Keeping Score

Should Devin Booker stay at Kentucky or enter the NBA Draft?

Devin Booker's first year with Kentucky can only be considered a success. The freshman guard from Moss Point is likely still stinging from his team's 71-64 loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four on Saturday, but there was plenty accomplished in year one in Lexington.

Kentucky came up short of 40-0, but a 38-1 season and a trip to the Final Four have put Booker and several of his teammates in good position to leave early and go pro.

Now the question becomes: Will Booker stay for his sophomore season or will he make the early move to the NBA?

Projections have Booker going anywhere from ninth to 19th overall, but that means little at the moment. Each player will be evaluated over and over prior to the June 25 draft.

Booker's dad said last week that the 6-foot-6 shooting guard will sit down with family members to discuss the matter and he'll talk with coach John Calipari and his staff about what they believe is best for him.

Three Kentucky big men, Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles, are all projected to be selected ahead of Booker at the moment.

There are pros and cons for Booker to forego his final three seasons of eligibility:

PROS: Booker's style of play is all the rage in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors riding a pair of sharp-shooters, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, to the best record in the NBA. 

At 6-foot-6, he has ideal NBA size for the two-guard position. Booker also showed that he's willing to put in the effort on the defensive end this season. There's still room to improve, but Booker has the work ethic to keep getting better.

Booker shot 41.1 percent on 3-pointers this season, and he can top that clip.

CONS: Booker still has room to grow as a college basketball player and another season at Kentucky could give him a chance to improve. 

If he makes the move to the NBA after just one season of averaging 21.5 minutes and 10.0 points a game at Kentucky, he'll have to be given time to adjust to making the big leap. He could be pegged as a role player early in his career, serving as a shooter off the bench.

If he decides to stay another year, he can further prove that he's more than just a shooter. Booker could be a better defender and all-around scorer with another year in college.

Booker will have to make his choice based on where he fits into this year's class. He's the type of player that can easily shoot up the board if one team falls in love with him.

He can't afford to hold out long with the deadline to enter the draft set for April 26.

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