Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. Will Return For SEC Tournament

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National Basketball Association draft lottery-bound Michael Porter is back just in time for Missouri to make a March Madness push, though the team fell, 62-60, to Georgia in the SEC Tournament.

The 6-foot-10 Porter was rated the No. 1 freshman in the country coming into the season.

Mizzou can now proceed to the tournament that really matters with some knowledge of what Porter can and can't do after recovering from November back surgery.

"I think we'll be fine because they got a chance to play with him", said Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin. Meanwhile, Porter's 17 shot attempts were the most by a Mizzou player in a regulation game since Robertson shot 18 times against IL on December 23. "And I'd be surprised if he plays 30 minutes of the game".

Finebaum tweeted: "He said "Coach, I want to help the team".for me it was always Mike's decision to play or not play.".

"If he's healthy enough to roll, he's playing", Martin said.

Fifth-seeded Missouri (20-11) faces the victor of Wednesday's Georgia-Vanderbilt game at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

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With seven seconds left on the clock and Mizzou down two, Jordan Geist looked toward Michael Porter Jr. on his right but dribbled to his left and passed to Kassius Robertson beyond the three-point arc.

But then the Tigers survived, knocking off No. 18 Tennessee and No. 23 Florida, and it was Jontay Porter who established himself as one of Missouri's best players. Georgia missed a jumper, leading to Jontay Porter finding his big bro in transition for Michael's first points of the day-Pandemonium.

Numerous statistics between the teams were relatively even. But it doesn't seem to be affecting the team, as they are the fifth seed in this week's conference tournament and will most likely reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. Porter Jr. finished 5 of 17 from the field with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Whether Missouri sees four-game-losing-streak Kentucky or four-game-win-streak Kentucky on Friday remains to be seen (as does whether Missouri sees Kentucky on Friday at all) - but one player stands out as a must-slow-down for the Tigers.

"Coach (Avery Johnson) just told me to race it up the floor to get to the basket", Sexton said.

Even with his injury, many National Basketball Association draft analysts have Porter going in the high lottery because of how grand his upside is.