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Porter Receiving Major Praise

Charles E. Sutton | 3/4/2013, 9:30 a.m.

An Otto Porter Jr.-led Georgetown team snapped Syracuse's 38-game home winning streak at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, Feb. 23. A few days later, Orange coach Jim Boeheim gave Porter the highest praise he has received all season.

"He's the best player in college," Boeheim said during the Big East's weekly conference call. "There's no question about it in my mind."

Porter, the sophomore small forward, followed his career-best 33 points against Syracuse with 22 points in Georgetown's 79-78 win in double overtime at Connecticut on Wednesday. He scored 21 of his points in the second half and two overtime periods, including the game-winning driving layup.

"Certainly the Hoyas are the surprise team in the league to me, and Porter is the reason," Boeheim said. "He's the most versatile player that I've seen in a long time. He can dribble the ball, pass the ball, rebound. He can block a shot. He can shoot the 3 tremendously. I think that might be something that's a little underrated about him - or was underrated. He's the most versatile player we've seen in this league in a long time. To me, I think he's the player of the year in the country. I don't see anybody beating him for that award either."

Porter, who is second in scoring (18.1 points per game) and sixth in rebounding (7.5 rebounds per game) in Big East games and leads the conference in 3-point shooting in all games (46.8 percent), was considered at the start of the season as a potential NBA lottery pick. Now his stock has risen so high that he may be thought of as the top prospect in the country at his position.

Georgetown has won 10 consecutive conference games, which is second only to when the Hoyas won 11 straight games during the 2006-07 season, which ended in the Final Four. With No. 1 Indiana and No. 4 Michigan already losing this week, the Hoyas could move up higher than their current No. 7 ranking.

Georgetown coach John Thompson III indicated recently he has spoken to Porter regarding the NBA, but neither he nor the player would elaborate on the conversation. Thompson shrugged at the idea of revisiting the issue following the Syracuse game or that the newfound stardom might bother Porter, whose play this season has warranted an increased level of attention from fans and NBA scouts alike.