By LARRY VAUGHT
Melvin Booker has never doubted how his son, guard Devin Booker, would fit in at Kentucky after he picked the Wildcats over Missouri — the school where Melvin Booker was Big Eight Player of the Year in 1994.
“It is going to be a great fit for him. I was proud of the decision he made and the style of play fits his style. Devin shoots the ball extremely well, so I think he can play in any system but he’s really excited to play for Kentucky,” said Melvin Booker.
That feeling never wavered even as UK has its share of ups and downs last season before going on its remarkable postseason run.
“It was a great run. In my (NCAA Tournament) bracket, I had them to go to the Final Four like they did,” Melvin Booker said. “I really did. Devin and I went to the SEC Tournament and I knew coming out of that they were playing like one of the top teams in the country and I felt they could make a run. I thought the seeding especially worked out for them with who they had to play. They can rebound the hell out of the basketball and that gave the teams they played real problems.”
He’s also glad that his son will be playing with twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison next year after the freshman guards decided to stay at UK rather than leave for the NBA after their freshmen season ended with UK losing the national title game to Connecticut. Now they will be there to help guide Devin Booker and incoming freshman point guard Tyler Ulis.
“I am really excited with the fact those guys all came back. I kind of expected Julius (Randle) and James (Young) to be gone. We were anticipating the twins not being there before the season because they are so talented. But I did not want Devin and Tyler to be the young guys with all that pressure on them as freshmen.
“This is going to work out fine with the situation they have. They will be two-deep in every position. Practices might be better than games. I am very excited about the next season for Devin. I can’t wait to come watch practices. I just want to see kids competing, and they will all be competing.
“He will be in a situation without a lot of pressure on him and he can just play hard and get better. He can also learn from the older guys. When I was in college, I learned from older guys. On the road you don’t know things as simple as where the visiting locker room is. There a lot of little things he can learn as a freshman from those older guys that will make it a great season for him.”