This has been a highly talked about game given the recent return of Michael Porter Jr., arguably one of the most talked about recruits before falling to a back injury and missing most of the season. We will see if adding him to an already hot handed Kassius Robertson is enough to topple the slightly better by record Florida State Seminoles sitting at 20-11, but losing three of their last four including to Louisville who is a no show in this year’s NCAA tournament.
No doubt this team can go on a run; however, with a ten-strong rotation ready to support their stars Terance Mann and Phil Cofer. Can Porter Jr. come on this late in the season and lead against an ACC war hardened group such as the Seminoles? Mizzou had a terrible first half or did FSU have a great first half, considering how the Tigers came out in the second I’d say it was the latter. After going on a 10-0 run FSU finally hit again and got the score to 50-35 with 14 to play.
FSU let a 22-point lead slide to 50-39 with a rallying Missouri team behind Porter Jr. Mizzou within 11 at the eleven-min mark when, Robinson hit his sixth three to bring the Tigers within eight and in the bonus with the ball. After shooting 30 % in the first the Tigers shot 60% in the second and it showed. FSU didn’t hit a shot for five minutes to put it at 52-44 with nine minutes.
Porter Jr. started to fatigue quickly, no doubt his cardio hasn’t caught up since his injury. I wondered if his cardio would a factor and its looked as if it is starting too. Nearing the seven-minute mark, Florida State went on a 11-0 run to balloon back out to a 61-44 lead. The Seminoles started to pull away around the five-minute mark, their cardio was just superior to the Tigers with a fresh off injury Porter Jr. and a Robinson who while hot handed all night didn’t get much rest. Porter Jr. will be hard to judge for the scouts tonight, while there are glimpses of greatness it just isn’t enough to the body of work at this level. I hope he returns next season and continues to develop with the Tigers.
Missouri got as close as six but Florida State stayed with their game plan and out lasted the short drive by the Tigers at two minutes the Seminoles held a 67-52 lead and Porter Jr, left the game for maybe the last time as a collegiate basketball player. Impressive by Florida State to win 67-54 and hold Missouri to a season low scouring performance as they advance for the chance to stay in the dance against Xavier Sunday.
HMG Guest Writer: Stephen Eugene