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uk basketball logoBy LARRY VAUGHT

Sometimes you have to believe that other college basketball coaches wish that Kentucky’s John Calipari would just take a break from the recruiting trail. Instead, last season’s NIT fiasco seems to have inspired him even more.

Now Calipari is hot on the trail of five-star shooting guard Devon Booker, a 6-4 player from Moss Point High School in Mississippi — and that means UK assistant coach Kenny Payne’s Mississippi roots and ties could play a big part in this recruitment.

Booker is considered the third-best shooting guard in the nation by and the 19th-best player in the 2014 class by He already had offers from Michigan, North Carolina, Duke, Florida and Missouri before Calipari added a UK offer.

Booker seems to be Michigan’s No. 1 prospect in the 2014 class as coach John Beilein, fresh off his Final Four appearance, is watching him a lot. And Booker is originally from Grand Rapids, Mich. Beilein, as well as assistants Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan, all watched Booker play last season.

Booker was Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year  as a junior and now Calipari has made UK’s interest official knowing that one or both Harrison twins could likely be one-and-done players and the Cats will need to restructure their backcourt in 2014-15.

4 Responses to UK coach John Calipari could use Kenny Payne’s connections in recruitment of Mississippi guard Devon Booker

  • UKFAN197TONE says:

    “Restructure the back court”, front court, middle court, bench, water boy, towel boy, etc etc.

  • TheProfessor says:

    Just read a piece on Calipari’s message to this recruit. Such a simple, yet complex message, all rolled into a few words.

    1. Kentucky is not for everyone.
    2. You have what it takes, and I would love to coach you.
    3. When you decide Kentucky is for you, we will make it happen.

    That is heady stuff for any recruit to here. When the message is delivered in person by Coach Calipari in the kids’ home, it is almost unbeatable.

    Bottom line, if this kid decides he has what it takes to play at UK, then he will. If he doubts his ability to play at Kentucky’s level, why would Kentucky want him?

  • TheProfessor says:

    hear, not here. duh!

  • Little Baron says:

    Ditto to Professor’s comments.

    UK is for the best of the best.
    That includes talent AND unselfishness as a TEAM player.


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