Posted: 12:53 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, 2013
As alluded to in today's Quickies post, 2014 shooting guard Devin Booker from Moss Point (MS) has set his official visit date. He will come to Lexington on September 9, along with top center prospect Jahlil Okafor from Chicago (IL) Whitney Young, and attend the Alumni Charity Game.
Booker had previously announced his list of five finalists, which includes the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan St. Spartans, Missouri Tigers, and Florida Gators. Booker is a Michigan native, having only recently moved to Mississippi to finish his high school career.
In addition to his Kentucky visit, Booker plans to see Michigan St. on September 6 prior to his trip to Lexington. He will then visit Michigan on October 5, followed by Missouri on October 19. His final visit, to Florida, is undetermined. Booker's early visit schedule means it's possible he will make a fall decision, choosing to sign early.
Most recruitniks believe that Booker will end up at Michigan. While Booker's father, Melvin Booker, played college hoops at Missouri, the allure of playing for his home state school is considered a key for the younger Booker. If anything, Kentucky is the wildcard in this race.
The shooting guard position is a bit of a question mark in terms of Kentucky's 2014 recruiting efforts. The prevailing thought was that Rashad Vaughn, a five-star shooting guard from Minneapolis (MN) Robbinsdale Cooper, had the inside track. Vaughn's camp is reportedly very intrigued with how well Vaughn's style of play fits in Kentucky's free flowing offensive system. However, Vaughn has yet to set any official visits, nor narrowed down his list from 11 semi-finalists.
Kentucky also recently offered Fort Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon, Jr., who is ranked comparably to Booker. While Blackmon doesn't have Booker's size, both of them bring the same calling card to the college game: a quick and accurate trigger. Presumably, the Wildcats are recruiting Blackmon and Booker as an either/or deal. However, if things go sour with Vaughn, it's conceivable John Calipari could look into bringing on both Blackmon and Booker.
As previously mentioned, Michigan remains the team to beat in the race for Booker's signature. But Kentucky will have an early chance to make a lasting impression.