By Heath Bradley.
By Heath Bradley
CLEMSON — It is hard to believe Devin Booker is about to lace up his shoes for his senior season as a Clemson Tiger, but it is true.
Booker joined the Tigers in 2009 and was able to play one season with his older brother Trevor, now a member of the Washington Wizards. Heading into his final season, Devin seems ready to take on the role as one of the Tigers go-to scorers.
“I have been working hard this off-season, I am looking forward to it,” he said earlier this week. “I like knowing I am going to be that go to guy, but there is no pressure.”
One way Booker has prepared is by working on his outside game. At 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, Booker is still light and quick on his feet, something head coach brad Brownell noticed early last season.
“Coach has told me since last year that I have the quickness to be something special,” Booker said.
To be special, Booker will look to use this speed to become more of a threat on the court, especially along the wings. He spent much of his summer working hard to improve his outside game to become more of an overall threat.
“(I worked on) my outside game a lot,” he said. “I am pretty good on the inside, but I have still been working on my inside game, my post moves and those things. I have also worked on my one-dribble and two-dribble pull ups.
“I have just tried working on improving my all-around game.”
Being a senior on such a young team means Booker must take on the role as a leader, too. He says he has always tried to lead by example, now it is time for him to become a vocal leader as well.
Being more of a vocal leader is something that the coaching staff has challenged him to become during this off-season heading into the 2012-13 year.
“Coach wants me to be more of a vocal leader,” Booker said. “He sees the leadership role in me, but he wants me to be more vocal on the court, too. He wants me to get the younger guys going, to energize them and get their spirits up.”
This year’s squad has a lot of the same characteristics as last year’s team to Booker, a young and talented team, who is willing to work hard to improve every day.
“It feels a lot like last year,” he said. “We had a young squad last year, and we still have a young squad this year. We have the same mentality, come in and work hard every day and try to make the best out of every day.”
Booker will be one of those players expected to make sure that everyone is on top of their games every day. His leadership role will extend into making sure everyone has the energy and drive to get better every day, showing the younger players there is more to being a basketball player at Clemson than just playing in the games.
“Brining the energy every day, being that guy that just pumps up everybody, that’ what I have to be,” Booker said. “I have to show these younger guys that it is more than just going out there and playing.”