Missouri fans were hoping to see a taste of 5-star phenom Michael Porter Jr. on Saturday night against Kentucky, but it never happened.
The No. 1 overall player for the class of 2017 hasn’t played since the season opener, but was cleared to practice this week after battling back from injury. However, he’s not quite in game shape yet.
Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin was asked about his status after the Tigers took a 88-66 loss in Lexington, and did not want to commit to a timetable for Porter’s return.
Here’s the full update, courtesy of ESPN’s Jeff Borzello
Cuonzo Martin on Michael Porter Jr.: "I don't have a timeline. He wants to play … We have to make sure he's ready to go."
Has practiced once. Will practice again tomorrow. Said MPJ needs to go through some live-game situations to make sure he's healthy, can take physicality.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 25, 2018
Porter doesn’t have a lot to gain from coming back, other than perhaps leading the Tigers deep into the NCAA Tournament if he can get into game shape fast enough. But even without any college tape, he still figures to be a high lottery pick in this summer’s NBA draft.
This latest loss could put Missouri close to the bubble. As of Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket projection, the Tigers are slated to be a No. 7 seed in the East Region. But losers of three straight, they could fall further down the seed line without a win in their last two games.
Missouri closes the season at Vanderbilt and vs Arkansas before competing in the SEC tournament.