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Michael Porter Jr. expects big things for Missouri this season

Michael Porter Jr., ESPN's No. 1 prospect in the country and projected top pick in the 2018 NBA draft, said guiding Missouri to its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2013 will not suffice in 2017-18.

Porter said he wants to take the Tigers to the final stage of the season in April.

"I'm not even looking at the NCAA tournament," Porter told ESPN on Thursday. "I'm looking past that. I want to bring this team back to a Final Four, national championship-caliber level. I think we're going to surprise people."

Porter, who anchors ESPN's sixth-ranked recruiting class, said he knows people compare him to Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, two prep stars and projected top picks who couldn't lead LSU and Washington, respectively, to the NCAA tournament.

"I think we have the perfect pieces to lift Missouri to where it used to be."

Michael Porter Jr.

Missouri's situation is unique, Porter said.

"I see [the comparisons] and I think it's a totally different situation," he said. "I think we have the perfect pieces to lift Missouri to where it used to be."

The Tigers add Porter and a pair of top-100 prospects, Blake Harris and Jeremiah Tilmon. Four-star point guard C.J. Roberts and Canisius grad transfer Kassius Robertson, who averaged 16.1 PPG last season, join the fold, too. Plus, the top three scorers from last year return.

Missouri commit Jontay Porter, ranked 25th in the 2018 class, could reclassify and join his older brother and their father, Michael Porter Sr., a Missouri assistant coach, in Columbia next season.

"There's no pressure," Michael Porter Jr. said about his brother's decision. "He would have to miss a lot, like the McDonald's All-American game, if he reclassified. But I'm for sure in his ear about wanting to play with him next year."

Porter said he doesn't feel any additional pressure, however, to elevate a Missouri team that won just eight games last season.

"I think it's exciting," Porter said. "A lot of people have pretty high hopes. I don't feel any pressure. I welcome it."