Indiana basketball: 2023 Five-star Xavier Booker includes IU in top 10 schools

Cathedral basketball player Xavier Booker, at home with his parents Fred and Demetric Booker, in Fishers, Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
Cathedral basketball player Xavier Booker, at home with his parents Fred and Demetric Booker, in Fishers, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. /
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2023 Five-star forward, Xavier Booker, cut his list down from 30 offers to his top 10 schools and included Mike Woodson and Indiana basketball.

Booker, a 6-foot-10 205-pound forward from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, turned down offers from college basketball power houses Duke, Kansas, Illinois, USC, Texas, Iowa, Louisville, among others. Booker’s top 10 list included the following schools: Oregon, Purdue, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan State, Michigan, and Indiana. According to 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions, the favorite to land Booker is Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans.

Indiana basketball fans should be curious to compare the fit of the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class with his top 10 schools and how the Hoosiers fit into that conversation as we take a team-by-team look for each of his top schools based on best fit:

#10. Cincinnati Bearcats

If Xavier Booker wants to go to a basketball program where he won’t have to compete for being the best player or playing against power conference teams nearly as often, then Cincinnati would be a great fit. Ideally for Booker, the goal is to make it to the NBA by the 2024 NBA Draft, and the exposure and competition from the AAC and Cincinnati does not stack up to the other schools in his top 10.

Booker’s unique ability to score from all three levels would make him a once-in-a recruiting class talent that would change the Bearcats basketball program looking at the future. Wes Miller has built a pretty strong roster for the upcoming 2022-23 season as he added “Big Shot” Rob Phinisee from Indiana and Landers Nolley II from Memphis. If Miller and his recruiting staff were to land the No. 3 overall prospect in the nation, it would put Cincinnati on the map and make them an opponent that will be sought out by other power conference schools and regular season tournaments.

#9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Booker staying in Indiana, with three teams from the Hoosier state in his top 10, seems like the best bet looking at the other teams on the list. But joining the Fighting Irish roster would be somewhat surprising due to the disappearance of this program being relevant and consistent for the previous four seasons before winning the play-in game against Rutgers and first round win against Alabama in last seasons March Madness.

Dane Goodwin, Nate Laszewski, and others will be gone by next season, which is a good opportunity for Booker to step in and take a lead of a sub-par offense, especially alongside five-star 2022 commit JJ Starling, if he sticks around longer than one season. Heading to South Bend seems like a big stretch in most expert eyes, especially with the competition in the ACC becoming less and less and other conferences improving year by year.