Keion Brooks is set to make his decision on Friday, March 15th at 8:00 PM EST. in what is a very close race between a few teams.
The top contenders right now are as follows; Indiana Hoosiers, Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels, Purdue Boilermakers and Michigan State Spartans. That being said, it’s widely known as a two-horse race between Indiana and Kentucky.
Brooks is an extremely talented small forward that stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 185 pounds. He can score in a multitude of ways and plays really well on the defensive end.
He is from Fort Wayne, Indiana, which is why Indiana may be No. 1 on his list. This has encouraged most recruiting experts to lean towards the Hoosiers.
With that being said, a lot has changed for Brooks over the past few weeks. He visited Kentucky when they smacked Tennessee down in Rupp Arena, so that had to leave a positive impression.
And since then, recruiting analysts have been picking Kentucky to landed the La Lumiere product. That includes a prediction today from Rivals recruiting expert Corey Evans, who flipped his pick from Indiana to Kentucky.
Later, Evans spoke with Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader. While Evans is going with Kentucky, he stressed that Indiana is still very much in this race.
“I’ve always stuck with Indiana, and I think it could still be Indiana,” Evans told the Herald-Leader. “But I think the idea of attending the blue-blood school, with Keion, has kind of weighed on his mind the entire time. And I think that’s what is going to win out with him.”
Brooks is never one to back down from a challenge, and at Kentucky, he would face the biggest challenge in trying to win a national championship.
The Cats have been pushing hard for him down the stretch, but is it enough?
We got together at our virtual roundtable to offer our predictions of his choice:
This is a tough call, because Brooks has had Indiana at No. 1 for quite some time. It’s his home state, and we all know how attractive it is to want to play for your home team in an attempt to win a championship.
However, I believe Kentucky will secure Brooks come Friday evening. There are several reasons why I think this.
First, John Calipari has struggled getting top recruits for the 2019 season, but, we saw the same thing last year until he came up big at the end. I don’t think Cal will let yet another top recruit slip through his fingers, especially considering how desperate the Cats are for a talented forward in their 2019 class.
Second, this is a very similar situation to we saw with Romeo Langford in terms of wanting to play for his home team. Well, despite Langford’s stellar play this season, the Indiana Hoosiers are in serious danger of not making the NCAA Tournament. I think Brooks will take note of this and decide to go with Kentucky, considering it’s nearly a guarantee that he’ll have the opportunity to win a championship and gain more exposure.
To me, Keion Brooks gives Kentucky the opportunity to bring in a true small forward with length, much like they had with Kevin Knox. Brooks is a rangy 6-7 with a long wingspan and the ability to step out on the floor and play. His skill set meshes well with the additions of Tyrese Maxey and Khalil Whitney.
Kentucky made a huge push to get Brooks once he saw the atmosphere at a rocking Rupp Arena on an ESPN GameDay coupled with an epic mid-season collapse at Indiana. Now that that is in the past, does UK still have enough momentum to land Brooks?
At the end of the day, I think actually getting Brooks on campus at the perfect time will carry the Cats through.
Kentucky is in serious need of frontcourt players for next season. With the departures of Reid Travis and PJ Washington, the Cats will be thin as they’ll only return EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards.
That’s where Keion Brooks comes in. Brooks is a SF/PF who will likely play more down low. He’s a great athlete and developing as a shooter.
If he can improve his range and ball-handling, he could be a lot to handle. However, he’s got a long way to go before he gets to the NBA. He’s likely a 2-3 year player, at least.
As for who he picks, I’m not super confident. Indiana was the favorite for a long time as that’s his hometown team, but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.
He loves Kentucky and the coaching staff. He wants to go wherever will help him achieve his dream of getting to the NBA. Obviously, that would make Kentucky the easy pick, but it’s hard to turn down the “hometown hero” pitch.
I do think Kentucky’s “this isn’t for everyone” pitch did resonate, though, and that’s why they’ve been able to gain so much momentum in this recruitment.
I’d give UK a 60% chance and IU a 40% chance to land the five-star prospect. I hope this doesn’t turn out like the James Blackmon, Jr. situation, but Kentucky legitimately needs Brooks next season.
It’ll be tough to say no to the Hoosiers, but in the end I think UK’s ability to develop players and get them ready for the NBA will win out.
Keion Brooks, the 23rd and 38th ranked player in the 2019 class for 247Sports and ESPN, respectively, will be announcing his college decision on Friday. Kentucky looks to be in a three-team race for his services with Michigan State and his home state school of Indiana.
Being 6-7 with a lighter frame isn’t exactly where Kentucky needs the most help as they’re expecting to be left with only EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards in the frontcourt by the end of this season. He can probably play the four in smaller lineups, but the Wildcats will have plenty of wing players with Kahlil Whitney and Dontaie Allen coming in and Jemarl Baker hoping to have a bigger role in what he hopes will be his first healthy season in Lexington.
He’s an extremely versatile player that can handle the ball well for his size, which no team would say no to. He picked the right time to take a visit to Rupp, as Kentucky demolished a Tennessee team that was No. 1 in the nation in front of a record crowd for him.
I don’t think Indiana has done themselves any favors with how their season has gone, especially with home state kid Romeo Langford in the spotlight.
And with John Calipari’s track record, I think he’ll pick up another highly rated recruit here with Keion Brooks.
Kentucky has obviously made huge strides in the last few months in the recruitment of Keion Brooks. At one point, not long ago, he was pretty much considered a Big Ten lock, specifically to Indiana. Whether it’s the poor play of the Hoosiers (being nice here) or the magic of Coach Cal, now Brooks is looking like he will pick Kentucky on Friday.
I have to be honest, I’ve been really surprised to see Kentucky make up this kind of ground just considering how established the 2019 class already is on the wing.
But “positionless” basketball is becoming more and more of a real thing and Keion Brooks is the type of player who can step in as a contributor on any college team.
At this point, it seems very unlikely that Brooks decides to sign with a Big Ten school. The SEC remains on the upswing and that may help close the deal with a top recruit.
John Calipari is still recruiting for his 2019 class. After some early commits from Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, and Dontaie Allen, things grew quiet around Lexington.
But recruiting heated up once again once the Indiana Hoosiers started tanking. In the middle of their woeful losing streak, five star wing Keion Brooks started to lose interest in the school that was once heavily favored to land him. Brooks, a native to Indiana, is a very skilled wing man, but there have been questions about his motor. His talent level is top ten worthy while his work ethic has some recruiting analysts scratching their heads.
That’s not something that John Calipari is afraid of. If there’s one thing we can agree he’s good at, it’s motivation. Brooks would add depth to a backcourt that may lose a number of guys as Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans look likely to at the very least test the NBA waters. Keldon Johnson is almost assuredly gone.
While Brooks will no doubt be a welcome addition to the class and should elevate it to top three in the country, it won’t ease BBN’s worries about landing a quality big man as their numbers are dwindling. But if both Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery return, that should ease the worry a little.
In the end, I think Brooks picks UK. There signs are right there in front of us. Prepare for #HooiserNation to lob some grenades at both Brooks and Calipari.
It feels like the recruitment of Keion Brooks has been a roller coaster. Kentucky started out in good shape, Indiana made a surge and it seemed like a done deal, and now the Wildcats appears to have the momentum.
A player of Brooks’ caliber will be able to come in and instantly contribute. His versatility will get him playing time wherever he goes. Due to the combination of his size and athleticism, he can play shooting guard, small forward, or even power forward in a small ball lineup. He would certainly be a welcome addition to next year’s Kentucky roster, playing multiple positions and bringing an arsenal of skills with him.
Recruiting analysts certainly get it wrong from time to time, but rarely is there a wave of predictions for a certain school that prove to be wrong. And while John Calipari has jumped in to steal several recruits unexpectedly over the years, it has been rare that he has lost a kid that his team was favored for.