MPJ: Michael Porter Jr. to return in SEC tournament

Mizzou's Michael Porter Jr. to play in SEC Tournament, coach Cuonzo Martin says

Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has confirmed that freshman Michael Porter Jr. will play in the SEC Tournament.

Porter was on the court for just two minutes in Mizzou's season opener against Iowa State in November before he left with a hip injury. Porter's ability to put the ball in the basket from anywhere helped create all the notoriety, and that's what made the news of his surgery so upsetting.

Asked whether he expects Geist to play Thursday, Martin said only "I hope so".

"If he's healthy, we're rolling", Martin added. "Unless the trainer or Mike says otherwise, he's playing". The Tigers went 20-11 without Porter and now are projected to be a No. 8 seed in The Big Dance, but his return gives them the look of the top 15 team they were projected to be before the season started.

In that game, Porter's versatility and playmaking was on display.

Martin's squad will await the victor of the first round matchup between Georgia and Vanderbilt. His doctor gave him the okay to return to basketball in late February 2018.

After finishing the regular season with a 20-11 record, Missouri is now projected as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament by ESPN's Joe Lunardi.

Considered a lottery pick in this year's NBA Draft if he declares, Porter's presence suddenly makes a good Missouri team (20-11, 10-8 in the SEC) even more of a threat, says Kentucky coach John Calipari.

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