Otto Porter Jr.’s prospects as a pro player rose so high this season, as the 6-foot-8 sophomore forward led Georgetown to a share of the Big East title and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, that it’s difficult to imagine him improving his standing by staying on the Hilltop for a third season.
That’s part of the calculus Porter worked through with his parents these last weeks, as the national honors rolled in and the more respected NBA draft boards projected the Big East player of the year as a top-five pick in the June 27 draft.
On Monday, Porter will announce whether he’ll declare for the 2013 draft during a 3 p.m. news conference at McDonough Arena, which will include Big East coach of the year John Thompson III.
“I really can’t elaborate other than the fact that he’ll make that announcement tomorrow,” said his father, Otto Porter Sr., in a telephone interview Sunday night. “He was home and we discussed it. We pretty much came to the same conclusion.”
From a business standpoint, as a certain lottery pick, it would be difficult for Porter to choose to stay in school another year.
According to one NBA scout, Porter is widely viewed as a hard worker who battles on both ends of the court and boasts a complete game. Moreover, the 205-pound Porter is regarded as a grounded young man who takes coaching well and should only improve as he gains bulk and strength.
Though Porter didn’t generate much buzz when the 2012-13 college basketball season opened, he commanded the spotlight by its end, named one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, which recognizes college basketball’s player of the year (along with Michigan’s Trey Burke, who announced Sunday he’ll enter the upcoming NBA draft; Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo). Porter was also a first-team all-American.
As Georgetown’s leading scorer (16.2 points per game) and rebounder (7.5), Porter helped lead the 25-7 Hoyas, unranked at the start of the season, to 11 consecutive victories, No. 5 in the national rankings (after being picked to finish fifth in the Big East) and a share of the Big East regular season title.
Neither Porter nor the Hoyas played to their potential in the NCAA tournament, falling in the first round to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, but that loss should have no bearing on Porter’s draft-day standing. While a dazzling tournament run might boost an NBA prospect’s stock, his team’s early ouster isn’t viewed as undercutting a season’s worth of accomplishment or obvious potential down the road.