JOHN: UK gets first 2006 committment

The Kentucky Wildcats gained their first commitment from the 2006 class on Tuesday. Michael Porter, 6-foot-3, 190 lb. guard from Modesto Christian High School in Modesto, California, declared his intentions to play basketball for Kentucky. KSR interviewed his father and coach, Gary Porter, about the decision.

The Kentucky Wildcats gained their first commitment from the 2006 class on Tuesday. Michael Porter, 6-foot-3, 190 lb. guard from Modesto Christian High School in Modesto, California, declared his intentions to play basketball for Kentucky.

"I can't tell you how excited Michael is," said his coach and father, Gary Porter, "he wanted to stay close to home and play locally, but what kid could say no to Kentucky? He is absolutely thrilled. He is living a dream right now."

The events leading up to the commitment came about fast. Just last week Michael was flying out to Lexington to take his visit and less than a week later the decision is made, "It happened so fast it made your head spin," coach Porter said, "but there was no use in sitting on it. His mind was made up. He knew what he wanted to do."

So what made Michael decide so quickly?

"He was just so impressed with the school, the facilities, the lodge and the coaches," Porter said, "they made him feel really special. He was just walking on air. And the people? It seems every fan out there knows basketball and their passionate. He absolutely loved it."

Michael's name stirred some controversy in Wildcat land. Michael's name was not known to a lot of fans that follow recruiting through ranking services, "That's true," Porter said, "but Tubby Smith knows Michael and has known him for some time through Chuck Hayes. He knows Michael is a really tough defender and will be a team player and will do whatever the coach asks."

"Michael is a really strong kid," Porter continued, "he is defensively minded. On offense, he thinks pass first. He gets the ball down the court quickly and gets the ball where it needs to go. He is completely unselfish but he can score. When Adrian broke out this year, a lot of people forgot that Michael has scored 15 ppg, 17 ppg and 16 ppg in his three seasons. He has already broken our school records for assists and steals. He is a Tubby Smith kind of player."

Indeed, those qualities are characteristic of the kind of player Tubby loves on the court, "And as I coach I can also speculate on what else might attract Tubby to Michael," Porter added, "he will be a four year player, for one thing. He will not come in with demands for playing time. He will be happy to contribute any way he can. If that means 3 minutes or 10 minutes or 20 minutes a game, he will not complain. It's just not in him. He is level headed and mature. I am a little biased of course, but I think Kentucky fans are gonna just love him to death."

So what about Michael's teammate, Adrian Oliver?

"I hope he goes to Kentucky with Michael," Porter said, "I loved to see those two together out there, and it could happen. But once again, (Washington coach) Lorenzo Romar has developed a strong relationship with him and I know he really likes Washington. Still, he also loved his trip to Kentucky and with Michael going there now, who knows. We'll know more after the visit."


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