Before the season began, Missouri’s stud freshman, Michael Porter Jr., was the number one draft pick according to many analysts. Following two minutes against Iowa State in a game that was supposed to be his coming out party, he was one of one from the field and two rebounds, he suffered a back injury that required surgery. The initial news said he would not return this season, but the buzz about halfway through told a different tale. Two weeks ago this article was written by CJ Moore of The Athletic. Finally yesterday, the buzz turned into a reality.
Michael Porter Jr. has been cleared for all basketball activities. pic.twitter.com/aceZs9ZYtE
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 22, 2018
With so much bad news this college hoops season, this glimmer of hope is more than welcome in the hoops fan community. For a moment, the hoops world can turn their minds away from the endless amounts of scandal and pay attention to something else. Fans aren’t the only ones excited about Porter’s return. His brother tweeted this out following the news:
— Jontay Porter (@JontayPorter) February 22, 2018
Along with showing Jontay is already on an NBA level of emoji use, this is probably only a small picture of the excitement present in the Missouri locker room. It’s understandable why based on the squad head coach Cuonzo Martin would be putting on the floor.
At any given time this could be #Mizzou's lineup
Kassius Robertson 6'3
Jordan Barnett 6'7
Michael Porter Jr 6'10
Jontay Porter 6'11
Jeremiah Tilmon 6'10
That's some serious length to deal with.
— T.J. Moe (@TJMoe28) February 22, 2018
Of course, there are those taking the scrooge-like direction. Like this article from my mortal nemesis, Bleacher Report.
I see the concept of this article. It’s a practical approach to a problem regarding a young player’s future. A complication with the back injury could be detrimental to the rest of his career. But imagine seeing the news “Michael Porter Jr. cleared medically to play basketball” and your first thought is, “He shouldn’t do it, that’s stupid.”
Instead, focus on the hope. Although this report does not mean Porter will see the floor during a college game, the possibility is enough for endless excitement. And the consequences are far-reaching. Missouri’s tournament stock would automatically rise. Martin’s squad would see their chances for a conference tournament title spike. The first pick of the draft would again be up in the air. All because of an eighteen year old kid whose spine healed faster than the nation expected.