"It was really awesome playing here. I learned so much about my game," said Porter. "I always had to be ready. I never knew for sure when I would play. Some games I was needed, some games I was snot. I did not necessarily know when that would be, so I always had to stay prepared. Just doing that was a learning experience that will help me in the future."
While he had to adjust to that new role, he understood why.
"It is tough, but a lot of freshmen go through it. A lot of freshmen don't get to play as much as they were used to in high school. It is tough to fill that role in college, but you learn to do it," he said. "I wanted to get in and I was always happy to get to play."
Playing at Southeastern Conference venues, or at a place like North Carolina, was also a learning experience for Porter.
"We always get nervous before every game. I don't think any crowd really affected us," Porter said. "I always looked on the schedule at games like the ones at Florida and North Carolina. I think any player is curious about what those experiences will be like."
Porter said UK seniors Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas and Lukasz Obrzut did an "awesome" job helping him and his classmates during the season. His father, Gary, who was his high school coach, also tried to warn him about what his first year would be like.
"I think it was pretty overwhelming at times to realize how critical a lot of the fans are. But that's Kentucky basketball. There is a lot of pressure. We are expected to win no matter who we play, and that's the way you want it," Porter said. "I have been told, but you have to be here and see it for yourself."
NOTE: This interview was conducted prior to the announcement that Tubby Smith had left the program for Minnesota.