Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. 'hurting for the team' after loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. said after the Tigers' 67-54 loss to Florida State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament that he isn't ready to consider whether to enter the NBA draft.

"I'm not thinking about that right now," he said. "I'm thinking about my team."

Porter, a 6-foot-10 forward whom many expect to be a lottery pick, was distraught after his team's loss to the Seminoles. As the game ended, he held a towel to his face, wiping tears from his eyes.

His father, Missouri assistant coach Michael Porter Sr., told ESPN that he didn't want his son to make a decision on his future during such an emotional time. In fact, he said that his son wants to make a decision, but "we're holding him back."

"That decision has not been made," Michael Sr. said. "We aren't going to talk about it tomorrow, or tonight either. We're going to take some time because there's a lot of emotion right now. This isn't a decision that needs to be an emotional one."

Porter Jr. said that he was "frustrated" by his play, making just 4 of 12 shots he attempted from the floor. In just his second game back from back surgery, he said he second-guessed himself.

"I'm just hurting for the team," he said. "I don't know how to put this feeling into words, but it's a feeling I don't want to feel anymore."

He added: "I honestly did the best I could do."

Porter, who injured his back two minutes into the first game of the season and missed the entire regular season recovering, estimated that he was roughly 65-70 percent of his normal ability against Florida State. Doctors assured him that he couldn't cause any more pain to his back, he said, but his conditioning and burst were still lagging behind.

"It's really difficult from the fact that I think I can do certain things right now that I can't do," he said. "That's the toughest part for me, individually, that I can't do some of the things I could do before. But I honestly think this is a blessing in disguise, the surgery and everything, because I'm out of pain now, and I was in pain for a couple of years. So that's an exciting thing I can take from it: I see the potential."