Cuonzo Martin was formally introduced as the men’s basketball coach at Missouri on Monday.
And yes, the former Cal coach said all the right things on Day 1 as would be expected of a new coach.
“This is a special day to me. It feels like home.”
“I just felt like we could be the last team standing with the fan base, the tradition and the history.”
“If Missouri plans to keep me for 20 years, then I plan to be here for 20 years. This is it for me.”
Missouri “is not just a national brand, its a worldwide brand.”
Martin’s contract is for seven years and $21 million guaranteed.
But beyond Martin himself, a lot of attention was on the potential makeup of his coaching staff. Martin’s contract allows him to spend $1.1 million on staff, which includes support positions beyond assistant coaches. The total will be spread among six positions.
The question on many people’s minds is whether some of that money is going to Michael Porter Sr., a former Washington assistant coach. Porter had been on Lorenzo Romar’s staff before he was fired last week.
Porter’s move to Missouri could mean that his sons who helped Nathan Hale (Seattle) win a state title could follow him. All-American Michael Jr., a 6-9 forward, is considered the No. 1 player in the Class of 2017. Jontay, also a forward, is expected to reclassify to the Class of 2017.
Both intended to play at Washington for Romar, Michael’s godfather.
Michael signed a letter of intent with Washington in the fall, but school officials have said they would release any player who asked for it following Romar’s firing. Porter removed the words “Washington commit” from his Twitter bio over the last few days.
When the question was put to Martin about the Porter family, he said this, “Per NCAA rules, I can’t about recruiting.”
“One thing I try to do is respect everyone’s privacy,” he said. “Not trying to be evasive, but out of respect to the current coaches and out of respect to my guys, I want to be careful there. But I being that he was a coach at Washington, I do know who he is, yes.”
He also wouldn’t specifically say whether he has agreements with anyone to be part of the staff.
Athletic director Jim Sterk said, “He’s not talking (about) that yet. But he’ll get there shortly.”