Q&A with Michael Porter

KSR had the opportunity to submit questions to incoming freshman Michael Porter who took the time out of his schedule to answer them. Below is a transcript and we hope you readers will find it as informative and enjoyable as I did. All the questions were submitted by readers of KSR and all Micheal Porters replies are his in an unedited form.

Michael Porter- "I will work on whatever is needed to get playing time"

KSR had the opportunity to submit questions to incoming freshman Michael Porter who took the time out of his schedule to answer them. Below is a transcript and we hope you readers will find it as informative and enjoyable as I did. All the questions were submitted by readers of KSR and all Micheal Porters replies are his in an unedited form. Included with the questions are notes and welcomes by the posters.

KSR-Michael, when do you plan on arriving in Lexington? Will you be there early in the summer or do you plan on arriving when fall semester starts?
MP-I plan on attending summer school starting June 8th. I'll get to Lexington June 6th

KSR-Many of us have yet to see you play but have read evaluations by others who have. How would you describe your game? Any players who are similar?
MP-My game in my eyes can not be described by one thing. I can shoot well and I will not back down from anyone. I like to play in your face defense because that creates tempo. A player I like to watch is Steve Nash because he is a game changer.

KSR-Do you possess the running high arch shot to finish over the big guys inside?
MP-Yeah,I actually have been working on it a lot because when I get in the lane I want to be able to throw it up to my big men too.

KSR-Love your outside the arc percentage. Is your stop and pop inside even higher?
MP-I am not sure, however I love the mid range shots.

KSR-What have you worked on the most since the end of your High School Season?
MP-Coming off picks to shoot. Plus a lot of footwork on shots and all that to give myself an advantage over my oppenent when shooting.

KSR-Do you expect to make Tubby's rotation this year?
MP-MOST DEFINITELY expect too! Not trying to sound arrogant, but I will work on whatever is needed to get playing time.

KSR-Would you consider playing football at UK as well?
MP-At this point....I would not.

KSR-How did you choose between the 2 sports?
MP-I love playing basketball everyday. Football was mainly an adreniline rush.

KSR-Is it ture that USC recruited you for football and if so what poistion did they recruit you for? (Welcome aboard and can't wait to see you play).
MP-Yes, you are correct. They were looking at me for safety. By the way...thanks and can't wait to play!

KSR-Do you see yourself as a three point threat?
MP-For sure

KSR-Does you feel like you can become a defensive stopper?
MP-For sure

KSR-Who would you compare his game to? (Big welcome to UK for Michael and his family!)
MP-Like I said I like Steve Nash, but I probably play like Kirk Heinrich. (he's good too) and .. thanks

KSR-Have you had the chance to meet or speak with any of the other incoming freshman? (Michael, WELCOME to Big Blue country! Good luck with the rest of the offseason and we'll see you at Midnight Madness!)
MP-I spoke with Jodie and Perry at Midnight madness and have played against Derrick, who is very good by the way.

KSR-Michael, I just love the mindset you've exhibited based upon past interviews with various media. Please tell the U.K. fanbase what you feel are your strengths and relative areas for improvement as a basketball player.
MP-Strengths= Good shooter from all spots. Tough defense. Good Leadership and discipline.-Weaknesses= I wish I had none....but I could finish in the lane better. I could also be more agressive offensively.

KSR-will you please elaborate on what steps you feel you need to take, and are taking, during the offseason in order to play at the highest Division-1 levels?
MP-I have been shooting any where from 500 - 1000 shots a day. Working on quicker hands when dribling. I have been lifting 4 days a week. Jump soles 2 times a week. And a lot on my core and hip strength.

KSR-If you have to pick the one biggest factor that led you to choose UK, what would it be?
MP-Just one......ahhh the Tradition along with the best Coach along with his staff.

KSR-What would you like to tell UK fans about yourself that no one is likely to ask about in this Q&A session? (Michael, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. In the next few years you will find that your new family will ask a lot of them. Welcome to the Big Blue Nation. I hope you really enjoy your time at UK.)
MP-That's alright, I'm okay answering questions...I have nothing to hide lol. But on a serious note, I am a devoted Christian and give God the glory for everything. I have a girlfriend who lives here in Modesto. I hate losing and will try to win at all costs. The other night, I lost at poker....I was in depression the whole next day. I have high morals, but am not perfect. Umm...I will need help finding a Church.

KSR-What is your true height and weight?
MP-6'3 and weighed in yesterday and 192

KSR-Are you really shooting 1000 jump shots a day as we've read? (Michael, welcome to the home of the Big Blue, the winningest college program in the nation)
MP-Thanks and I'll help keep it the winningest program. And yeah... I shoot a 1000 shots a day most days

KSR-Michael, You may have learned that UK has recently hired a new strength and conditioning coach. Because NCAA rules prohibit individual instruction from the basketball coaching staff over the summer from anyone other than the S&C coach, when do you plan on meeting and working with him? Has he been in contact with you to discuss workout agendas?
MP-I haven't talked to him...but I'm sure the day I get there we'll set something up.

KSR-Who do you compare your game to? And why?
MP-Kirk Heinrich...We shoot a lot alike and just work hard.

KSR-What do you think you need to work on to improve your game?
MP-When I get in the lane. Plus keep working on shooting off picks.

KSR-What goals have you set for yourself, on the court, in your first year at UK?
MP-To do what Coach Smith needs. To do all the little things to get playing time. (Dive on the floor, get steals, hustle points, etc.). And to be the best shooter.

KSR-What are your academic interests at UK? (Welcome to the family, Michael!)
MP-Probably business....Finance maybe. and Thank You

KSR-How's the ankle?
MP-Ankle is better then ever...thanks

KSR-Do you mind splitting the PG responsibilities if a true PG like Derrick Jasper also was in the lineup with you, perhaps to allow you to spot up and shoot? And when you shoot, do you feel better shooting off the dribble or catching and shooting?
MP-That would be awesome if Derrick could do the job great and allow me to be the shooter. I catch and shoot better but I can do both. Either way... he and I will both play I'm sure.

KSR-Also does your Dad plan on moving to Lexington, and if so does he think he might do some coaching in the Kentuckiana area as it would be a awesome thing to have a quality HS coach to raise the talent level in state?
MP-Haha I don't think he will be, but things could change.

KSR-What effects do you think the transition from high school to D=1 college are going to have on your abilities to contribute your freshman year? (Michael, welcome to Kentucky)
MP-Much quicker and more physical. I believe I can handle it. Plus footwork and placement on the court will be very important.

KSR-What basketball player do you compare yourself too and why?
MP-Kirk Heinrich....see above.

KSR-Are YOU a TEAM leader??
MP-Yeah, and I like it.

KSR-Can you contribute as a frosh? How?
MP-Yes, we'll need a shooter and I can do it.

KSR-Since alot of us have not seen you play do you have a web site with video? (Welcome to the Bluegrass Mr. Porter! Home of the best fans in the world!!!!!! Oh and one more thing do you like the color blue cause you are going to see alot of it!!!!)
MP-Yeah I do like blue....and no I don't have a website lol, wish I was cool enough to have one though. By the way, can't wait to play in front of all the fans!

KSR-Michael, as a Cali man myself...aren't you going to miss In-N-out??
MP-For sure man, I just had it last night. I actually love Foster's Freeze too. But I love the food back there, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

KSR-First let me say, welcome to the Bluegrass State Michael. Not that it's "all that" in importance, but in our discussions at KSR about what you bring to the table; the subject of hops came up several times.Some said you had never even attempted a dunk in a game and didn't have the hops to do so. On the other hand I seem to recall your pop saying you had decent hops and could jam with authority when available. For the sake of curiosity could you elaborate on what your physical ability is in that area. Thanks, and remember..
MP-I can definitely dunk... but not over someone. I think my jumping may suprise people.

KSR-Kentucky fans have a reputation of being somewhat unreasonable because of our high expectation (don't worry, we are not that bad ). Do you feel you will be able to handle the criticism?
MP-the criticism part...bring it on...fuels the fire.

KSR-What are your expectations for your career at UK? Do you feel a National Championship is possible? or multiple final fours?
MP-Why not a Championship every year...

KSR-what is your vertical leap and 40 time officially?
MP-Vert= not sure 40= 4.58 last summer

KSR-I do wonder, however, if you'd be willing to elaborate on what some of the key elements were that factored into your decision to concentrate on hoops and leave the west coast for UK. (First, I just want to say welcome aboard, Mr. Porter. Thanks for taking the time to do this and I'm looking forward to seeing you in the Blue and White.)
MP-Thanks and who would not want to attend UK if they got the chance?

KSR-Do you consider yourself a vocal leader or do you lead by example?
MP-Both...

KSR-How do you grade yourself defensively?
MP-10=toughness 9=awareness 10=Desire

KSR-What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the game?
MP-THE game or MY game? The game their is none....My game, I wish I could jump out of the gym.


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