If you listen to the radio show, you have heard 2 instances in the past few days where either Matt or a caller has attempted to compare Cam Mills and Mike Porter. Not positive on how exactly that debate began, but Matt has been quite clear in his stance: Porter was the better OVERALL player. Although he will likely change that opinion after he hears this: I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH HIM!
Now, I certainly don’t want to crush the name of Cameron Mills, because he is a legend to many Kentuckians. A kid from Lexington, his father played at Kentucky, he was a high character kid, and he did what UK fans love most: he shot the ball well. Nobody can ever argue that Porter was anywhere near the shooter that Mills was. But, there is more to the game than shooting. And people GREATLY forget that Mills was pretty much a 1-dimensional player at Kentucky. He was a below average defender, only had 58 assists in his career, 28 steals in his career, and scored less points than Ravi Moss, Marvin Stone, and Desmond Allison. Eric Bledsoe scored more in 1 season than Mills scored in 4. I hate to throw around the word overrated, but Mills’ career has certainly been misrepresented over the years.
Now, as for the comparison to Porter, just check out the career numbers. And remember that Porter played 3 seasons compared to Mills 4 seasons.
TOTAL GAMES PLAYED
(***In Mills first 3 seasons, he scored 199 total points, 44 less than Porter)
POINTS PER GAME
WINS (IN GAMES THE PLAYER PARTICIPATED IN)
(***In his first 3 seasons, Mills participated in 45 wins)
So, we can come to several conclusions about the Mills v. Porter debate:
-Mills played on more talented teams. Duh. But, even with that, in Mills first 3 seasons, he won 45 games, Porter won 53 in his 3 years.
-Mills was a better scorer, at least in terms of points. Although, once again, Mills actually scored LESS points than Porter over 3 seasons.
-Porter, despite only playing 3 seasons, had more assists, steals, and rebounds than Mills and his 4 seasons.
I already know how this will play out in the comments section. Being critical of a UK legend like Mills and highlighting a oft-maligned player like Porter will lead to the “you suck” and “just quit” comments. Cool. Then defend the numbers. All the numbers point to Michael Porter being a better PLAYER than Mills. Not a better winner. Not on better TEAMS. But a better INDIVIDUAL PLAYER!! Think about it, and then comment.
With that being said, BOTH of these guys deserve a lot of respect from the fanbase. Both represented really well in their time in Lexington. Both played their hearts out. Both had to ride the bench probably more than they would like, but didn’t complain. But, the Porter v. Mills debate seems pretty cut and dry to me. Mills was basically Jon Hood his first 2 seasons, barely seeing the floor. In his final 2 years, he was basically Darnell Dodson without being an idiot. But Mills was on 2 national championship teams, and hit the much remembered shot against Duke. Without that shot, you could argue Mills would be no more remembered or loved than Allen Edwards. Now, he is more loved than ANYBODY on the 1998 team.
Porter, on the other hand, was never loved by the fanbase. But, you have to admit that he was forced to play a position his final 2 years that he was not suited for. Porter was brought to Kentucky by Tubby Smith to play shooting guard. He was not brought in to be a primary ball handler. But because of horrendous recruiting by Tubby and Gillispie, Porter had to be the backup point guard his sophomore season and the starting point his final year because nobody could do it better. And in that final year, he had a positive assist-turnover ratio. And let’s not forget, Porter did NOT lead the team in turnovers that season. That would be Jodie Meeks. So while I would never argue Porter was some amazing player, he did do the best he could under the circumstances.
Point is, agree or disagree, the numbers don’t lie. Michael Porter had more game. He contributed MORE to the program than Cam Mills, on an individual basis. The ball is in your court KSR readers.