Michael Porter Jr. won’t want for college options when the time comes. But he knows it isn’t here yet.
A five-star forward in the 2017 class, Porter is ranked the No. 2 player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. He’s on Indiana’s recruiting board in the current junior class, but the Hoosiers are hardly his only suitor.
“He has a list of about 18 different schools that he is interested in,” said Rodney Perry, co-founder of Porter’s AAU program, MoKan Elite. “That list ranges anywhere from Indiana, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Washington, across the board.”
According to Perry, IU has a firm foothold among that group.
“They’re very interested in Mike. They’ve been recruiting him for a while now,” Perry said. “I know the interest level is there on Mike’s side as well. We’ve had conversations about (IU) coach (Tom) Crean and the staff there.
“I know he has Indiana pretty high on his list.”
But Porter, who plays high school basketball for Father Tolton in Columbia, Mo., is trying to keep his recruitment on the back burner right now.
At 6-9 and 210 pounds, Porter’s ceiling — according to Perry — isn’t in sight yet.
Playing up an age group this summer let him explore that potential. Perry reeled off a list of skills Porter has been focused on, ranging from ball handling to defense to shooting to cutting down turnovers.
Porter isn’t pigeon-holing himself positionally.
“He’s so gifted that sometimes, things come easy to him,” Perry said. “He’s really trying to make sure that he focuses on the parts of his game that he can really improve on, and then see what happens from there.”
Meanwhile, he’s enjoyed a successful season on the EYBL circuit with MoKan, the same program that produced current IU freshman forward Juwan Morgan. Porter averaged 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds over 19 games, despite being a year younger than most of his opponents. In five games at Peach Jam last weekend, he averaged 20 points and nine rebounds.
Moving up an age group exposed Porter to a more physical style of basketball, one Perry said was an adjustment and showed the 2017 forward how much stronger he needs to be.
But his success also injected new confidence into Porter, who is expected to be one of the most sought-after recruits in his class.
“He still has a lot of goals that he wants to accomplish,” Perry said. “I think now, he really understands, ‘Hey, the sky’s the limit, as long as I keep improving.'”
Indiana is as involved as any school. Perry said Porter is hearing from the “entire staff” in Bloomington, though he mentioned Crean specifically.
The Hoosiers aren’t alone, but Perry emphasized again that Porter’s recruitment isn’t commanding his attention right now.
There’s no rush — Michael Porter Jr. knows he has plenty of time.
“Right now, he’s really concentrating more on what he needs to improve and get better at,” Perry said. “He knows there’s a long time between now and (the end of his recruitment).”
Follow Star reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.