Thursday, October 31, 2013
Scout's take: SG Booker to Kentucky
By Reggie Rankin
Five-star shooting guard Devin Booker (Moss Point, Miss./Moss Point) committed today to Kentucky over offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Missouri.
Landing the third-best shooting guard in the Class of 2014 and the No. 18 overall player in the ESPN 100 is another huge get for the Wildcats. How will he fit?
Devin Booker, ranked No. 18 in the ESPN 100 and the No. 3 shooting guard, is a versatile scorer.
What he brings: Booker, at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, is a true shooting guard who plays with great confidence on the offensive end. He has a quick trigger and deep shooting range that extends beyond the 3-point arc. Booker also has a smooth midrange pull-up jumper that he can execute going right or left in addition to having the ability to drive to the rim, where he is a crafty finisher in heavy traffic. Booker spots up on the break, comes off screens and knocks down deep jumpers. He will be worth his weight in gold against zone defenses, where he will stretch the defense and be ready to hit perimeter jumpers off the catch. Booker can rebound and start the break too. He has a good basketball IQ and feel for the game.
Basketball bloodlines: Booker's father Melvin, a former point guard at the University of Missouri, was the 1994 Big Eight Player of the Year and led the Tigers to an undefeated 14-0 conference record. The elder Booker was named to the NCAA All-American team in 1994.
How he fits: Booker is a true shooting guard who will stretch the floor for the Wildcats. He will be a threat running the floor and along the 3-point line on the break, where he is an instant threat. He can come off screens within the half-court set as a first option, and he can feed the low post and prevent the defender from double-teaming because of his shot-making ability. Opponents will have to scheme for him, because he is a bucket getter. Booker has the size to play and defend both wing positions.
Reminds us of: Booker has some similarities to NBA shooting guards Bradley Beal and Joe Johnson because of his size and shot-making ability from beyond the arc and from the midrange areas off the catch or rhythm dribble.
How the class is shaping up: Booker joins superskilled five-star center Karl Towns Jr. and four-star true point guard Tyler Ulis, who is as complete as any guard in the class, point or shooting. Those three give the Wildcats a tremendous amount of skill, scoring-wise, and a point guard who can make shots as needed. An excellent trio of thoroughbreds is headed to Lexington.