Devin Booker, son of former Missouri Tiger Melvin Booker and the 30th ranked prospect in the 2014 class, chose the Kentucky Wildcats over the Missouri Tigers in an announcement this afternoon.
Devin Booker (ESPN. No. 18) picks Kentucky.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 31, 2013
This is just another reminder of the uphill battle Missouri has in the SEC when recruiting top talent against the likes of Florida and Kentucky. Even with the time and energy put into Booker’s recruitment, and his connection to the university, it didn’t appear to be too difficult for Kentucky to swoop in a land Booker.
— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) October 31, 2013
So now what? There are four more big targets left of Missouri’s board as outlined by Gabe DeArmond on PowerMizzou.com. (Subscription required) Ahmed Hill, Josh Cunningham, Joe Thomasson, and Patrick McCaw could each fill the recruiting space left by Booker. While none of these players are as good as Booker, it would still give Missouri a very solid class for 2014.
Mizzou already has commitments from four-star players Jakeenan Gant (power forward) and Namon Wright (shooting guard). Gant is ranked 47th in the nation by Rivals.com, Wright 87th. Landing Hill, who is ranked 69th nationally, would give Missouri something close to a top 15 recruiting class in the country.
The problem with Hill is that he has a verbal commitment to Marquette, so it would take some extra convincing to get him to come to Missouri. It was believed Missouri was the leader for Hill before he visited Marquette.
Still, between landing Wesley Clark, Keanau Post, and Jonathan Williams III for 2013, and adding Gant and Wright this year, Missouri’s future looks pretty solid.