Kentucky basketball could be in for a monster stretch involving coaching and player decisions.
Earlier Thursday, it was reported that Orlando Antigua returning to Kentucky looks very likely.
Now, Randy Newman of Big Blue Express reports his source believes Keion Brooks Jr. will return to Kentucky for his junior season.
Since the end of the season my intel was that it was likely that Keion Brooks would transfer. I have been working with that assumption since then. This afternoon a source told me that they believe Keion will be coming back.
As Newman wrote, Brooks’ name has come up in transfer rumors ever since Kentucky’s dismal 2020-21 season mercifully ended. The home-state Indiana Hoosiers were seemingly the favorites for Brooks had he entered the portal, but they’ve since filled out the roster and may no longer have room for the 6-7 forward.
If you’ve been following Newman, you’d know he was the first person to predict Orlando Antigua to Kentucky when this offseason began. He also correctly predicted Kentucky’s entire 2019-20 roster — outside of Keion Brooks and Dontaie Allen — would leave Lexington last offseason.
Of course, nothing is set in stone until an official announcement comes out.
For what it’s worth, Brooks’ father previously told The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker that Jr. was planning to test the NBA Draft process. However, it’s very hard to see him getting a draftable grade following a sophomore year that saw Brooks miss the first nine games due to a leg injury.
As a sophomore this past season, Brooks averaged a respectable 10.3 points on 44.1% shooting with 6.8 boards and 1.6 dimes per game. Still, he’s not going to be firmly on any NBA team’s radar unless he has a killer Pro Day.
Even if that happens, it’s likely that Brooks’ draft feedback will be return to school, especially since he doesn’t even have a true position right now as he’s bounced between the 3/4 spots.
Hopefully, Brooks is in Lexington next season along with Orlando Antigua, who’s helped plenty of talented guys like Brooks reach their potential in Lexington. Perhaps Antigua possibly returning to Kentucky is increasing the odds Brooks returns for Year 3 in blue and white.