MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kentucky got showed up Friday night, according to coach John Calipari. Just not by UCLA.
The Cats sped past the Bruins 86-75 and into the Elite Eight. Kentucky freshman De’Aaron Fox broke the NCAA Tournament freshman scoring record with 39 points, but Calipari made sure to point out another significant Kentucky scoring output on Friday night.
“I’ve got to shout out to Devin Booker,” Calipari said. “Ms. Veronica, his mother hit me today, wishing me luck, and I said I’m so proud of your son, and he goes for 70 tonight. How do you get 70? Like, he showed up our team. We just have a great win and they’re going to be talking about Devin Booker all night now.”
It was a night worth talking about. Booker’s 70 points in the Phoenix Suns’ loss to the Boston Celtics were a franchise record. He went 21 of 40 from the field and 24 of 26 from the free throw line.
“I heard about that,” senior Dominique Hawkins, who played with Booker, said after Kentucky’s game. “That’s unbelievable. That’s insane, to be honest. Is that the third-highest, probably? That’s crazy. Oh, my gosh.”
Booker was the sixth player in NBA history to record a 70-point game. It’s the highest scoring output of any active NBA player. And here’s a reminder that Booker is still 20 years old.
Hawkins said he saw glimpses of Booker in can’t-miss mode in practices long before Friday.
“Yeah,” Hawkins said, “he had days like that all the time.”
— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) March 25, 2017