Kentucky Wildcat Guard Michael Porter Key in No. 1 Ranking (SATIRE)

Andrew RobinsonContributor IJanuary 26, 2010

LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 4:  Michael Porter #13 of the Kentucky Wildcats holds the ball during the game against the Louisville Cardinals on January 4, 2009 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images


Senior Kentucky guard Michael Porter eventually just turned off his cell phone on Monday afternoon.

As he sat at an off-campus lunch spot in Lexington, he couldn't finish his meal without his phone constantly buzzing with text messages and calls congratulating him.

Ah, the life of the man that brought Kentucky back to prominence.

Porter isn't just an All-American guard, but he's a hero in the Commonwealth and most recently, he's a father.

But on this chilly day in Lexington, Porter was taking everything in stride.

It was just a few months ago, Porter was leading Kentucky to a quarterfinal appearance in the NIT. These days, however, the NIT seems like the furthest thing from reality. Instead Porter, who has been transformed by first-year coach John Calipari into a likely No. 1 overall draft pick in June's NBA draft is picking apart Southeastern Conference defenses and learning the dribble-drive as fast as he's learning how to change a diaper.

"It's been such a long journey," Porter said. "I remember hearing the boo birds last year. Now the only thing crying around me is my baby."

Calipari said he knew as soon as he arrived in Lexington, Porter was going to be a his top priority to get on the right track.

The transformation isn't just on the basketball court. It used to be if someone did the "Michael Porter Dance" it meant they spilled their drink, dropped something or had something stolen.

These days the "Porter Jive" is a unique high-five that ends with the Bro-Hug double back tap combo.

Just as Texas fans greet each other with the "Hook-em Horns" sign, Wildcats fans are frequently greeting each other with the "Porter Jive."

Porter finished last season with 80 turnovers and just 91 assists. Through just 18 games this season, Porter has had just 50 turnovers and 101 assists. That's quite a feat considering how challenging Calipari's offense can be to learn for guards.

"It hasn't actually been too bad at all," Porter said. "I did a lot of work over the summer to learn what it took to guide this team."

Porter's life hasn't changed much, besides the baby and the No. 1 ranking. He still plays hours upon hours of World of Warcraft, watches DVDs of "Sex and the City," and can be caught bumping to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" prior to the biggest games.

"The thing folks don't realize is I'm just a regular guy," Porter said. "I'm no different than the next guy in my English class. I guess except for the fact that Calipari has made class optional, so that might make me a little different."

Porter thought about taking a different path after Billy Gillispie was fired after two mediocre seasons at Kentucky.

"Coach G and I had a great relationship," Porter said. "We may not have done much in the SEC last year, but you should see us rake through the beer pong competition on Greek row. It's mostly Billy Clyde though that carries us."

Since Gillispie is out of coaching this season, he's taken notice to Porter's transformation. Gillispie, who was reached by phone late on Monday night in Lawrence, Kan., said that he can't be prouder of Porter.

"I used to say we're not Michael Porter, we're Kentucky, when people would put so much weight on his shoulders to carry us," Gillispie said. "But now I say, they're Michael Porter, not Kentucky and the only thing I miss about coaching in the SEC is the opportunity to see Jeannine Edwards."

Tuesday, Porter will again have an opportunity to show the country why he's a leading candidate for National Player of the Year when the Wildcats play South Carolina.

"I look at every night as a challenge," Porter said.

He's had little challenge transforming this season.