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Mount St. Joseph's Phil Booth one of the nation's top 2014 guard prospects

July 26, 2012|By Matt Bracken | The Baltimore Sun

With Booth’s relative lack of AAU experience, he didn’t necessarily expect scholarships to start flowing in until his junior year. But thanks to his standout sophomore season at Mount St. Joseph, combined with impressive performances with Team Takeover in the spring and summer, Booth has already earned 10 scholarship offers.

For Booth, every offer – no matter what school it comes from – is important.

“I list them off the top of my head. Getting an offer is a big deal. I know every one,” he said. “St. Joseph’s, Seton Hall, Maryland, South Florida, Indiana, Georgetown, Rutgers, Villanova.”

In the weeks after Booth’s interview with The Sun, Southern Methodist and Xavier entered the mix with offers of their own. He has taken trips to Maryland and Villanova, and hopes to check out Indiana – where former Team Takeover coach Kenny Johnson is now an assistant – come fall. Booth Sr. said his son is looking for a program with an excellent graduation rate, good tradition, a diverse campus and a “great social setting.” But there will be no rush in choosing a school.

“[It’s] all neck and neck, feeling everyone out,” Booth Jr. said. “I haven’t really gotten deep into it. [I’m] going along for the ride. I’ll know when the time is right.”

When the time is right, one fortunate program will get a player that Clatchey says can do it all. Booth can “shoot the ball with range … make good decisions, find the open man, match up with a couple different types of players defensively … and he has really good body control,” his coach said. For those reasons and more, Booth, a consensus four-star prospect, will most likely continue to add offers in the months to come.

Clatchey has coached numerous high-major players during his 20-plus years at Mount St. Joseph. Booth – thanks in large part to this father’s tutelage – could ultimately be among the best.

“He’s very poised, very composed. He has great focus on fundamentals and skills,” Clatchey said. “I think he has a chance to have a really great next two years. He was very instrumental in us winning the championship this past year. I think he’s in line to really have a terrific college career as well.”



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