April 15, 2013
WASHINGTON - In a crowded McDonough Arena, with a large crowd of local media in attendance as well as several fans, his coaches and several of his teammates, Georgetown sophomore men's basketball player Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central) announced on Monday afternoon that he will forgo his final two years of eligibility and submit his name for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft. He plans to sign with an agent.
Porter Jr. is coming off a 2012-13 season that saw him named BIG EAST Player of the Year as well as earning first team All-America honors from the Associated Press and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Porter Jr. was also selected as a John R. Wooden All-American and was a finalist for the Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy, recognizing the top player in the country. He was also recognized by Basketball Times as its National Player of the Year earlier this week.
"It was a tough decision. I love Georgetown, my coaches and my teammates," Porter Jr. said. "I'm going to come back and finish up my degree, but during the season I've been trying to focus on the season. After the season, I started thinking about my decision and I spoke to my parents about it. I knew it was coming down to it, but my coaches, my teammates and my parents have helped prepare me for this next step."
Porter Jr. was joined at the press conference in McDonough Arena by his head coach, John Thompson III, who said he had lengthy talks with Porter Jr. about his decision.
"I think he's ready, as much mentally and emotionally as it relates to basketball," Thompson III said. "I thought he went about the process in an educated manner. He had good choices. He could come back to school which is a very good choice or he could head to the NBA, which is also a very good choice. In our many conversations, he has said, much like Jeff (Green) did and Greg (Monroe) is doing, he's going to come back and finish his degree. It's a process - and he's prepared."
Porter Jr. spent the last two weekends traveling to awards shows, first to Atlanta for the Final Four and the Naismith Trophy award, and then to Los Angeles this past weekend for the Wooden Award All-American Gala. He made his final decision this weekend after speaking to his parents.
"The toughest part was knowing you're going to leave a great place like this," he said. "I love this place."
Porter Jr. was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year and was the only unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST Conference First Team. He led the Hoyas in scoring and rebounding with 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Porter Jr. was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week three-straight times during the 2012-13 season. It was the first time a BIG EAST player had won the award in three-straight weeks since the 2003 season.
Porter Jr. also led the team in steals (1.8 spg), was second on the team in blocked shots (0.9 bpg) and ranked third on the team in assists per game (2.7 apg). He scored in double figures 27 times this season, had eight games with at least 20 points - including a career-high 33 points in win at Syracuse on Feb. 23 - and had seven double-doubles.
Against BIG EAST opponents, Porter Jr. averaged 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor (104-of-209) and 44.1 percent from three-point land (30-of-68) and 80.7 percent from the free throw line (88-of-109). Porter Jr. missed parts of two games this season and his per-40 minute averages were 18.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Georgetown finished the 2012-13 season with a 25-7 record and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoyas won a share of the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship and were the No. 1 seed in the tournament after posting a 14-4 record in league play. The Hoyas were ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches' poll and closed out the regular season with 12 wins in 13 games. The Hoyas are one of only four schools in the country to be ranked in the Associated Press top-10 at least once in each of the last seven seasons and Georgetown is also ranked fifth nationally in Associated Press top-25 poll appearances (116) since January 2006.