Chris Booker, a 6'9 versatile forward, verbally committed to Purdue on September 26, 2001.
Purdue was chosen from a list of schools that seemed to grow more than it was reduced, when
the word got out Booker was a high Division I prospect. Along with Kansas and Illinois, two
school who entered the race early for Booker, Louisville's Rick Pitino and Texas Tech's
Bobby Knight made late runs and convinced Booker to officially visit. Unlike past recruiting
battle between the two coaches and Keady, they were on the outside looking in. Booker
averaged 9.3 points and 9.3 rebounds (252 in 28 games) as a freshman at Tyler while shooting
50-percent from the field, 42-percent from the perimeter (17-41) and 79-percent from the line.
He was named honorable mention all-Region XIV conference as a freshman. Booker attended
Diamond Hill-Jarvis High in Fort Worth, TX where he was the area player of the year as a
senior. He originally signed with Houston in high school, hoping to play for former NBA star
Clyde Drexler. Drexler later left, and Booker went the junior college route. TCU and some Big
12 schools recruited Booker out of high school when he was generally considered a sleeper.
He didn't play summer ball until the summer between his junior and senior seasons. As a
senior he averaged 23.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, 7.6 blocks and 4.4 assists. Booker's junior
stats were 16.6 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and four assists. The most notable quote
from Booker was one he made during his senior season in high school when asked about the
NBA..."There are other ways to make a million dollars. I am not going to college to play
pro basketball." (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Booker verbally commited to Purdue on 9/26/01, and signed the first day of the early signing
period on 11/14/01.
11-21-01...Keady's 2001-2002 recruiting class is now officially complete. Purdue
has received an LOI from each verballed player making them official Boilermakers.
Congratulations to the players and the coaching staff for another top 25 caliber
class, rated as such by both Van Coleman and Bob Gibbons.
11-10-01...Tyler JC has opened the 2001-02 season with a 1-1 record, following a 100-90
win over Weatherford and a 79-76 loss to Cisco. In game one, Chris Booker scored 27
points to co-lead the team, and led all players with 13 rebounds. In game two, Booker
scored 11 points. He has been Tyler's starting post player for the first two games.
Booker is backed up by 6'7 230-pound freshman post Curtis Walker from Fort Bend (TX)
and 6'9 255-pound freshman Lance Hood from Mansfield (OH). Walker is the gem of the
two freshmen. A former all-american high school player, Walker is athletic enough to
contribute in Tyler's uptempo game. He averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds as a senior
in high school. Hood lack the athleticism of Walker, but is a skilled big body and
rebounder. Hood averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks as a senior in high
9-26-01...The big man drought has officially come to an end as Keady and staff sign
two of their top 6'10 recruits, adding Chris Booker today. Tyler Junior College
standout 6'10 post player with range Chris Booker has been confirmed to have
committed to Purdue.
9-24-01...The Chris Booker decision should come this week, no later than October
1st according to comments he made to Jeff Washburn. The two finalists appear to
be Purdue and Texas Tech, with Louisville and Washington now in the distance.
Booker visited Texas Tech last weekend, and visited Purdue this past weekend.
9-20-01...We have received the 2001-2002 schedule for Tyler Junior College and
have posted it below. Booker may be able to hone his skills at forward this year
as Tyler JC has two 6'9 freshmen post players weighing in at 245 and 255 pounds
respectively. Purdue may wish to keep the pipeline open to Tyler for these two,
plus keep an eye on 7'1, 300-pound center Brandon Byrne, currently redshirting
9-19-01...Purdue hosts what may be the final piece to the class of 2002 this
coming weekend as Chris Booker makes an official visit. Booker will follow a
visit last weekend from already verbally committed small forward Melvin Buckley,
while the staff has to wait until November 17th to get Matt Kiefer on campus
for his official visit. Keady traveled to Fort Worth, Texas for a home visit
with Booker on September 9th, then visited with Buckley on the 11th. Also in
the article below, Purdue may again try to schedule an alternative to the
midnight first practice held by most programs around the nation, in favor of
an earlier time possibly in conjunction with a home football game.
8-17-01...The recruitment of Chris Booker continues. The new program in the
mix who has shown a lot of interest of late is Texas Tech. Bobby Knight,
rarely seen much on the recruiting trail during the summer at Indiana, was
following Booker around at the Mullin JUCO Jamboree. Also in attendance were
Roy Williams and an assistant from Kansas. Plans for a visit to Kansas have
been pushed back to Kansas' version of Midnight Madness, a move the Kansas
staff did not like. Booker also plans to take official visits to Washington
State and Purdue. He has offers on the table from Texas Tech, Iowa State,
Purdue, Washington State, Illinois, Texas, Arizona State, and Louisville.
Previous questions about his academic standing have been cleared up, thanks
to some hard work this summer in the classroom.
7-1-01...There is a lot of movement in recruiting now that players are
beginning to hear from coaches and are accepting scholarship offers. There
seems to be quite a few players in the 6'9 to 6'11 range with inside-outside
games this year, and with Matt Kiefer's commitment to Purdue and 6'10 Chris
Grimm's verbal to Marquette, we are seeing some movement with the versatile
big men. Tyler JC 6'10 forward Chris Booker looks to be favoring Kansas, with
Purdue running second and Rick Pitino now trying to get involved. Booker has
a similar game to Gary West's Chris Hunter with respect to both wanting to
play facing the basket and neither wanting to draw much contact. But Hunter
is a better athlete, while Booker has perimeter range and a very good 15-foot
jumper. With another scholarship available for a power forward or post player,
Hunter, Best and Augustine are getting the most attention at the moment, with
Kevin Cates a backup option for that scholarship. If Keady signs any of the
remaining big forwards on his list, Purdue should have one of the most versatile
combination of big forwards in the conference coming in.
6-13-01...Purdue has made the top four for Tyler JC big forward Chris Booker,
but has some strong company with Kansas, Illinois and DePaul also in the hunt.
Tyler head coach Chris Crutchfield said the Boilers were showing plenty of
interest, adding "Purdue wants to add some more athleticism to their front
5-4-01...Darmetreis Kilgore's Tyler JC teammate 6'8 Bobbye Hill was once seen
to list Purdue, but has chosen to attend Austin Peay. A freshman forward
currently at Tyler, 6'9 Chris Booker, is now showing interest in Purdue along
with Kansas and Illinois. Booker averaged 9.3 points and 9.3 rebounds (252
in 28 games) while shooting 50-percent from the field, 42-percent from the
perimeter (17-41) and 79-percent from the line. Booker was named honorable
mention all-Region XIV conference as a freshman. Booker attended Diamond
Hill-Jarvis High in Fort Worth, TX where he was the area player of the year
as a senior. He originally signed with Houston in high school, hoping to play
for former NBA star Clyde Drexler. Drexler later left, and Booker went the
junior college route. TCU and some Big 12 schools recruited Booker out of
high school when he was generally considered a sleeper. He didn't play summer
ball until the summer between his junior and senior seasons. As a senior he
averaged 23.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, 7.6 blocks and 4.4 assists. Booker's
junior stats were 16.6 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and four assists.
Scouting report by Gene Keady..."We think Chris will be instant help because of his
size and the fact that we are losing John Allison and Rodney Smith next season.
He's gained valuable experience while in junior college. He's a big strong kid
that will help us around the basket." (11/21/01, Purdue SID)
Scouting report by Van Coleman..."Booker is a big, strong, 245-pound kid that
runs the floor very well." (11/15/01, Indianapolis Star)
Tyler head coach Mike Marquis..."The talent and potential are out the window
on Chris. I really think my main goal with him, personally, is to give him that
burning desire to be great every night - not be satisfied with playing, but be
only satisfied with dominating." (11/04/01)
CBS Sportsline..."A product of Diamond Hill High School in Fort Worth, Texas, he
may be a redshirt candidate since the Cougars already have Williams, Ford and Okafor
up front. Booker can play inside or outside, though, which could make him a
possibility at small forward." (April 10, 2000)
Daily Cougar..."Booker is a rangy 6-9, 215 pounds, with a shot-blocker's mentality."
(June 12, 2000)
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