Welcome to the first installment of our new Under the Microscope series, where I will profile a Michigan hoops prospect each week.
This time around, we look at arguably the prize of the 2014 class, shooting guard Devin Booker out of Moss Point, Mississippi.
A composite five-star prospect, Booker is the 30th ranked player in the nation, ninth at his position, according to 247 Sports. Looking at his game tape and reading various scouting reports, it appears to me that Booker would be a perfect fit in John Beilein’s system. Let’s take a closer look.
Size/Athleticism: At 6-5, 185 lbs, Booker has some room to grow, which should come with time. Not an elite athlete, but does show some good movement in the open floor. He has solid ball handling skills, but definitely has room to improve. Has to get stronger to improve his driving ability.
Scoring Ability: Probably the best pure scorer in the 2014 class. He has the range to hit a shot from anywhere on the floor, which is a trademark of the Beilein offense. Has great form with his jump shot and his shot selection is great. He is a great finisher at the rim as well. Booker fills up a stat sheet. He will be a #1 scoring option wherever he ends up. Scored 54 points in a game last season.
Rebounding: As mentioned above, not the greatest athlete, but has very good rebounding ability from the guard position. Follows his own shot and shows great awareness in this aspect of the game on both ends of the floor.
Defense: Needs to improve here. Pretty average defender. Effort is there, but should improve with time.
Instincts/IQ: Devin Booker is one the smartest players in this draft class. His basketball IQ and shot selection grade out very high. His father was a standout player for the Missouri Tigers in college, so he has a basketball pedigree. There is a lot to be impressed with in this aspect of his game. He just makes good basketball plays and decisions. Booker’s elite scoring ability overshadows the fact that he is also the smartest player on the floor. He is a great passer and distributor as well.
Potential: Devin Booker will be a star the second he steps on campus. He can hit any shot from the perimeter and has the ability to bury teams with his marksman-like ability. If he gets paired with an elite point guard, watch out for this guy. Some people have compared him to Steph Curry.
Where Michigan Stands: Michigan, by all accounts, is high on Booker’s list. When you take a look at his tape, it become very clear that he would be a great fit in this offense. I think that pairing him with incoming point guard Derrick Walton would be a lethal combo. I could see these two as the best backcourt in college basketball if they paired up. Add Zak Irvin to the mix, and Michigan becomes one of the more explosive teams in the nation come 2014. Michigan has some competition for his services though, as Booker has received offers from Arkansas, Duke, Florida, and Missouri. I think Michigan’s chances are as good as anyone right now.