Devin Booker has all the tools.
He's beginning to understand how to use them.
That's the difference, says Clemson Brad Brownell in a 27-point game and a 16-point game for the Tigers' senior big man.
Booker was at his best Sunday night against 14th-ranked N.C. State, as he scored a career-high 27 points on 13-of-17 shooting.
"Last night he found a bunch of different ways to do it, which was exciting for me to see, and that's why he had 27 instead of 16," said Brownell on Monday during the ACC coaches' teleconference. "He got offensive rebounds, he got transition baskets, made a couple jump shots, he made some low post moves off of sets, he made some low post moves off of motion, ball screen stuff.
"So he scored in a variety of ways, and that's what you have to be able to do to produce 20-point nights."
So far against ACC opponents, Booker is averaging 17.0 points per game (7th in the league), 9.8 rebounds (3rd) and is shooting 54.1 percent from field (2nd).
"He's played great in the league without question," said Brownell. "I wish we could have gotten a few more of these games out of him in the non-conference. I don't know if some of it is probably a combination of factors. I think it's us doing a better job of getting him the ball in good places, and I think a lot of it is really just his confidence."
It has taken Booker some time to get comfortable playing in the low post, and honing his skills to attacking opposing big men.
"I think Devin is a guy who's maybe not been 100 percent comfortable all the time down in the low post, and he's really had to work at it these last couple of years as he's gotten to play down there," Brownell said. "Really his sophomore year when we had Jerai Grant, he didn't get to play down there very much. He played out on the perimeter some and a little bit down there, and then last year and this year he's been down there.
"This year I just sense a more willingness to actually be a true low post player. He's always kind of wanted to fringe out some and certainly showed last night - he made two jump shots - that he can make a high post shot. But he needs to continue to work down in the low post. That's where he does his best work, and I think a lot of it really is his just confidence of having played well in a couple of games this year."
Brownell said another factor is that Booker has realized that he needs to be a leader on a young team.
"He's kind of looking around our team and realizing that we're playing with mostly young players and that he's the guy," said Brownell. "He and Milton (Jennings) had to be the guys to make plays for us, and we've done a better job of helping him, and he's done a tremendous job in ACC play of scoring."