Jontay Porter is headed to college
The worst kept secret around Missouri basketball is no longer a secret. Jontay Porter will be a Missouri Tiger for the 2017-18 season and the roster is now set.
Porter committed to Missouri on May 22nd as a 2018 recruit. But immediately there was discussion he could reclassify and join his brother, Michael Porter Jr., as a freshman this August. It was a notion he had entertained when the pair was committed to Washington as well.
“Mizzou is home, so first of all, I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity to attend the University of Missouri,” Porter said in a statement released by Mizzou. “Coach Martin and his staff are awesome, and they are definitely one of the things I look forward to most about playing for Mizzou. Moving up to college will be an easy transition for me, especially with my family here in Columbia. Mizzou Basketball will be something really special, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Porter finished up the AAU circuit with his MoKan team at the Peach Jam in mid-July. It was a summer that saw him shoot up the rankings--as high as No. 10 for the Class of 2018 before settling in at No. 12 in the most recent update.
"I love this group of guys, I love playing with the MoKan organization and overall it's been a pretty good summer. A lot of us got exposure to college coaches and obviously it's been a big jump for me in terms of my play so it's been good," Porter told PowerMizzou.com in North Augusta. "
The Peach Jam was his final tournament this summer, though he did play in the Select High School Showcase at Steph Curry's SC30 camp last night. He was one of the top performers on the EYBL circuit this summer, averaging 18.1 points and 12.7 rebounds.
"I think it's mostly just my mindset. Not having Michael and Trae (Young) on the team to shoot all the shots helped too. Basically my mindset, be more of a leader and really showcase what I can do. I felt that I've had this skillset for a while. Hopefully I can keep growing my skillset. But, basically, just my mindset, having that alpha dog mindset."
Porter gives Cuonzo Martin a full complement of 13 scholarship players. The Tigers' 2017 recruiting class was ranked No. 7 without him. A move into the top five seems almost certain if and when the rankings are revised.
Missouri confirmed the news in a release shortly after Porter's announcement.
“We’re very excited about Jontay’s decision, which was a big one for him and his family,” head coach Cuonzo Martin said in the statement. “Jontay is certainly a talented basketball player, but his outstanding work in the classroom should not be overlooked. The ability to reclassify requires a serious commitment to your academics. Jontay is a young man who takes pride in being a great teammate and communicator. He has the skill and knowledge of the game to contribute from day one, at both ends of the floor. This is a homecoming for Jontay, who is already extremely familiar with Columbia, and we’re thrilled to have him in the Mizzou Basketball Family.”
The Tigers open the season on November 10th against Iowa State at Mizzou Arena.