Jontay Porter, the No. 10 player in the Class of 2018 and the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr., the top-ranked freshman in the country, told ESPN he will reclassify and join his brother and his father at Missouri this season.
“This is going to be a special year for Mizzou basketball, and I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity to be a part of it,” Jontay Porter told ESPN on Wednesday. “Playing with Michael was definitely one of the most attractive things about reclassifying. Every team we’ve played on together has had major success, so hopefully that trend continues.”
There is a little more than a year in age difference between the pair. Michael Porter Jr. is a skilled 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward who is projected as the top overall pick in next year’s NBA draft. Jontay, the 6-foot-11, 240-pound younger brother, is a terrific passer and will help bolster the Tigers’ frontcourt.
“He makes everything easier for everybody on the court and that’s one thing that he’s very good with,” Michael Porter Jr. told ESPN of his brother. “He might not fill the stat sheet in term of points, but the way he attacks the game it makes it so much easier. I think him coming here alongside the other players we have here will be ridiculous. I think he’s ready for the college game; he’s played in open gyms with us a few times and really does well. He’s strong, and he really does it all. He can dribble, he’s a really great passer and he can shoot. He’s really a perfect player for any team. But him coming here, you know we have played together forever and we know each other’s games. When we play together, we hardly ever lose so there’s also that.”
New Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin, who took the job this past offseason, hired Michael Porter Sr. as an assistant coach shortly prior to Michael Porter Jr. committed to the Tigers. The elder Porter had been on Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington last season before Romar was fired. He was previously an assistant coach for the Missouri women’s basketball team under his sister-in-law from 2013 to 2016.
Jontay told ESPN it wasn’t an easy decision, but that the pros of playing with his brother at Missouri this season outweighed those of returning to Tolton High, where he played prior to last season when he and his brother starred at Nathan Hale High in Seattle.
Missouri finished 8-24 last season and won just two games in league play, but return their top three scorers: Jordan Barnett, Kevin Puryear and Terrence Phillips. They have added the Porter brothers in addition to two more top-100 freshmen: big man Jeremiah Tilmon and point guard Blake Harris. Canisius grad transfer Kassius Robertson, who has shot more than 40 percent from 3-point range each of the past two seasons, is eligible this season for the Tigers.
“Every time we step on the court this team will fully expect to win,” Jontay said. “Winning a national title is a lofty goal, but if this team clicks the way I think we can there’s no limit to what we can achieve.”