Sources say Michael Porter will join Redhawks

Monday, August 16, 2010

Southeast Missouri State basketball fans and other hoops fans in this area who were hoping Michael Porter was going to play for the Redhawks will get their wish.

Several reliable sources have told me that the former Sikeston High School standout is transferring from Missouri State to Southeast.

Southeast coach Dickey Nutt is prohibited by NCAA regulations from commenting until everything is official regarding Porter's transfer, which could be finalized in the next several days.

Porter, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward who graduated from Sikeston High School in 2009, played as a freshman at Missouri State last season. He missed all but six games with a hamstring injury, scoring 23 points and collecting 13 rebounds in limited action.

Porter suffered a hip injury that required surgery during a single-vehicle accident in early June near Springfield, Mo. He reportedly is recovering well.

Landing Porter is a nice coup for Nutt, not only because Porter is a good player with plenty of future potential but also because Nutt wants to sign as many local products as he can, provided they have the necessary talent level.

And it sure can't hurt Southeast's chances of landing Scott County Central senior forward Otto Porter, Michael Porter's cousin who is being sought by major programs but also is being recruited heavily by the Redhawks.

Michael Porter, who also was recruited heavily by Southeast out of high school, will have to sit out the 2010-11 season under NCAA transfer rules, but he will be able to practice with the Redhawks.

Michael Porter will have three or four years of eligibility at Southeast. He was approved for a medical redshirt at Missouri State, which still would have given him four years of eligibility had he remained with that program.

Because the NCAA requires athletes to use their four years of eligibility within a five-year period from when they enter school, Porter's fifth year of school will coincide with his third season of playing for the Redhawks. Southeast could petition the NCAA to grant Porter an additional year for his injury-shortened season.

With guard Derek Thompson leaving the Southeast men's basketball program to be with his ailing mother in Detroit, the Redhawks have two available scholarships.

One will go to Porter, and several sources have told me the other could go to Josh Tabb, a 6-4, 195-pound guard who played three seasons at the University of Tennessee.

Tabb, a Carbondale (Ill.) High School product who began his prep career at Century High School in Ullin, Ill., withdrew from Tennessee in late October to return to Illinois to help care for his sick mother.

That came after Tabb had been suspended indefinitely from team activities Sept. 18. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl gave no reason for Tabb's suspension, other than saying he "hadn't taken care of his business like we expect him to as a senior.''

Tabb, who played both guard positions at Tennessee, started 11 games during the 2008-09 season, averaging 3.4 points and 17.4 minutes per contest while shooting 42.4 percent from 3-point range (14 of 33).

Tabb averaged 1.3 points and 9.3 minutes as a sophomore while averaging 3.5 points and 17.6 minutes as a freshman, when he made three starts.

Known best for the Vols as a defensive stopper, Tabb would have just one season of eligibility at Southeast but he would be able to play this year.

Two former Southeast football standouts received national television exposure Thursday night.

Baltimore reserve linebacker/defensive end Edgar Jones saw plenty of playing time during the Ravens' preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers that was broadcast by ESPN.

And New England offensive lineman Dan Connolly made an ESPN SportsCenter highlight for throwing a key block that helped spring a touchdown during the Patriots' preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Jones is back to his natural defensive position that earned him All-American honors at Southeast after he split time between linebacker and tight end last year. He enters his fourth NFL season.

Connolly, in his sixth NFL season, never had started a game on that level until he made four starts last year. With Pro Bowler Logan Mankins holding out, Connolly is currently the Patriots' starter at left guard.

Jones and Connolly, who made the NFL as undrafted free agents, are among four Southeast products on NFL rosters.

The most established among that group is Eugene Amano, solidly entrenched as a starter on the Tennessee Titans' offensive line. Amano is entering his seventh season after being drafted in the seventh and final round.

Amano, like Jones an All-American at Southeast, started 31 games the past two seasons at left guard before being moved to center this year, a position he also has played for the Titans. He has appeared in all but one game during his NFL career.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson, another former Southeast All-American, is a reserve cornerback with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has played for several teams since joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2005.

The team that beat the Plaza Tire Capahas in the opening round of the National Baseball Congress World Series wound up finishing second during the 32-team event.

The Seattle Studs fell to the Liberal (Kan.) Bee Jays 9-6 in Friday's championship game in Wichita, Kan.

Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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