By Mark A. Hodgkin
Twitter - @Mark_Hodgkin
After earning a spot on the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team, Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter entered this season with high expectations. A month into the season, Porter is living up to the hype and has Georgetown entering the discussion of the best teams in the country.
The 6-8 swingman from Missouri was highly recruited despite not playing AAU ball, spurning offers from Missouri and Kansas to join John Thompson III's program.
"I've said many times that he was the most prepared freshman I've had," Thompson told USA Today. "That relates as much to his mentality as it does to his physical tools and physical readiness."
He has built on that strong freshman season (9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds a game) to vault the Hoyas - who entered the season unranked - to No. 15 in the latest AP Poll.
Porter's 2012 coming-out party was at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn where he filled up the box score with 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals to pace the Hoyas past then-No. 13 UCLA. A night later he scored the team's last five points to force overtime with No. 1 Indiana. Georgetown would fall, 82-72, but Porter would finish with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Two weeks later, he returned to New York to face Texas in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Porter led a Georgetown romp of the Longhorns with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Those experiences under the biggest lights will no doubt serve him well when the Hoyas return to the Garden for the BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship in March.
Porter's strong overall game and ability to score, rebound, defend and distribute draw comparisons to another Georgetown forward - 2006-07 BIG EAST Player of the Year Jeff Green. If he can keep up his strong play, he may be returning to New York to accept that prestigious award for himself as well.
The Hoyas open up BIG EAST play on January 5 when they visit Marquette.