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Keion Brooks earns first SEC Player of the Week award of his career

Brooks had the best game of his career as Kentucky crushed the Jayhawks in their own building.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. has been named SEC Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. It’s the first time Brooks has ever won this award.

In wins over Mississippi State and at No. 5 Kansas, Brooks led the Wildcats in scoring at 19.5 points per game. That included a career-high 27 points and to go with eight rebounds in the Wildcats’ 80-62 over the Jayhawks to help the SEC earn a 6-4 win in this year’s Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Brooks scored 15 straight points for the Cats at one point in the second half as Kansas had no answer for the Indiana native, who now has Kentucky looking like a strong national title contender.

Kentucky’s 18-point victory marked the largest margin of victory in program history on the road against a top-five team. It was also just the 16th loss in Allen Fieldhouse for the Jayhawks in 302 games under head coach Bill Self.

Kentucky’s other win was much harder to secure, but Brooks shined when it mattered most, as he scored 12 points in the overtime win over Mississippi State, eight of which coming in the second half. That seemed to spark Brooks’ performance at Kansas, so perhaps we’re finally witnessing the Keion Brooks breakthrough we’ve been waiting to see since last season.

The Wildcats have now earned eight SEC weekly awards this season. Junior point guard Sahvir Wheeler and junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe have each won SEC Player of the Week once. Freshman guard TyTy Washington Jr. has earned five SEC Freshman of the Week awards.

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