Missouri forward Jontay Porter will put off his early jump to the NBA and return for his sophomore season with the Tigers.
The team announced the news via a press release Wednesday afternoon.
“We are excited that Jontay will return. He had a great experience going through the pre-draft process, got the feedback that he needed to do what is best for him and he will learn from it to improve in all areas of his game,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said in the release. “Jontay has the potential to make a big jump from his freshman season and he’ll be a great leader for us on and off the court next year.”
Porter was a staple of a Missouri team that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2018, averaging 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a freshman. He helped stretch the floor for the Tigers as well, shooting 36.4 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
The 2017-18 SEC co-sixth man of the year will have his minutes dramatically increased due to seniors Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett leaving, as well as his brother, Michael Porter Jr. Given more of an opportunity to showcase his talents, Porter could very well be a dark horse for the 2018-19 SEC Player of the Year award.
Porter will serve as the key cog both offensively and defensively for a young but talented group that includes highly-touted recruits by the likes of sophomore Jeremiah Tilmon (#43 player in class of 2017) and highly-touted freshmen Torrence Watson (#74 player in class of 2018) and Xavier Pinson (#40 ranked PG in 2018).
For Missouri fans, Porter’s decision provides hope for another NCAA Tournament berth in 2019 as Martin and the Tigers look to continue to keep the positivity growing surrounding the program.
Jack Parodi covers the Missouri Tigers and you can find him on Twitter @jack_parodi