Name: Michael Porter Jr.
Date of birth: 29.06.1998
Team: Missouri Tigers
Due to his great physical profile the 19 year od Michael Porter Jr. is widely known as one of the biggest talents in this years draftclass, who impressed at various events already before even playing one CBB game. He won the MVP of this years McDonald’s All American game and Nike Hoop Summit. 2016 he was the topscorer of the gold medal winning US squad at the FIBA U18 Americas.
After formerly committing to the University of Washington, Porter changed his mind after the Huskies fired their headcoach and took his talents to the University of Missouri. Tigers headcoach Cuonzo Martin did give the entire Porter family a home in Columbia by hiring Michael Porter Sr. as an assistant coach and recruiting his younger, reclassifying son Jontay to the Mizzou team.
Wing with impressive tools
Michael Porter Jr. brings all the tools you want to see from a modern forward hybrid. With his 6’10” and his fairly long arms he is longer and taller than most of the other wing prospects in this class. In addition to this he is extremely mobile, coordinated and fast given his height. In transition he easily storms down thee court and fills lanes to create opportunities for easy baskets. He can even handle the ball a bit and lead the break himself, if he grabs the defensive rebound.
In the halfcourt he often uses his great athletic gifts to finished above the rim:
Generally he shows pretty good instincts in the paint. He has solid timing crashing the board, grabbing offensive rebounds, converting tip-ins or dump-off passes. Porter can also punish missmatches versus smaller opponents in the lowpost with his great footwork and above average touch in this area. This could be an underrated skill for him, if he bulks up a little more.
Porters passing is fine at this point. He isn’t a frequent creator but showed an above average basketball IQ as a passer out off the pick’n’roll and as a high low partner.
If you scout Porter for a bit, you recognize one facet of his game right away – he loves to shot. Given his super clean technique that he something he should keep doing. His shooting motion is quick and fluid, his release is fairly high.
His one weakness shootingwise are catch’n’shoot situations at this point. Porter’s setup changes and becomes a little slower if he doesn’t create his shooting opportunity himself. But besides this small flaw he has great potential as a shooter. His FT% was above 80% last year. In High School he hit over 40% from behind the arc. But if we look at his FIBA U18 Americas performance (30 3P% we can see he is not there yet completely and needs to add some consistency.
Work in progress
Shooting consistency will be the first area Porter needs to improve in, since he creates most of his value via scoring. Secondly he has to improve his decision making. Finding the right choice between a jumper, penetration or a postup doesn’t always come natural to him, more experience should lead to better better decisions and increased efficiency. Thirdly he desperately has to work on his offball game. Right now his movements without the ball in hand don’t create any value for his team. He doesn’t always space properly. His feel for cuts is subpar. This creates a lot of problems for lineups with two traditional bigs, like his coach Martin loves to run. Something to keep an eye on during the season. We already know that he should be used as a college four, but it would be nice if he works as a three at least a little bit as well.
Porter’s biggest problems manifest themselves on the defensive end. He usually doesn’t use a proper stance which makes him defend with a pretty high center of gravity. This decreases his lateral speed and overall stability. His closeouts are either rushed or too passive. He brings no value as a helper and often loses his man if he is cutting since he is ball watching most of the time when defending. He is weak at recognizing weakside actions or rotation schemes in general. As a rebounder he is below average. Better technique and added core strength could help him a lot as a one on one defender. For his overall defensive awareness Porter needs to study film and get coached pretty hard. Luckily for him Martin usually has his focus on this side of the ball.
Future #1 pick?
Porter is a super talented scorer at this point, who has a solid work ethic if you can believe the media. Combining this with his elite athletic tools he definitetly is one of the frontrunners for the #1 pick in 2018. But too make him the odds on favorite right now seems to be a little farfetched since there are too many areas he needs to improve on to be a surefire superstar prospect.
Michael Porter Jr. is the most talented scorer of this class. As a natural bucket getter he can be compared to Kevin Durant and Joe Johnson. Time will tell how multi dimensional and efficient is offensive game already really is. To justify the hype he is getting right now he better shows some signs that he can be a solid creator for teammates or an above average defender as well.
Senior Season (Nathan Hale): 37 PPG, 14,3 RPG, 2,6 APG, 0,9 SPG, 0,5 BPG, 53 FG%
McDonalds All-American 2017: 17 P, 8 R, 0 Ass and 1 Stl in 21 Min (MVP)
Nike Hoop Summit 2017: 19 P, 4 R, 0 Ast, 1 Blk and 1 Stl in 23 Min (MVP)
FIBA U18 Americas 2016: 15,8 PPG, 5,6 RPG, 2,4 APG, 53 FG% (6,4/12), 30 TP% (1,2/4)
He is one of the older freshmen in CBB.
Will play together with his younger brother Jontay who reclassified late this summer.