It was Keion Brooks that stepped up in a massive way for the Cats, as he had a career night in Kentucky’s largest margin of victory against a top five team on the road in program history.
Brooks led the Cats in scoring as he finished with 27 points on 9/16 shooting and was 9/10 from the free-throw line. He also added eight rebounds and an assist.
“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t expect Keion to go for 27,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said after the game. “He was great.”
The Cats took a 20-point lead into halftime, but everyone knew Kansas would have a run in them, and they came out shooting the ball well in the second half.
However, Oscar Tshiebwe scored the first bucket for the Cats, and that was followed by Brooks taking this game over by scoring 15 straight points, answering Kansas’ run, and pushing the lead from 14 back out to 18 with just under nine minutes to play.
“We don’t have anybody on our team that could do what Keion did on that lob that Sahvir (Wheeler) gave him in the first half,” Self said of Brooks. “We got one guy that can go upstairs as good as anybody.
“But after that, we don’t have guys like that.”
Brooks has his best games when he allows the game to come to him and doesn’t try to take his man off the dribble. He has one of the better mid-range jump shots on this team. In this game, he took and made those shots at an extremely high level.
If this team can get consistency out of Brooks moving forward, then they are without a doubt one of the best teams in the country and a legitimate contender for the National Championship.