SEC: Why Devin Booker Should Return To Kentucky


It’s tough to tell someone they shouldn’t go make millions of dollars when they are 18 or 19 years old. However, that’s exactly what you should do if you’re talking about Kentucky freshman guard Devin Booker.

The sharpshooting guard from Mississippi is currently projected to be drafted at either No. 17 or No. 18 whether you look at DraftExpress or, which most people would jump at. However, Booker has something the majority of people don’t have.

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He can come back to a top-five team in the country and immediately be the man.

Booker averaged 10 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field, 41 percent from deep and 82 percent from the line during the 2014-15 season. However, per, if Booker played 40 minutes per game, that average would be 18.7 while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out two assists. That’s all on an incredibly loaded roster, where the minutes were tough to come by.

If Booker returns to Lexington, he’ll automatically be the starting shooting guard for the Wildcats. While the talent on the roster will certainly be less, there will be plenty of other options so opposing teams won’t be able to game plan for Booker. This will give Booker the ability to continue to run off screens and not have to see double teams.

More importantly, it allows Booker to play with his best friend, Tyler Ulis, for another year. Ulis and Booker have been best friends since middle school and while they weren’t a package deal as Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor were at Duke, they had always discussed playing college ball together. The two play well together, with Ulis constantly looking for Booker in transition or when he gets into the lane.

What shooter wouldn’t want to play with someone like that? Not to mention, Ulis is the definition of a pass-first point guard, there will be plenty of touches for Booker next year. We heard how everyone on the Kentucky team this past season referred to their teammates as brothers. This is something that can linger in the back of minds of someone as young as Booker, who suffered the heartbreak of losing in the Final Four.

Another year in Lexington will give Booker the chance to improve his defense as well. He showed his weakness in the loss to Wisconsin, when he got beat almost every possession he was in, despite being 6’6” and plenty able to defend. He needs another year to erase that memory from some scouts minds.

Booker has drawn comparisons to Klay Thompson throughout the year from hundreds of people and it’s not that far off. However, he needs to improve his game and the best way to do that is play under a coach like Calipari for one more year, while being able to showcase your talents.

Instead of being the No. 17-20 pick, Booker can come back and be the star for a good team. It’s not unbelievable to think if he comes back and plays well he can skyrocket up to the top-10 range.

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