Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. Ready To Play Thursday

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. Ready To Play Thursday

The men's basketball team, formidable beyond all expectations after it lost a certain 6-foot-10-inch freshman two minutes into this season, has seemingly caught its stride at the right time. The Tigers went 20-11 without Porter and now are projected to be a No. 8 seed in The Big Dance, but his return gives them the look of the top 15 team they were projected to be before the season started. This season, Martin has coached his squad to a 20-11 record that includes a 10-8 mark in conference play.

But Porter has been ahead of schedule in his recovery and has now been practicing with the team for a week. "And I'd be surprised if he plays 30 minutes of the game".

Still, those 17 shots were partly a product of foul trouble that forced Porter to play more minutes than Martin envisioned.

A few minutes before, when three Missouri players took the podium, it did not sound like they knew Porter was planning to play.

"Yes, we didn't want to change that", head coach Cuonzo Martin said of Missouri's game plan. "Unless the trainer or Mike says otherwise, he's playing".

The Tigers will play the victor of Vanderbilt-Georgia. His 20 points on 5 of 8 shooting-including four threes-led the team, while a couple of his eight rebounds were on the offensive glass, creating crucial extra possessions.

"The good thing is we have another game", a dejected Porter said following the loss to Georgia. Georgia missed a jumper, leading to Jontay Porter finding his big bro in transition for Michael's first points of the day-Pandemonium. But on the next possession, he missed a three from nearly the exact same spot, and the Tigers fouled. But it doesn't seem to be affecting the team, as they are the fifth seed in this week's conference tournament and will most likely reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years.

NEXT UP: Now Missouri waits to hear its name and next destination on Selection Sunday. "I'm glad he actually got it out of the way". Now they're disjointed and unsure, and double-digit scorers Robertson and Barnett scored seven and three points, respectively, against Georgia. Porter, anyway, has time to rest and sharpen his game before the next time - potentially the final time, considering he could leave school to enter the National Basketball Association draft after Missouri's season ends - he suits up for the Tigers.

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