Devin Booker can not put the ball into the basket and continues to struggle with the 3 point shot. He seems to be in a shooting slump, that any 3-point shooter will more than likely experience at some point in their career. As I have watched the past 2 tournament games, it seemed as though every 3 point shot that Booker has taken found every possible bounce to not go in. Fortunately, with Kentucky’s depth, other players have been able to compensate.
Fans are trying to help Bookers confidence as well. One particular play stuck out to me in the Cincinnati game. I do not remember the player, (possibly Ulis) got into the lane, was fouled, and casually passed it out to Booker who proceeded to knock down a 3. Although the basket did not count, the fans were cheering as if to say we know you can do it — keep shooting. In order for Kentucky to achieve a historic season, Booker has to start hitting the 3’s.
One way I think Calipari can get his confidence up is to start him in the next tournament game against Maryland / West Virginia.
You may recall, something similar happened during Kentucky’s last national championship run. Darius Miller, who was the reigning SEC tournament MVP, was struggling. He had not scored in the prior two games before the SEC championship game. Recognizing this, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist voluntarily gave up his starting spot to Darius Miller to try to help him with his slump. Even though Kentucky did not win the SEC tournament that year, Darius Miller gained his confidence back, got out of his slump, and helped propel Kentucky to its 8th National Championship.
Could a start for Booker do the same for him?