The win vaults the Hoyas to first place in the Big East Conference for the time being.
Porter Jr. is now emerging as one of the best players in both the conference and in the nation. He is versatile, he can score and he rebounds the ball as well. Against the Bearcats stingy defense, Porter Jr. scored 16 points, going 4 of 8 from the field, including 1 of 2 from the three-point line, and 7 of 7 from the charity stripe. He also added a steal and an assist and notched a team-high seven rebounds, all while having zero turnovers.
Pretty impressive stats. However, Porter Jr. had another number that may have been even more impressive. Four. He had four personal fouls.
But it is not that he had four fouls that is significant, it is that when picked up his fouls up that are really eye-opening. Porter Jr. received his second personal foul in the 1st half with 14:51 remaining. Head coach John Thompson III decided to stick with Porter Jr., and Porter Jr. did not disappoint by finishing the half.
Porter then picked up his fourth personal foul with 7:29 in the 2nd half, and after sitting for a few minutes, Thompson III let Porter Jr. go back in and he finished the game, making two clutch free throws with 1:16 left to help the Hoyas prevail.
The confidence that Thompson III gave Porter Jr. tonight was immeasurable. Porter Jr. in turn showed his maturity and alertness to not pick up his third foul in the first half or to foul out of the game with under four minutes in the game.
It was a risky move by Thompson III, because if Porter Jr. had fouled out, the Hoyas would have had limited offensive options and they most likely would have lost. This lesson will help Porter Jr. and the Hoyas if a similar situation arises in the NCAA Tournament.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo