Mizzou basketball fans have long had Michael Porter, Jr. on their minds. The team has held up without him, but how good could they be with him? MPJ broke his silence on his recovery today. You can find a lot of his comments in Dave Matter’s Post Dispatch article.
So the question is now being posed, if he can play, should he? He had serious back surgery that was expected to keep him out for the season. Should he risk his future by playing? Would it all be worth it? I think that’s completely up to him.
I don’t like the question that’s being posed by many analysts. Should Cuonzo Martin play him? Would he benefit by playing him? All the questions have revolved around what Cuonzo should do, not what MPJ wants to do.
It’s very evident that he wants to play. There’s no question about it. So if he’s cleared, why not? I don’t take Cuonzo’s judgement out of the picture. If Cuonzo doesn’t think he’s up to game speed, that’s completely fine too.
Here’s what I think Cuonzo should do. Obviously you’ve got to sit down with MPJ. You tell him that you think the team could benefit with his play. If he’s cleared and he doesn’t want to play, that’s an understandable choice and you respect that. His future in basketball is far more important than what he can do for Mizzou. But if he wants to play, you’ve got to let the kid play.
You don’t want to throw him out there and give him 30 minutes in his first game back. Obviously you’re going to want to cut his minutes and work him into the role. I, personally, would cap his play time at 10 minutes at the very most in his first game back.
The reality is MPJ is 19 years old. He should be able to make decisions for himself. If he’s willing to risk further injury and potentially hurt his draft stock in doing so, let him do it.
I think adding MPJ would greatly help the team. Depending on when he could get back, his presence could elevate Mizzou to an SEC Championship team. They’re already in a tie for 4th place as it is without him. Adding a potential lottery pick in the NBA Draft to the mix would greatly help things.
I have fallen victim to the noise and a lot of Mizzou fans have too. But now, I think it’s time we move on. The focus should be the team Mizzou has now and what they can do. If MPJ plays this season, great. If not, it’s a logical move that makes a lot of sense.
Mizzou has already doubled their win total from last season. The team is special. Let’s see what they can do. If MPJ is added to the mix, that’s only icing on the cake.