UW’s release of Lorenzo Romar raised eyebrows. Did Romar’s dismissal hinge upon reported flight risk of Michael Porter Jr. to follow his father to the University of Missouri?
Michael Porter Jr. planned to play for the University of Washington Husky basketball program in 2017. Those intentions have not officially changed. On one hand, the dominoes impacting the future are already in place. On the other hand, those dominoes are already toppling.
It began on March 5, 2017, on that date the University of Missouri announced firing head coach Kim Anderson after three losing seasons. To fill the void, Missouri recruited University of California head coach Cuonzo Martin to become their head coach. The official press conference announcement designating Martin as Missouri’s 19th men’s basketball coach happens at a 4 p.m. Monday press conference at Mizzou Arena.
Porters Linked to Missouri Now
Since there is a delay in the official announcement of Martin as head coach, that has provided opportunity for speculation about who would join his coaching staff. Michael Porter Sr. immediately surfaced as a coaching prospect under consideration. In fact, the connection to Martin occured almost immediately afterwards.
But word of this has already reached the ear of UW Athletic Director Jennifer Cohen. Cohen has already denied the rumor.
In the aftermath, there will be misinformation until valid information arrives. Stories will surface and stories will be snuffed down. But dismissing UW men’s basketball head coach Lorenzo Romar opens the door to unwanted repercussions. The most immediately risk falls upon the recruiting class of 2017. On one hand, the news impacted current and future players almost immediately. On the other hand, the program has already appointed Will Conroy to serve as the interim head coach to avert immediate desertion. But that has not addressed Michael Porter Jr.’s future.
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Right now, Michael Porter Jr. is seen by many as the top NCAA basketball recruit of the class of 2017. In the very competitive field of NCAA athletics, that creates a great deal of incentives to recruit the young man.
Like Father Like Son
The University of Washington hired his father, Michael Porter Sr as an assistant head coach at a salary far greater than the national average, and higher than other coaches on the staff with similar responsibilities.
But, the perk of Coach Porter was the commitment of two sons, Michael and Jontay, to the program. Now, that commitment is gone, Jontay has decided to reopen his recruitment.
It’s clear that the University of Washington Husky basketball recruitment class is at risk of taking a step back. Michael Porter Jr. may follow father and brother to Missouri or elsewhere. But that is often the path forward – first taking that step back. While disappointing in the short term, it’s best for the basketball program overall.