Women's season ends, Jontay Porter re-tears ACL
March 25, 2019- Issue #17
Missouri forward Jeremiah Tilmon dunks over Kentucky guard Tyler Herro on Feb. 19 at Mizzou Arena. Source: N. Andrew Dent III/Missourian
Missouri's Jontay Porter dunks the ball during a preseason inter-squad scrimmage. Porter tore his ACL before the season started and re-tore it this past week while rehabbing in Denver. Source: Bailey Valadez/Missourian
- While rehabbing the ACL that kept him out for the entire 2018-2019 season, Missouri sophomore forward Jontay Porter re-tore the ligament over the weekend, according to the Kansas City Star.
- It is devastating news for the young power forward with tremendous potential. Porter, 6'11", was likely going to declare for the NBA Draft rather than return to Mizzou for his junior season. It is unclear how the latest injury will impact that decision.
- The injury adds to an odd trend with the Porter family. Jontay Porter's brother Michael Porter, Jr. suffered a back injury that cost him most of last season with Mizzou. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets last June, but has not played for Denver due to the injury. Jontay Porter's sister, Cierra Porter, also had knee injuries which forced her to medically retire after her junior season at Mizzou. However, she came out of retirement during the middle of this season and became the SEC's Sixth Woman of the Year.
Missouri's Torrence Watson battles through the defense of Auburn's Bryce Brown. Source: Mark Humphrey/AP Photo
- The Missouri Tigers will bring back a large portion of this season's roster for the 2019-2020 season. The departures of Jordan Geist and Kevin Puryear will certainly hurt, but the Tigers will return 13 players.
- Xavier Pinson, Javon Pickett, and Torrence Watson will likely be asked to step into bigger roles, and incoming recruits Mario McKinney Jr. (St. Louis) and LaTrayvion Jackson (Detroit) are expected to make immediate impacts. Dru Smith, who sat this season out due to transfer rules, will be able to play next season as well.
- If Jontay Porter returns and is healthy for the season, he will be the team's best player and unquestioned leader. If he declares for the NBA Draft, however, Mark Smith, Xavier Pinson and Javon Pickett will be asked to step into larger leadership roles with the departures of Geist and Puryear.
- With a strong returning core and exciting new recruits, it's not outlandish to think the Tigers could finish in the top half of the SEC standings next season and potentially earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
Missouri guard Jordan Roundtree wipes her tears after Mizzou''s loss to Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Source: Sarai Vega/Missourian
Missouri's Cierra Porter, Lauren Aldridge and Haley Troup get emotional after realizing the game against Iowa is out of reach and the season over. The Tigers lost 68-52 to Iowa on Sunday afternoon. Source: Sarai Vega/Missourian
- The Missouri Tigers' season came to an end on Sunday afternoon as the team lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes 68-52. The Tigers kept it close for most of the game, but Iowa, playing at home, pulled away in the end with a strong fourth quarter.
- The loss marks the end of a strong season for the Tigers and the program-changing careers of seniors Sophie Cunningham, Lauren Aldridge, and Cierra Porter.
- “This senior class has been so incredibly special to the University of Missouri, on the court and off the court,” coach Robin Pingeton said after the game. “They’ve paved a heck of a road for the kids to follow.”
- Porter, Aldridge, and Cunningham all struggled on Sunday afternoon. Cunningham finished with just eight points. Porter added nine points on 10 shot attempts, and Aldridge scored six points.
- Amber Smith kept the Tigers in it, leading the way with 21 points. Smith figures to be a go-to player for Missouri next season.
Missouri's Cierra Porter drives to the basket past Drake's Sara Rhine during a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Iowa City, Iowa. Source: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo
- It was a thriller on Friday afternoon as the Missouri Tigers defeated the Drake Bulldogs 77-76 in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Missouri's Jordan Roundtree heaved up a desperation three for the win with one second left in overtime. The shot missed, but Roundtree was fouled. She went to the line and made one of the three free throws, enough to play hero and win the game for the Tigers.
- The game was an instant classic as the two teams went back and forth all afternoon long. The overtime period opened up with four straight threes. Later, both Cierra Porter and Sophie Cunningham fouled out. Double overtime would have been quite a challenge without either Cunningham or Porter, and Roundtree was able to deliver the win for Mizzou and avoid a second overtime.
- Cunningham finished with 21 points in the win and Porter added 18 and four rebounds. The win set up Sunday's match-up with Iowa.
NEXT YEAR PREVIEW:
Missouri head coach Robin Pingeton yells instructions to her team on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The Tigers' season ended with Sunday's loss to Iowa.
- The Tigers finish the 2018-2019 season with a 25-12 record (1-1 in tournament). The end of the season also marks the end of the Sophie Cunningham era for Mizzou. Cunningham, a hometown hero from Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, finishes as the program's all-time leading scorer and one of the greatest and most beloved players in Mizzou women's basketball history.
- Mizzou does have a lot of talented pieces returning to next season's roster. Amber Smith, Jordan Roundtree and Akira Levy will be important pieces for Mizzou in replacing the losses of Cunningham and fellow seniors Cierra Porter and Lauren Aldridge.
- The Tigers will also welcome one of the most talented recruiting classes in program history as Aijha Blackwell and Hayley Frank make their way to Columbia. Blackwell is the eighth ranked player in the country for the class of 2019 and figures to be a superstar in women's college hoops. Frank has won four straight state championships at Strafford High School near Springfield and was named the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Missouri.
- Head coach Robin Pingeton has the program trending in the right direction, and another NCAA Tournament berth is likely for the Missouri Tigers is next season.
It's time to say goodbye as the basketball season is officially over for both the men's and women's teams. Source: Giphy
Due to the conclusion of both the men's and women's seasons, this will be the final weekly issue of the Full Court Press newsletter until next season. We would like to thank you for trusting us for the latest Mizzou hoops news. Please keep an eye out for special editions of the Full Court Press newsletter throughout the offseason. We look forward to bringing you all the updates and analysis next season.
- Kevin Puryear is just the second men's basketball player since 2013 to stay at Mizzou all four years on scholarship. Who is the other? (answer at the bottom of this newsletter, beneath the bylines)
Twitter Poll: As we look ahead to next season, which incoming recruit are you most excited about? Vote on Twitter: @FullCourtMizzou
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The Full Court Press Team:
Andrew Moore - News writer and graphic designer
Molly Jackson - News writer
Tyler Driesenga - Managing editor
**Trivia Answer: Ryan Rosburg (2013-2016)