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February 20, 2013

Booker will visit Duke

The Duke basketball staff has clear intentions from the class of 2014. They want a point guard. They want a big man. And they want multiple athletes and scorers on the wing. They especially like scorers and athletes who can shoot the ball well from the perimeter.

With firm offers out to North Carolina native Theo Pinson and Houston area wing Justise Winslow, the staff in Durham has been expanding their search in the recent months for guys who can play the shooting guard and wing forward positions at Duke.

Meet Devin Booker, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from the state of Mississippi. And oh boy can he shoot the basketball.

With offers on the table from Florida, Missouri, Michigan State, Michigan, Mississippi State and Arkansas, his recruitment is validated by the elite high majors that covet him. And many others are joining the fray with strong interest and probable scholarship offers in the near future.

Duke is one of them.

The smooth shooter from the Magnolia State is coming to Durham this weekend to check out the campus on the 24th and watch Duke face Boston College in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He'll also visit UNC the day before as the Tar Heels take on NC State in the Smith Center.

"I figure that since I am in the area, why not check out two of the best programs around" he told Devils Illustrated.

"Duke has one of the best traditions and programs in the country and they have been coming on harder lately. I like Duke and I know they do well with guys who shoot the ball well."

Jeff Capel has been the point man on the Booker recruitment and the Duke assistant coach has traveled to the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi to see Booker in action. Sources around Duke have indicated to Devils Illustrated that a firm scholarship offer could be made over the weekend to the 24th rated player in the class of 2014.

Some recruiting analysts believe that Michigan and Missouri might hold a slight edge at this point and they certainly have put in the time with the high scoring junior, but he insists that the decision will be about fit and where he feels the most comfortable.

"Well my dad played at Missouri and my mom lives in Michigan, so those two schools have been on me since the eighth grade, so that is where (the rumors) come from," he said.

"I'm going to take some visits and see where I feel the best fit for me is and that's going to be in a program that wins. There's nothing worse than going to a school that loses all the time."

Booker knows that his lofty status with college coaches and recruiting reporters is built around his ability to score and shoot the ball from long range. And while he doesn't disagree with the assessment that he's an accomplished shooter, he believes that his game has evolved him into a more versatile and well-rounded prospect since last summer. It's something that he's anxious to prove once the spring and summer AAU circuit kicks off in April.

"That's the thing," he explained. "Coaches are coming out here to visit me and saying that they knew I was a shooter, but that I have impressed them with other parts of my game too."


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