Michael Porter Jr was one of the most anticipated talents heading into this season. Expected to be a top 5 lottery pick, the #1 recruit in the country is a one of a kind talent. He was set to bring Missouri back from consecutive years of struggling. So, one could only imagine how Mizzou fans felt when Porter suffered a hip injury in the first 2 minutes of the season opener. Requiring spinal surgery, he was expected to be out for the entire season. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Wednesday afternoon at the Scottrade Center, the Tigers were holding their first practice before the matchup against Georgia in the SEC tournament when Porter came out and started putting up jumpers. With such a beautiful shot, one would’ve never thought he’s been out all year. Not to mention the fact that he drilled 15 consecutive three pointers. Porter is ready to go and at the best time possible. March.

After losing Porter in the opener, Missouri was expected to once again be at the bottom of the SEC but, the Tigers proved otherwise. Mizzou finished 4th in one of the toughest conferences in basketball this year. The Tigers finished the regular season 20-11 (10-8) with a handful of quality wins on the resume. Just a year ago this same team went 8-24. Quite the impressive turnaround and it was all without their star small forward. In fact, I would argue Mizzou is even better than their record shows. The Tigers have suffered some incredibly close and heartbreaking losses this season where they looked like the better team for 35 of 40 minutes of the game but couldn’t quite finish. To put it short, this team is a lot better than they get credit for and with Michael Porter Jr returning, they could elevate into one the deadliest dark horse teams come March Madness time.

If you’re near a TV at 3:00 pm EST Thursday afternoon, I highly recommend tuning into SEC Network to witness the return of Michael Porter Jr.

– Collin Borron (Founder & Owner of The Gridiron Express)

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