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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jontay Porter officially reclassifies to class of 2017

The five-star forward, who was ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the recruiting class of 2018, will join the Tigers for the 2017 season.

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Jontay Porter

Courtesy photo by Matt Scott, 247 Sports

Aug. 10, 2017

After several months of waiting, Cuonzo Martin finally has the cherry on top of his first recruiting class as head basketball coach of the Missouri Tigers. On Wednesday night, five-star forward Jontay Porter officially announced via Twitter that he had reclassified to the recruiting class of 2017 and will join the Tigers this fall.

The decision to reclassify comes 80 days after Porter, the brother of the nation’s No. 1 recruit Michael Porter Jr., committed to play for the Tigers in late May. Prior to reclassifying, Rivals.com had the younger Porter ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the class of 2018.

According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, the concept of playing alongside his brother was too hard to pass up and played a significant role in Porter's decision to reclassify.

"Playing with Michael was definitely one of the most attractive things about reclassifying," Porter said per Goodman. "Every team we've played on together has had major success, so hopefully that trend continues."

With his commitment, Porter becomes the sixth addition made to the roster under coach Martin since his hiring in March and only bolsters what was already among one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. According to 247Sports.com, Porter’s commitment makes Missouri the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in the country for 2017.

Porter's decision to join the Tigers in 2017 now provides Missouri’s roster with even more depth in its front court. The 6-foot-10 big man will immediately find himself competing for playing time alongside fellow freshman Jeremiah Tilmon, as well as with junior Kevin Puryear, sophomore Reed Nikko and sophomore Mitchell Smith, who will be returning from a torn ACL.

Whether he starts from the get-go or finds himself coming off the bench, the depth that Porter brings to Missouri gives Martin more flexibility in his rotations. With the Tigers in their best position to compete in the last five years, that added flexibility could prove vital.

Without Jontay, Martin may have been forced to utilize Porter Jr. primarily as a big man, using his size on the interior. The addition of Jontay now gives Martin the opportunity to unleash Porter Jr. as a swing man instead of as an inside force, while employing Jontay and Tilmon as the true big men of his front court. More diverse lineup options for Martin will become increasingly important as the Tigers face stiffer competition in conference play.

As fall training camp nears and basketball season approaches, the addition of the second Porter brother only adds to the mounting expectations for the Tigers' upcoming season.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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