Thursday, October 31, 2013

Target Spotlight: Devin Booker

Atlanta, a place Kentucky did not go this year.
Michigan missed on what I believe was the best recruit they were going after in the 2014 class.  Devin Booker selected Kentucky over others.  However, I had a preview already written up, so here's a breakdown on him if you can stomach it:

Booker is listed at 6'6" and 194 lbs.  He is currently ranked as a 5* according to the 247Composite rankings, as the #5 shooting guard in the nation, and as the #1 player in Mississippi.  Booker committed to Kentucky over Michigan, MSU, Missouri, and others.

Booker's bread and butter is his shooting.  He's not only a very good outside shooter, but he's a very good spot up shooter and has a deadly stepback jumper.  Defenders have to stay completely dedicated to Booker because if they give him any space, a shot's probably going up.  Along with his shooting, he can effectively use ball screens to drive the lane.  When he does this, he also protects the ball well to avoid turnovers.  Add in a decent crossover and he becomes a really good offensive weapon.  When he does get to the rim, he can make some impressive dunks and can adjust to finish at the basket.  He can also move well without the ball and make cuts to the basket that really threaten defenses.  Finally, he has solid athleticism, can run the court, and can use his hands and length to disrupt a lot of shots on the defensive end of the floor.

As with most 5* recruits, this list is pretty short.  The biggest things that Booker needs to do to improve his game are to improve his defense and strength.  His defense is certainly not bad, but there are times when he allows an opponent to get to the edge of get enough space to do some damage.  Of course, this happens to everybody, but being aggressive and physical is important when playing against lengthy college players.  Along with this, his frame is pretty small considering his height.  To be able to be a threat driving to the lane in college, he could definitely use a little more weight and strength.  Finally, there are times when he can't quite finish at the basket and opponents will try to be physical with Booker to disrupt his game.  This is where the added strength will help, but of course, this is a minor note since he often goes to the free throw line as a result of these plays and hits upwards of 80% of his free throws .

Quick Prediction:
Booker is going to be a really good college player and will probably be selected pretty highly in the NBA Draft sooner rather than later.  Booker has the potential to be a deadly outside shooter like Stauskas, but also handle the ball like a Hardaway.  He has a very bright future in the college game.

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