in the history of the sport this side of LeBron James that would have been able to miss four months after undergoing surgery and return at the start of the SEC tournament without looking like, you know, they missed four months with back surgery.
Porter is going to be just fine in the long-term, but if there is a disappointment here, it’s for NBA scouts that will miss out on an extra chance to see him play. The same can be said for Missouri’s outlook in the NCAA tournament. It would have been nice for them to get Porter out there for another game in St. Louis to help him shake off the rust before the start of the NCAA tournament.
That, more than anything, should be the frustration. A loss to Georgia is whatever. An off-night from Porter in his first game back is whatever. A missed opportunity to get a couple more games under his belt?