Q&A: Five-star guard Devin Booker recaps Michigan visit

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IMG_9686We caught up with five-star class of 2014 recruit Devin Booker on Monday evening to talk about his trip to Michigan on Sunday for the Indiana game. The sought-after swingman recently capped off a whirlwind visit tour which took him from Duke and North Carolina, down to Florida, and back up north to Michigan State and Michigan. The full transcript of the interview is below. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

Anything that stood out about this visit?
I don’t want to say anything on the court, because I’d seen the Ohio State game last year, and that was almost the same atmosphere. One thing that was different this year was I was with my dad. This was my first time bringing my dad up to Michigan. I’ve been with my mom three or four times, but my dad’s also going to play a big part in my decision, so I wanted him to see it.

What impression did he come away with?
I’m really not sure. We talked a little bit, but not really. I’m sure he was impressed, you know, he saw the facilities and the facilities are all brand-new, and he mentioned he liked that a lot. And then atmosphere, I think everyone enjoyed that.

What was the itinerary for the visit?
I actually came earlier before the game, like two to three hours before the game. And then I had my dad talk to coach Beilein real briefly because I understood he was getting ready for a big game. And then we watched film of my position with coach (Lavall) Jordan in one of the film rooms. He wanted to show my dad how I’d fit in the offense.

Can you go through the visits you’ve been over the past few weeks?
My first visit was to North Carolina and Duke. I did those I think two weekends ago. And then last weekend I went to Florida and then this weekend I went to Michigan State and Michigan. So I’ve been to a lot of schools.

What was it like to visit Duke and North Carolina?
I feel like my hard work is paying off right now. Last year, I felt like I was underrated and I was playing with a chip on my shoulder and now my hard work’s paid off and some of these big schools are calling me. I’m blessed to get the chance to visit them.

How was your visit to State?
It was a good atmosphere still but they told me it would be an older crowd because the kids were on spring break. But they still brought it.

Where do you put Michigan in the context with all these other top schools you’re hearing from?
I don’t have an exact place for them, but like you said Michigan has been there from the start and one of the big keys of my decision is going to be trust with the coaching staff and my relationship with the coaching staff. That comes with time, and Michigan has been there for a long time, so that plays a big part.

Is there a time frame for your decision?
We don’t have a timeline right now. I think I just have to sit down with my parents and discuss, talk about my goals. We have to sit down and figure all that out.

Has what you’re looking for in a school changed?
Nope. Just relationship with the coaching staff, like I mentioned, and trust with them. All places have great facilities and atmosphere nowadays, so now it’s just coming down to opportunity to play, coaching staff, and a coach that will make me work.

  • Cary Bear

    He is either being really measured in his responses or I don’t really see him ending up here based on his reaction after our most hyped game of the year.

    • dirtypasta

      Yea, I’m hoping it was just because it was a real brief interview, but there’s certainly not much positive in here, I have a feeling he’s going to Duke.

  • gobluemd16

    I agree, man those responses don’t seem like he was too excited. His response to the Duke and UNC visits/interest about the “big schools” calling him make me think that he sees them as superior.

  • Mattski

    Sounds like he has his head on his shoulders, wherever he goes. With NC and Duke in the picture it could come down to so many things: some program that interests you; rapport with coaches; if you like the offense or it fits you; how soon you’d play–even how travel might be for your parents. Is he an off guard at this stage or does he want to run the point?

    • Mattski

      Academic program, I mean.

      • Mattski

        Swingman, I see. His recruiting page just says guard.

        • Mark Worthley

          He plays PG in AAU.

  • UM Hoops Fan

    People are being very sensitive. To me he seems like he’s just giving measured responses to everybody. His comments about MSU are positive but measured. His comments about Duke and NC — well, it’s clear he feels validated that two of the most prestigious programs in the country that weren’t in his home state are showing interest. What kid wouldn’t be? But those comments are still pretty measured.

    I think the money exchange is: “Has what you’re looking for in a school changed?
    Nope. Just relationship with the coaching staff, like I mentioned, and trust with them. All places have great facilities and atmosphere nowadays, so now it’s just coming down to opportunity to play, coaching staff, and a coach that will make me work.”

    I have no inside info, but that makes me feel pretty good about Michigan’s chances. As does the between-the-lines tone of getting his dad to see Michigan, how he’d fit into Michigan, etc. Sure, he could go somewhere else. When you recruit kids who can go whereever they want, some will go elsewhere. But Michigan is back to being a “big” program, and I think Michigan has a very good shot with Devin Booker.

    • rlcBlue

      It’s a relief that Michigan is one of those places that “have great facilities and atmospheres,” but it really doesn’t sound like he’s going to pick us any time soon. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to pick any school any time soon; I guess it’s good that we’re in a position to wait the process out…

  • John

    While the interview definitely wasn’t negative, it also didn’t really give off a positive vibe, which in the world of recruiting tends to be negative. With that said, that could just be his personality.

  • Lester Abram

    He may be impressed with being recruited by Duke and UNC, but he did say trust was a big thing for him. Missouri and Michigan were the first big name schools too offer him, and Michigan is still there. Michigan knew he’d be good before he got that chip on his shoulder. Coach B and his staff seem to be taking the correct approach with him. If he goes elsewhere, I’m confident Michigan has other good options. Bluiett and Booker would be awesome additions though.

    • Lester Abram

      *big name schools *to (not “too) offer him . . .”

  • Ben

    He gone

  • Retiredat23

    Booker is the real deal – regardless of where he goes, he’s the type of recruit that helps win championships. We can only be happy Michigan is in the hunt – let’s not forget only a few seasons ago we were just sniffing the big dance… so we can’t possibly expect to get every Booker-type recruit. That being said, being here another time w/ his dad certainly can’t hurt us.

    • Riggity

      well we dancing in the final four now, Booker better commit!!

  • Champswest

    My confidence level of him picking UM is about a 4 (on a scale of 1-10). I hope he does though, because he would be a great fit with the 2012, 13 & 14 classes that we already have.

  • Evref

    Just found this article, gotta believe F4 run, and possible championship run would sway this kid. Florida was one of his early considerations, and we sure clowned those fools.