When Devin Booker committed to Kentucky out of high school, most fans expected him to be a two or three-year player for the Wildcats. He was a five-star, top-20 sharpshooting prospect, but his supposed lack of athleticism and defensive struggles led to most believing he would nothing more than an offensive spark off the bench as a freshman.
When he finally suited up for the Cats, he certainly ended up being that spark off the bench, and then some. His shooting success from beyond the arc was crucial in Kentucky's undefeated regular season and run to the Final Four, and he was selected as the No. 13 overall pick in the NBA Draft as a result.
For Kentucky four-star signee Tyler Herro, the storylines are adding up in a similar way. National recruiting services list the 6-5, 195 lbs. guard out of Greenfield, Wisconsin anywhere from the late-20's to early 30's in the nation. After a scoring explosion to start his senior year, many recruiting experts believe he will end up as a top-15 five-star talent in the final rankings.
With similar scoring abilities, could Herro end up being the next Devin Booker at Kentucky?
After last night's 42-point outing in his return from injury, it's hard not to notice the similarities.
Check out the highlights:
And earlier in the season, when Herro dropped 45 points in front of fans chanting "overrated," among other comments:
These two ridiculous outings are just two of four 40-plus point games on the season, along with three other 30-plus point games.
For comparison's sake, check out Booker's 40-point night in front of John Calipari at the Marshall County Hoopfest:
As a senior in high school, Booker averaged 32.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. He was incredibly underrated for the vast majority of his high school career before making a major jump in the ratings midway through his senior year. The Missouri Tigers and Michigan Wolverines were deemed the favorites in his recruitment until John Calipari came in and snagged him late in the process. He broke the hearts of local fans, but made the best decision for himself by becoming a Wildcat.
In his third year in the NBA, Booker is currently averaging 25 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game for the Phoenix Suns, and many consider him one of the top young scorers in the league. This year, Booker became the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to record over 3,000 career points, joining LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony. Oh, and he scored 70 points in a game last season, just the 11th time and sixth player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.
To start out Herro's senior campaign, he's averaging 29.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.3 steals per contest. He committed to home-state Wisconsin back in September of 2016, and then re-opened his recruitment in October of 2017. John Calipari got in contact almost immediately after, paid him a visit nearly two weeks later and offered a scholarship on the spot. Ten days later, Herro came to Lexington on an official visit, and four days later, he signed on the dotted line. He broke the hearts of local fans, but made the best decision for himself by becoming a Wildcat.
With a killer scoring instinct, pure shooting form, and underrated athleticism, it's hard not to have heightened expectations of the Kentucky signee. After reading some top recruiting analysts rave about Herro
, that only adds to the excitement.
247 Sports' Evan Daniels: "Tyler Herro
is one of the best all-around scorers in the 2018 class. He's built a reputation as a shot maker from distance, but he's much more than just a good shooter. Herro is creative with his dribble and a crafty driver."
247 Sports' Jerry Meyer: "Herro has a bouncy athleticism and the upside to be a versatile player. He has one of the best pull up jumpers in the midrange in the class. Herro will also be a player that you have to respect from beyond the three-point line."
247 Sports' Brian Snow: "Herro
is someone who can really score the ball. He is a high-level shooter who is fairly adept at getting space for himself off the dribble."
What is Tyler Herro's legacy going to be at Kentucky?