Missouri has the Southeastern Conference’s preseason men’s basketball player of the year. So does Texas A&M. And so does Georgia.
The conference announced at its SEC Tipoff event Wednesday that freshman Michael Porter Jr., Mizzou’s heralded recruit and the potential No. 1 pick in the next NBA Draft, finished in a three-way tie for the award with Yante Maten of Georgia and Robert Williams of Texas A&M.
Porter Jr., a 6-foot-10 forward, is Missouri’s sole representative on the preseason All-SEC team. Porter Jr., Maten, Williams, Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo and KeVaughn Allen make up the first-team roster. The team was voted on by media who cover the SEC.
Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said he doesn’t have to worry too much about managing the hype and expectations around Porter Jr., one of the top recruits in the country. Porter Jr.’s father is on the coaching staff, which Martin said helps, as does having the rest of his immediate family in Columbia. His brother Jontay is also a freshman on the team, and his two elder sisters are part of the women’s basketball program.
“Mike is a guy who is always in the gym, he’s at home with his family, he’s in the classroom,” Martin said. “So he’s not a guy who is all over the place where you have to hover around him every five minutes. … He’s been through it before. It’s not like he’s the No. 1 player and it happened two weeks ago. He’s had a chance to go through it. Obviously this is a different level when you get to this level. But he’s done a good job with it.”
Kentucky was picked to win the SEC, followed by Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama and Mizzou.
Preseason All-SEC men’s basketball team
KeVaughn Allen, Florida, G, 6-2, 193, Jr., Little Rock, Ark.
Yante Maten, Georgia, F, 6-8, 243, Sr., Pontiac, Mich.
Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky, G, 6-5, 198, R-Fr., Queens, N.Y.
Michael Porter Jr., Missouri, F, 6-10, 215, Fr., Columbia
Robert Williams, Texas A&M, F, 6-10, 241, So., Oil City, La.
Collin Sexton, Alabama, G, 6-3, 190, Fr., Mableton, Ga.
Kevin Knox, Kentucky, F, 6-9, 215, Fr., Tampa, Fla.
Terence Davis, Mississippi, G, 6-4, 201, Jr., Southaven, Miss.
Deandre Burnett, Mississippi, G, 6-2, 192, Sr., Miami Gardens, Fla.
Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State, G, 6-4, 205, Jr., Canton, Miss.
Tyler Davis, Texas A&M, C, 6-10, 266, Jr., Plano, Texas
Matthew Fisher-Davis, Vanderbilt, G/F, 6-5, 186, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.
Preseason media poll
3. Texas A&M
11. South Carolina
12. Mississippi State