Mizzou would be a top 25 team no doubt, maybe even top 10, if Michael Porter Jr. was healthy all season. But without him, they are 19-11 and projected to be a 9 seed. Jontay Porter, the younger brother who reclassified to play with Michael, has come alive as of late and they have gotten good contributions out of their starters. Here are some points to make you think if Mizzou is a contender.
Michael Porter Jr. has started practicing and even participated in warm ups last game. If MPJ returns to the lineup, they will be an interesting team come tournament time and, with a projected top pick, could realistically make a run in the SEC to raise their seed.
The Other Guys.
Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett have been fantastic this year, averaging 16.6 and 13.9 points per game, respectively. Without their contributions, this team would be nowhere near the tournament and you have to think Cuonzo Martin is pulling every string he can to keep this team alive.
Tony Bennett deserves the coach of the year, but in my opinion next in line should be Mr. Martin. Tell me how good non power house schools do when their future top pick gets hurt. Last year’s Washington team was terrible with Markelle Fultz and even worse without him. LSU the same with Ben Simmons. So not only has Cuonzo Martin been good enough to win without his main superstar, but he was smart enough to hire the Porters’ dad on the staff to get both sons to come to the school. Nice first year.
In my opinion, I think that Mizzou will be better off when and if MPJ returns but there will be some rust that better teams will exploit. I think they will have a good run in the SEC tourney, lose in the Championship, get a 6 seed, but ultimately lose in the round of 32. But maybe, just maybe, MPJ will get back in the rotation…