Sons often seek their own way, even when it comes to college recruiting.
Dell Curry was a sharp-shooting guard at Virginia Tech. His son, Steph, became a sharper-shooting guard at Davidson.
Bill Walton won national championships at UCLA; Luke pivoted to Arizona.
Mitchell Wiggins finished at Florida State; his son Andrew soared at Kansas.
Thursday night’s NCAA Tournament game between Kentucky and Hampton will provide a reminder of Missouri’s hoop glory days from a couple of offspring.
Devin Booker suits up for the Wildcats, Quinton Chievous for the Pirates.
If those names sound familiar, they should.
Booker’s dad is Melvin, the starting point guard for Mizzou’s 1994 Elite Eight squad that roared through the Big Eight undefeated. Melvin was the league’s player of the year and ranks fifth on the Tigers’ career scoring chart.
Chievous is the son of Derrick Chievous, the star of Missouri’s 1980s squads that battled the likes of Kansas and Danny Manning and Kansas State and Mitch Richmond. Derrick remains Missouri’s career scoring leader with 2,580 points.
The Booker recruiting story was simple: It came down to Kentucky, Michigan State or Missouri.
Melvin Booker said then-MU coach Frank Haith did an excellent job recruiting Devin. But the Wildcats were the leader all along — Booker wanted to play with another Kentucky recruit, Tyler Ulis.
“We’d known each other since the eighth grade,” Booker said. “We started talking and thought it would be cool to come to school together.”
The Chievous recruiting story involves more layers, and schools.
Quinton Chievous lived with his father in Columbia until high school. He then moved in with his mother in Chicago, where he finished school.
Missouri showed interest in recruiting him but didn’t make an offer. During Chievous’ decision time, in 2011, the Tigers were in a coaching transition from Mike Anderson to Haith.
Anderson’s staff wanted Chievious to wait because the Tigers also were recruiting Ben McLemore from St. Louis, who committed to Kansas that April.
A month later, Chievous had narrowed his choices to Tennessee and Saint Louis; he wound up signing with the Vols.
“I wouldn’t have had a problem going to Missouri,” Chievous said. “But it’s worked out for me.”
It did eventually, anyway. Tennessee had also just switched coaches, from Bruce Pearl to Cuonzo Martin, when Chievous enrolled, and Chievous wasn’t happy with his playing time in Knoxville.
He transferred to Hampton after last season and was eligible immediately because he had earned his undergraduate degree.
Chievous started most of this season for the Pirates, brings a 10.3 scoring average into Thursday’s game and is coming off one of his most impressive outings of the season: 15 points and 13 rebounds in Hampton’s opening-round victory over Manhattan.
There is no way to know how things would have worked out had the sons followed their fathers to Columbia. The Tigers could’ve used all the help they could get this year as they piled up a school-record 23 losses in Kim Anderson’s first season.
But sons don’t always follow dads, and dads, at least when it comes to talented sons, are looking for the best situation for their kids. Melvin Booker said Devin made the final call, and Derrick Chievous said the recruiting decision was all his son’s.
They went their own way — away from dad’s alma mater.