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Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. worked his way to the court following back surgery, but some folks around the NBA have harsh views on the 19-year-old following the Tigers’ first-round NCAA tournament loss.
According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, one scout described Porter as “soft.” Another wondered why he didn’t return to the court sooner; others viewed him as “too cool.”
Porter was just two minutes into his Mizzou debut when he had to leave injured, and he had spinal surgery in November.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, his return didn’t produce positive results. They went 0-2, losing in both the second round of the SEC tournament and the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Porter scored 28 points on 31 percent shooting and 30 percent from beyond the arc, adding 18 rebounds over two games.
Although his shooting stroke was rusty, he did haul in 18 rebounds over two games.
It would have been unfair to ask Porter to be on top of his game after missing nearly five months with a serious injury. Not only that, but he was also thrown into the fire of postseason play. That’s a tough ask of a 19-year-old.
247 Sports ranked him as the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2017, and he entered the season widely viewed as one of the top prospects for the 2018 NBA draft. Prior to the NCAA tournament, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman ranked Porter as the seventh-best prospect in the field.