Mizzou's Michael Porter Jr. will play in SEC Tournament

Kristopher Nichols
March 10, 2018

"He could play 20-25 minutes", Martin said, per ESPN. A minute later, he nabbed his first rebound and, after running the length of the court, got his first points on an layup. Porter Jr. had initially committed to the Huskies. "We got two for $20 yeah we're happy", said Daryl Miller, who is visiting St. Louis with his wife. During the 1982-83 season, she averaged 58.7 points per game.

And sure, it's hard to take much from an exhibition game.

"If he's healthy, we're rolling", Martin added.

"Unless Mike says otherwise, that's what it is", Martin said. So it didn't flow as well. But I think we'll be fine. Jeremiah was in foul trouble. He checked in with 17:22 to go in the first half. After making his first shot, he missed his next six, including an air-balled 3-pointer and a layup. Robertson had a good look and let the shot go as thousands all held their breath. With nobody within five feet of him, Robertson rose and fired. "I missed some shots I should have made, but at the end of the day, we lost as a team".

They've improved despite Michael Porter's extended absence, so much so that they are hopeful of the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013.

Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin described the difference in Porter's game as such: "He's a step slow". "I'm glad he actually got it out of the way".

Success in the SEC Tournament may or may not be enough to reach another, smaller goal: getting off the 8-9 seeding line.

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Clarke was called for a technical foul. "It was just a great win for us, and it was kind of emotional", Farrell said. Farrell's 3-pointer with 13:55 left first ignited the closing run that, initially, Virginia Tech met shot-for-shot.

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Leading scorer Kassius Robertson scored just seven points, his fewest in 13 games. Georgia answered with a 19-2 run. Missouri would get close - within inches really - of winning this one, but they never quite could get over that hump. The shot bounced off the rim and fell out as the partisan crowd gasped.

The Tigers will play the victor of Wednesday's game between Georgia and Vanderbilt in the second round of the SEC tournament. That's about it. The first trial of the Michael Porter Jr. experiment went exactly as every naysayer said it would. Mizzou won at home over Georgia (Jan. 10) by a score of 68-56, with the 12-point margin of victory being the Black & Gold's biggest win in league action.

It didn't take long for Porter Jr.to get in the game. That says it all.

ESPN now lists Porter as the No. 6 prospect on its top 100.

A few days ago, school officials began whispering that Porter could return for the postseason, and Tigers fans did some whispering of their own. He flashed all of the skills that have National Basketball Association front offices drooling, scoring 20 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists in 26 minutes. Should they drop, considering their performance in St. Louis, and if so how unlucky would some future No. 3 seed feel if a 10-seeded Missouri - featuring a McDonald's all-American in the lineup with nearly no game footage to scout - to potentially prepare for in the second round? The marquee matchup of Kentucky and Missouri that was destined for Friday afternoon-it's not going to happen. Both teams only clashed once with Missouri during the regular season, and the Tigers were winners against each.

Also factoring into all of this is Missouri's biggest elephant in the room: Michael Porter Jr. St. Louis, Missouri, plays host to the 2018 edition of the event, at the Scottrade Center from March 7-11, 2018. After that, who knows?

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