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Old 03-27-2017, 02:23 PM  
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****Official 2017-2018 Missouri Tigers Basketball Thread****

Back up in your ass with the resurrection. Follow the Cuonzo Martin era here.

Recruiting Commitments:

2017:
Michael Porter Jr., SF, *****, Gatorade National Player of the Year
CJ Roberts, PG, ****
Blake Harris, PG, ***/****
Jeremiah Tilmon, F/C, ****
Kassius Robertson, Grad Transfer
Jontay Porter (possible re-classification from Class of '18), ****

Departures: No one that matters
Returning Players: No one that matters

Overall class ranking: #6 nationally.

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Old 04-06-2017, 07:44 PM   #196
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:45 PM   #197
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:04 PM   #198
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:58 AM   #199
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Carlton Bragg is now available.

Heard KU wants Tilmon too.





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Old 04-07-2017, 07:00 AM   #200
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Heard KU wants Tilmon too.





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Old 04-07-2017, 07:11 AM   #201
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:46 AM   #202
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:25 AM   #203
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****Official 2017-2018 Missouri Tigers Basketball Thread****

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/colum...179e16c4b.html

High-end college basketball recruiting has never been more treacherous, as Missouri and Illinois fans are seeing first hand.

Summer teams hold great sway over the elite players. Kids often jump from high school to high school. Many of the top private school programs are just basketball mills, set up to develop blue-chip players.

Kids are antsy. They commit and pull back. They sign and want out. They play and then transfer or, if all goes well, jump early to the NBA. College rosters remain in constant flux and coaches just have to make the best of it.

Failed Mizzou coach Kim Anderson had little taste for all of this drama. His replacement, Cuonzo Martin, embraces the challenge.

Failed Illinois coach John Groce made headway on the recruiting trail, but couldn't convert that success to progress on the court. Now replacement Brad Underwood is going "all in" to move the program forward.

That brings us to the case of East St. Louis center Jeremiah Tilmon, who recently asked out of his letter of intent with Illinois. Champaign News-Gazette columnist Loren Tate picks up the story:

Groce and assistant coach Jamall Walker spent three years romancing Tilmon and his mother, with whom he lived. It was an expensive, time-consuming task, marked by trips and frequent evening calls, and it was working right through Tilmon痴 re-confirmation of his commitment earlier this week.

But Cuonzo Martin, an East St. Louis product who has a sister, Valencia, teaching in the school, made Tilmon a priority as soon as he took the Missouri job. Concurrent with his move from California was the new involvement of Tilmon痴 father as the broker in the case.

Mizzou now has Tilmon痴 ear * with full support of the father and the family split is such that Tilmon is reportedly no longer residing with his mother. Tilmon mentioned Walker痴 name in his request for a release from Illinois, a gesture of friendship. But barring another reversal, his deal with Missouri is completed.

If you question what might be happening outside NCAA rules, consider that this back-and-forth movement occurred during an impermissible contact week called the 電ead period.

Look, I know what happened. You know what happened. That痴 college basketball in 2017.

The Illini, fast becoming a habitual loser in these dealings, is on the verge of being snookered out of the best-ever trio to emerge from Metro East in a single season.

Althoff痴 Jordan Goodwin, the state痴 premier player before shoulder surgery, was swayed to Saint Louis when his AAU coach became an assistant there. We now see Martin swooping up Tilmon for Missouri. And Michigan State痴 Tom Izzo is high on the list of throngs seeking Mr. Basketball, Mark Smith of Edwardsville.

Martin is making a big push for Smith, too, but he is playing catch-up. He is hoping that the lure of playing with top NBA prospect Michael Porter Jr. -- who came to Mizzou after his father returned to the school as the top-paid assistant on the staff -- will attract Smith and other blue-chip players to Columbia.

Meanwhile, Underwood has hired and unleashed Orlando Antigua, one of the sports elite recruiters. So what if Antigua drew the attention of the NCAA for some academic malfeasance on his watch as South Florida head coach?

Chicago Tribune columnist David Haugh had this to say about that:

Illini sympathizers argue that the affable Antigua spent six years on coach John Calipari's staff at Kentucky, recruiting future NBA stars such as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns and John Wall. The names speak for themselves. But so do the letters from the NCAA, which are likely to follow Antigua from Tampa to Champaign.

Like Tipsheet said yesterday, it's on.

IT'S JUST BUSINESS
Why do coaches go through all of this? Well, for one thing it pays well.

When Groce hired on with Illinois in 2012, his contract called for $400,000 salary in base pay, $1 million per year for media/marketing work plus various assorted incentives. In 2014 he earned an extension that bumped his compensation up to $1.7 million per year, plus bonuses.

When he got canned this year, he collected a $1.7 million buyout for the final two years of his contract.

His replacement at Illinois, Underwood, got a six-year deal worth $18 million.

When Groce landed on his feet at Akron this week, his six-year contract called for compensation of $350,000 per year in the first two years. Power conference jobs pay a multiple of mid-level jobs.

Which is why the power conference guys are willing to play the recruiting game.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:28 AM   #204
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Failed Mizzou coach Kim Anderson had little taste for all of this drama.
No shit - he'd just go get Cullen VanLeer and call it a day. No worry about him flipping commits if all he has to fall back on is D2 offers. Way to outthink the competition, Kim. They're spending all that time/energy recruiting kids that may not play for them afterall while you're just plucking off all that sweet, sweet low hanging fruit and then taking a nap.

Naps are important, Kim. Getting your rest is a big deal for guys your age. I'm glad to see you had your priorities in line.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:16 AM   #205
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:41 PM   #206
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****Official 2017-2018 Missouri Tigers Basketball Thread****

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/colle...ng-in-columbia

Mizzou Five for Friday: Knox Landing in Columbia?

COLUMBIA, MO. It's Five for Friday, Mizzou Edition. We can稚 promise this will return as a regular weekly item, but it痴 here today, so read away.



First, a recap of the Mizzou week that was in links

C.J. Roberts sticks with pledge to Mizzou
Walton, Hughes plan to leave Mizzou
Cuonzo Martin痴 dreams come true
Martin hires Mizzou coaching staff
East St. Louis Tilmon opens recruiting options
Howard resurfaces on a mission along Mizzou D-line
Will 5-star recruit Kevin Knox follow Porter to Mizzou?




1. Knox Landing?

Unlike a lot of blue chip recruits, Kevin Knox spent his entire high school career at the same school and wasn稚 a nationwide vagabond hopping from school to school. He arrived at Tampa Catholic High as a 6-3 guard with raw skills and boundless energy. He made the varsity as a freshman but didn稚 start. On the AAU circuit he was overshadowed some by teammates Tony Bradley, now at North Carolina, and Jonathan Issac, now at Florida State. His sophomore year, Knox became a starter for Don Dziagwa and started to grow and develop into a star.

滴e was just this 6-3 skinny ninth grader that had a great work ethic, Dziagwa said.

At Tampa Catholic, classes start at 8. Dziagwa痴 son, Thomas Dziagwa, was a star player on the team, a year older than Knox. (Dziagwa now plays for Oklahoma State).

徹ne year my son said, 船ad, I want to get to school early so we can work out for an hour before class,' Dziagwa said. 鉄o we started getting there at 7. Kevin stated coming to those morning workouts. Then he grew from 6-3 to 6-5 to 6-6 and now he痴 6-9. But his work ethic is a great story for me to tell people. We always knew he壇 be a pretty good player, but as a ninth grader he shot just 48 percent from the free throw line and averaged about six points a game. He was OK, a good high school player and maybe he壇 play college ball. But he kept getting better and better.

After his sophomore year, Knox earned one of the last invitations to the USA 16-and-under national tryouts and made the team. The next summer, he made the 17-and-under team.

的t痴 been a neat meteoric rise to be honest with you, Dziagwa said.

As a 6-3 guard, Knox began his high school career working with the guards in practice in ball-handling and shooting drills. 的t was never like we stuck him down in the post, his coach said. 展e didn稚 know he was going to be 6-9. But the way the game has changed if I had a 6-9 freshman I壇 probably have him do all of our guard drills.

When Knox pulled down a rebound, Dziagwa let him run the floor and bring the ball up the court. He developed a reliable 3-point shot, too.

Any of this sound familiar? It should. From a 2016 P-D story on Michael Porter Jr.:
Orthopedic specialists took a look at his growth plate and indicated he壇 one day tower over his 6-4 parents. But Michael Sr. left nothing to chance. If youth coaches tried making Porter a post player, Michael Sr. yanked him off the team. Eventually, he started training him ball-handling and shooting skills. 摘ven though the orthopedic doctor said that, there was no guarantee, Michael Sr. said. 的 didn稚 want him to get to high school and be a 6-4 post player.

Dziagwa usually prefers players sign their letter of intent in November so they can focus on their senior season, but even though Knox delayed his decision until the spring, he had no trouble putting aside his college choice during the season.

擢or us, he was all about winning, Dziagwa said. 的t wasn稚 about Kevin Knox. It was all about Tampa Catholic. If he ends up being a one-and-done that one year (in college) wherever he痴 at he痴 going to devote himself totally to help the team get into the NCAA Tournament and do well in their conference.

Knox was recently Florida Dairy Farmers' Mr. Basketball, the state's player of the year honor. Past winners include Vernon Maxwell, Vince Carter, Teddy Dupay, Amar'e Stoudamire, Brandon Knight, Austin Rivers, Joel Berry and Antonio Blakeney.



2. Book of Jeremiah

What痴 the latest on East St. Louis center Jeremiah Tilmon? A source said Friday that Illinois has not granted Tilmon痴 request to be released from his letter of intent, but he痴 expected to be released soon. 的t could be any day or moment, the source said. Should that happen Missouri figures to have a strong chance to land the 6-10 center though his recruitment has been mysterious at times.

的 would be shocked if he doesn稚 end up at Missouri, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Corey Evans said. 徹ne of the big things Illinois had going for them was keeping (assistant coach) Jamall Walker. I guess some things happened behind closed doors.

There are mixed reviews about Tilmon痴 skill level after a senior season that saw him average 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. But Missouri desperately needs a functional big man and not necessarily a prolific scorer. If Tilmon can rebound, play post defense and protect the rim to some degree, he壇 be an immediate impact for the Tigers.

Here痴 a Tilmon scouting report courtesy ESPN.com:
He's broadly built with wide shoulders, a naturally strong frame and good agility and athleticism for his size. He runs the floor well, has good use of both hands and plays with a ton of sheer force around the rim. He's a powerful finisher who can leap through contact and loves to get on the offensive glass. Right now, his biggest impact is on the defensive end of the floor. He's an excellent rim protector who both blocks shots and challenges just about everything at the rim. ... His defense is ahead of his offense right now and so while he shoots a very high percentage from the floor, he's not a signature piece on the offensive end. He'll show you flashes around the paint with agile footwork and dexterity but he doesn't have a go-to move with his back to the basket and so he's not a guy you can play off of yet in a half-court game. Because he's such an aggressive shot-blocker he also tends to be foul prone and a much better rebounder on the offensive end than the defensive end. He's a top national prospect with a ton of physical upside but right now his game is based off blocking shots, running the floor, finishing inside and providing a physical presence inside the paint on both ends.



3. Better late than never

Back to Knox. Common sense tells you Mizzou would have considerable ground to make on the programs that have recruited Knox for more than a year. The coaches at his other four choices have built relationships with the player, his family and coaches. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina痴 Roy Williams are regulars at Tampa Catholic, Dziagwa said. Knox knows Florida State well with both parents, Kevin and Michelle, having played football and volleyball, respectively, at the state school.

But here痴 a case where a latecomer like Mizzou can get into the mix quickly: Elite five-star recruits like Knox might spend only a year on campus預nd realistically, about nine months which changes the criteria for the player during the selection process. Possible one-and-done recruits are less invested in factors outside of the basketball program.

展hen I interview some kids that are fringe top 100 guys, I ask them what they really want in a school, Evans said. 的t痴 the system, the fit, the school environment, the academics. When you talk to top 25 kids, it痴 skill development, the coach痴 ability to get guys in the NBA and marketability. For these higher-level one-and-done prospects it痴 more about the fastest route to the NBA.

For Knox, there already figures to be a national spotlight on Mizzou this season because of Porter痴 presence, but he値l also have the chance for more minutes, touches and shots compared to, say, Kentucky, where John Calipari has signed another top-rated class stocked with readymade NBA talent.

的 think Missouri certainly is a very interesting, different type school than the other (finalists), Dziagwa said. 哲ot that Missouri can稚 be good but Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky have already signed so many players.



4. Where will Martin痴 first class rank?

Knox is visiting Mizzou this weekend, along with three-star guard Blake Harris from Raleigh, N.C. Martin is also heavily pursuing Edwardsville guard Mark Smith.

As of now, 247Sports.com痴 composite class rankings has Mizzou痴 class of two (Porter and C.J. Roberts) at No. 47. The 247 composite rankings average all the class rankings by national recruiting outlets. The site has a fun class calculator tool that allows you to plug other recruits into team痴 classes to get a projection of where the class will ultimately rank. Mind you, there are a lot of uncommitted recruits still out there, so other team痴 rankings will change eventually, too.

Here痴 where Mizzou would rank under a few different scenarios:

Porter, Roberts, Knox, Harris, Tilmon, Smith: 69.66 points, No. 2

Porter, Roberts, Knox, Harris, Tilmon: 69.21, No. 2

Porter, Roberts, Knox, Harris: 65.72, No. 5

Porter, Roberts, Harris, Tilmon: 65.04 , No. 5

Porter, Roberts, Tilmon, Smith: 65.94, No. 5

Porter, Roberts, Harris: 56.28, No. 16

Porter, Roberts, Tilmon: 61.27, No. 11

If Missouri ends up with a top 20 class, it would mark the sixth time in 15 years. Here痴 where Mizzou痴 best classes have ranked in the modern age of recruiting class rankings, as rated by 247痴 composite rankings:

2016: No. 64

2015: No. 48

2014: No. 11

2013: No. 16

2012: No. 58

2011: No. 215

2010: No. 14

2009: No. 53

2008: No. 43

2007: No. 243

2006: No. 48

2005: No. 37

2004: No. 11



5. Chemistry class

One quick note on Mizzou football. Second-year defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross gave a very interesting answer to a simple question after Thursday痴 practice. Asked why he痴 more confident with this year痴 defense compared to last, Cross said this:

鼎hemistry. It works wonders. When you have guys on the same page and nobody痴 really worried about who gets the accolades, that痴 the makings of something really special. Right now we致e got a group guys who are all happy about being part of something. Nobody痴 complaining about the scheme, about their opportunities to do things. From that standpoint it痴 refreshing to see guys pulling for each other, whether they池e one or two or three (on the depth chart). Everybody痴 pulling for each other whether it痴 the front or the back end. We致e got walk-ons making plays and the guys are going nuts on the sidelines. Last year痴 team we dealt with a lot of adversities on and off the field and we could never really get it going quite well enough. When you have success it breeds confidence. We didn稚 have enough success really, so that confidence didn稚 come until later. Right now I don稚 think that値l be a problem coming up.

Some veteran Missouri players openly grumbled about last year痴 scheme change. Barry Odom made the switch back to Mizzou痴 previous defense midway through the season, but the complaining clearly touched a nerve with Cross.



Extra Points

Martin continues to finalize his staff: Paul Rorvig will stay on Mizzou痴 staff as director of operations. Marco Harris, Martin痴 former high school teammate and staffer at Cal and Tennessee, will be MU痴 director of player development. Nicodemus Christopher, Martin痴 strength coach at Cal, will have the same role at Mizzou, the director of athletic performance. Christopher endeared himself to The Antlers student fan group with this quote in MU痴 press release: 的致e quickly noticed the excitement that is in the air in Columbia. It痴 an amazing feeling. The support for Mizzou痴 program is everywhere, from the students, to those Antlers, to local business owners. You can tell everyone wants Mizzou Basketball to succeed. Question left to ponder this weekend: If Martin lands his next prized recruit, does Mizzou Arena transform into Fort Knox or the Porter House for 2017-18? Mark Smith was once a Mizzou baseball commitment but has blown up as a national basketball recruit. Kentucky offered him a scholarship Thursday. Michigan State has recruited him heavily, too. ... Odom's staff has offered scholarships to multiple 2018 quarterbacks in recent days: Cammon Cooper (Lehi, Utah), Tyler Shough (Chandler, Ariz.) and Chase Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio), but it appears the Tigers are still locked in on James Foster (Montgomery, Ala.) as its top QB option for 2018. As for the current team, coordinator Josh Heupel has been high on redshirt freshman Micah Wilson's campaign to become Drew Lock's backup this fall. "He痴 starting to see defenses a lot better," Heupel said Thursday. "The game is still fast but it slows down for him every single day. He痴 done a really good job. One of the things we talk about is not making the same mistake twice. If you learn from the mistake you致e got a chance. He痴 done a good job of when he痴 made a mistake learning from it.






Will 5-star forward Knox follow Porter to Mizzou?

COLUMBIA, MO. The fortunes of Missouri痴 basketball program swung wildly from one extreme to another on March 24, the day Michael Porter Jr. announced he壇 make Mizzou his stopover to the NBA.

Not only did the Tigers and new coach Cuonzo Martin land the No. 1 high school prospect in the country, Porter hopes to bring along some friends, including a player who never would have imagined calling Mizzou Arena home, even for just a season.

Last summer, five-star recruit Kevin Knox of Tampa, Fla., trimmed his list of schools to the bluest of blue bloods: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and now national champion North Carolina, plus local option Florida State, where both his parents were athletes.

He痴 since added a new choice. Knox plans to be at Mizzou this weekend on an official recruiting visit, flanked by Porter, his fellow five-star recruit who痴 now the most valuable asset and recruiter for Martin痴 program.

典wo weeks ago Kevin Knox probably had no idea where the University of Missouri was, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Corey Evans said. 釘ut now Michael Porter痴 there and Knox is a day away from being in Columbia for 48 hours.

Knox and Porter are playing in the Nike Summit Friday night in Portland, Ore., then taking a late flight to Missouri to be in Columbia on Saturday for their weekend visit. Blake Harris, a three-star guard from Raleigh, N.C., is also visiting Mizzou this weekend. Like Porter, Harris signed with Washington in the fall but was released from his letter of intent after the school fired coach Lorenzo Romar. C.J. Roberts, a four-star guard from Dallas who signed with MU last fall, is making travel plans to be in Columbia, too, his father, Craig Roberts, confirmed Thursday.

If all things align the Tigers way and Martin lands his top targets, including five-star East St. Louis center Jeremiah Tilmon, who asked out of his letter of intent with Illinois this week, Mizzou痴 overnight roster turnaround could be unprecedented, Evans said.

的t痴 kind of like LeBron James, Evans said. 的 don稚 want to compare Porter to LeBron James, but guys want to play with the tip-top guys. It痴 like when LeBron went to Cleveland and guys wanted to follow him.

Knox had been set on his top choices since the start of his senior year at Tampa Catholic High School. In the fall, Kansas dropped off his list as he focused on Duke, Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina. He痴 taken an official visit to each school.

But Knox is serious about listening to Missouri痴 sales pitch during his visit, Tampa Catholic coach Don Dziagwa said.

的f Michael Porter wasn稚 going to Missouri then Missouri would not be one of Kevin痴 choices, Dziagwa said. 釘ut he and Michael Porter have played in all-star games and AAU tournaments together, so they obviously have a good relationship going. This weekend will really tell him something whether Missouri will be one of his final considerations. They致e done a really great job of recruiting him.

的 know Missouri came on pretty late, but I知 still listening to what Mike has to say, Knox told Scout.com earlier this week. 的 like that me and him could be on the wings. We壇 basically be unstoppable. It would definitely be a good duo. They definitely have a chance.

Knox arrived at Tampa Catholic as a raw 6-3 freshman who came off the bench as a spark of energy for Dziagwa痴 team. He痴 since grown six inches and developed a more polished game on the perimeter. Knox averaged 28.9 points per game this season and is rated the nation痴 No. 8 player by 247Sports.com痴 composite rankings. The only small forward ranked higher? Porter.

Together they壇 be the most celebrated newcomers Mizzou has seen since Steve Stipanovich and Jon Sundvold arrived from opposite ends of the state in 1979.

典he college coaches and the pro scouts who are watching these all-star games and projecting down the line I think they would really love that (Knox) can handle the ball and pass the ball, Dziagwa said. 擢rom a defensive standpoint, for us, at 6-9, he痴 going to guard other post players. What really has attracted a lot of interest for him is he痴 so versatile. He痴 not a one-dimensional player at all. He can take the ball and dunk with the best of them, but he also has a really nice 3-point shot and pull-up jump shot.

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Old 04-07-2017, 01:57 PM   #207
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I think having Tilmon at Mizzou this weekend would have been huge. Of course, I think having Roberts at Mizzou to help with Tilmon and Knox would have been great as well.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:04 PM   #208
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****Official 2017-2018 Missouri Tigers Basketball Thread****



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Old 04-07-2017, 02:10 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Gorilla View Post
I think having Tilmon at Mizzou this weekend would have been huge. Of course, I think having Roberts at Mizzou to help with Tilmon and Knox would have been great as well.
I'd be pretty surprised if MPJ wasn't in Columbia on the weekend that Tilmon's visit eventually comes.

Knox and Harris would've been nice, but Porter and Roberts will be pretty damn strong in its own right and if Knox has said anything positive regarding his visit, that would have to weigh heavily in Tilmon's mind as well.

It's not the end of the world; Mizzou can snag him without Knox (and should just operate under the assumption that it will take exactly that. Knox should still be seen as a long shot).
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:21 PM   #210
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https://theundefeated.com/features/m...ael-porter-jr/


BY MARC J. SPEARS
ESPN
@MARCJSPEARSESPN
April 7, 2017

Heralded University of Missouri basketball signee Michael Porter Jr. believes the 都oft label has been put on him at times because he is a light-skinned player with a black father and a white mother.

The No. 1-ranked high school basketball player on the ESPN 100 has changed that thinking with his well-rounded hoop game. And if Porter ascends to NBA stardom, as expected, he hopes that he can use basketball as a platform to aid race relations in the United States.

鉄ometimes people relate to you different, Porter Jr. told The Undefeated after practice Wednesday in preparation for the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon. 釘ased on race, they致e got a perception of you. People think that light-skinned [black males] are the pretty boys. I致e got to go out here every night and show them that it痴 not true. We can get after it.

Porter headlines Team USA痴 talented roster that plays the World Team in the Hoop Summit tonight, pitting the top American prep seniors against the top international teens.

The 6-foot-10, 215-pounder talked to The Undefeated about race, switching from Washington to Missouri for college, his new hobby and more.




Have you dealt with racism personally?

I致e been called the N-word a couple times on social media with people commenting. Those people have nothing better to do. It痴 crazy. They池e just looking for attention. I try not to feed into any of it. It痴 a real issue. I think racism is an issue.

I hear a lot of stories from my dad. He grew up in a neighborhood in Mississippi where there weren稚 too many white people. My mom grew up in Iowa, where it was weird to see a black person. They met and they would go to Mississippi together to visit my grandparents, and he wouldn稚 hold her hand in public because they were a mixed couple [in the South]. He told me stories like that.

How proud are you of being black and white?

I like it. I consider myself black because my dad is black. It痴 just crazy seeing my mom and dad interact. They池e different. The way they talk is different. I kind of get some of them both. My mom doesn稚 want me to talk a certain way. And then my dad it痴 funny. I can relate to both.

You were living in Columbia, Missouri, when the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer occurred on Aug. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. You were 16 years old at the time. Did it have an effect on you?

St. Louis is an hour and a half down the road. That was all everyone was talking about in Missouri. It definitely hit home. Not all police are bad. I don稚 like when people say, 羨ll police are bad. There are a lot of nice ones out there.

But I think the perception of black people needs to change. You can稚 just shoot a black person because he 鼠ooks intimidating.

What did you think about the Missouri football team boycotting football activities after racism on campus in 2015? (A group of black players stopped participating in football activities until university system president Tim Wolfe resigned. Wolfe, who was under fire for how he handled the racial incidents, resigned on Nov. 9, 2015.)

I heard about it I didn稚 hear everything, but I know a ton of racist things were happening. There were death threats to black people. The football team wouldn稚 practice until it got fixed. I agree with them. You can稚 have that on a college campus. We池e all human beings. We should be able to interact and coexist together.

Do you hope in time that you could use your celebrity as a platform to fight against racism?

I think so. I have a lot of white friends and a lot of black friends. Like Steph Curry and Drake, both races can relate to them. If I could be one of those people, that would be real cool.

How are you dealing with all the media and societal attention as a young basketball star?

I just try to stay grounded, stay humble. I was blessed with a lot, so if I can give back in any way I try to care about other people more than I care about myself. Basketball to me is a platform where I can reach a lot of people. If I could make a change in how people view race, that would be amazing. That would be a dream come true.


Nathan Hale痴 Michael Porter Jr. (No. 1) shoots a jumper against Oak Hill Academy during a high school basketball game at the 2017 Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
AP PHOTO/GREGORY PAYAN
Do you think your generation can bring a change in this country on race relations?

I think we could. It would take a lot. It takes young people. Just the perception of how you池e supposed to be, I think the media has a lot to do with it. But the media also has the power to change how people act. I hope we can, man, for sure.

What is it like being a member of such a rich basketball family with parents who played college basketball, two sisters (Bri and Cierra) who play at Missouri, yourself and five younger siblings who play basketball as well?

I feel like I was made for basketball. My mom played basketball. She痴 6-4. My dad played basketball. He痴 6-4. They池e basically breeding basketball players, and from top to bottom we play basketball.

How good was your mom?

She averaged 45 points in high school, if that tells you anything. [The former Lisa Becker] is one of the all-time leading scorers at Iowa. She was on Team USA. She went overseas to play. That was back when there was no WNBA. She was legit.

What does it mean for you to represent USA in the Hoop Summit?

It痴 amazing to represent your country. Every time I put this on, I feel like I have a responsibility to represent how great our country is. I want to prove that USA has the best basketball players in the world.

When everything was unfolding at Washington, with the firing of Lorenzo Romar as coach, was that stressful for you? (Porter痴 father was an assistant coach on Washington痴 staff and is now an assistant coach at Missouri.)

Yeah. It was all of the sudden. One day they were thinking that there was no way Coach Romar would be fired. The next day I was there [at Washington] shooting and I felt some tension there. I was like, 糎hat is going on? Ten minutes later, it was done. All the coaches were crying and giving me hugs. It was real sad. It was crazy.

How did you personally take it? It seemed like the next day you switched your commitment to Missouri.

It was a life-changing thing. It was crazy. After Coach Romar got fired, [Columbia, Missouri] is where my family has lived forever. I知 real comfortable with the program, and that is where my sisters play basketball. I know it felt like it was short, but every night we were sitting down talking about it. That was my second choice anyways.

I met with [new Missouri] coach Cuonzo [Martin]. I didn稚 just jump into it without knowing the coach. He was real cool. I trust my dad. I just decided that it was the best thing for me.

How much did your sisters recruit you to Missouri?

A lot. They really wanted to bring the family together. We池e big family people. I知 excited.

What does it say about your family that they have three kids on athletic basketball scholarship at one school?

Three, and maybe four, playing at one school. Actually, my oldest sister [Bri] tore her ACL for the fifth time last year, so she is sitting out. She was the most freak athlete in the family. In the seventh grade she was dunking a tennis ball. She was going to be special, but she had the knee problems.

She was playing Division I basketball after four ACL tears. And then the fifth one, I think she痴 done.

So you recently started taking piano lessons. Can you explain why?

Basketball is only going to take me so far. Plus, if you have a bad game and basketball is all you got, then you池e going to be down in the dumps until the next game. And so, for me I always try to remember that basketball is a fun game. And if we play bad, I致e got other things I like to do. I try to be well-rounded. I love basketball with all my heart, but I try to do other things as well.

Porter said he was living in Seattle during the Missouri football boycott. He did not move to Seattle until 2016.




Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn稚 been able to in years and his knees still hurt.


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