In the first profile of this series we talked about the recruiting challenges at Florida State. If you haven't read it, go do so - because it's a recurring theme when you look at this roster. Ham's recruiting net was tossed around the globe to bring in a group to replace all of last year's departed seniors.
Today, it's PG Devon Bookert. Bookert was a little known point guard from Anchorage, Alaska until the summer of 2011 when he played an AAU tournament in Las Vegas. After that his recruiting blew up.
He finally settled on Cal though he would have had to enroll in fall rather than summer. This gave time for coach Hamilton to convince him to spend a year back in Las Vegas at the Impact Basketball Academy. "It's a chance for me to get better and stronger," Bookert told CBS Sports at the time. "I know I could play in college this year--I've played against some of the best players in the country, but most of the kids have already been in summer school and I'd already be starting out behind." Then he enrolled at FSU this summer.
Because he didn't play in the summer leagues until his senior season, and because few recruiting services saw him play in high school, Bookert was just lumped in with the 2* and 3* recruits. And because of that, most FSU fans are sleeping on him. They're assuming he won't play as much as the more heralded recruits.
And they're wrong.
Bookert isn't the biggest or the most athletic of the recruits, but here's how Luke Loucks described him: "Devon isn't flashy but he's athletic and is an unbelievable ball-handler and very smart for how young he is. He sort-of reminds me of a young Charlie Ward. Great on defense, knows how to play, can get everyone involved and is a very capable scorer." And after watching the team workout, national scribe Jon Rothstein predicted that Bookert would be a starter from day one.
Unfortunately he injured his knee diving for a ball in practice and missed the first exhibition game. And the staff didn't sound optimistic about him participating in tonight's exhibition either. It remains to be seen how much this injury sets him back, but if he bounces back quickly, then expect him to earn significant minutes as Ian Miller's back up. And if all goes well, don't be surprised to see those two on the court playing major minutes together.
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Tonight's exhibition is the annual benefit for the Aubrey Boyd Foundation. Go and support a good cause. Plus, it might be a competitive game. FSU is playing St. Leo, who beat Miami (Fl) in their previous exhibition game on Friday.