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Keion Brooks Jr. will be playing on ESPNU today at 4 PM

(Photo: Lopez/Nike)

Kentucky fans will have their very first chance to catch Wildcat commit Keion Brooks Jr. in action since he made his big decision back in March.

At 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, Brooks will be playing on ESPNU as his La Lumiere squad begins their title run at the Geico National Championships in New York City.

Former Kentucky forward target and Brooks’ teammate Isaiah Stewart, a Washington signee, will also be taking the floor for La Lumiere.

If Brooks’ team wins their first game today, they will play tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. From there, the national championship game is scheduled for Saturday at noon, which will be televised on ESPN.

LIVE DIARY: McDonald’s All-American Game 2019

LIVE DIARY: McDonald’s All-American Game 2019

The 2019 edition of the McDonald’s All-American Game is officially underway, and KSR is live from State Farm Arena to see it go down.

ESPN2 is broadcasting the game featuring two future Kentucky Wildcats, Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney, and two UK targets, Matthew Hurt and Jaden McDaniels.

We’ll be discussing everything going on and some of the leftovers from earlier in the week right here in our Live Diary.

7:13 – Jack

Welcome in, BBN. You guys can feel free to comment on anything that stands out tonight or ask whatever questions you may have about what has happened throughout the week with our guys.

7:16 – Jack

So far, the score is 25-15 in favor of the East squad. Maxey, Whitney, and Hurt are on the West, while McDaniels is on the East.

Maxey had an impressive floater to start the game, while McDaniels had a solid step-back three-pointer on the other end.

7:28 – Jack

Now that I’m settled in a bit, I’ll drop a few notes to catch you up on everything leading up to the game today:

  • Traffic in Atlanta is always horrible, but it was absolutely ridiculous leading up to this event. It took me about 45 minutes to go about a mile and a half between my hotel and State Farm Arena.
  • Finding the media parking was even worse. I went to three different structures/lots before I found the right place. They weren’t very helpful with directions, so most people here were left trying to figure it out on their own. Most people in the media room were complaining about it.
  • Outside the media area there was a cloud of weed smoke, and it was coming from the “VIP Dressing Room.” Migos is the halftime performer today. Sounds like we’re in for a good time.
  • The media food was absolutely delicious. Braised beef, cheese grits, and steamed broccoli. Big fan.
  • The crowd is completely silent. I didn’t even realize the game tipped off when it did. Most of the lower bowl is filled, but they make the folks in the lower level at Rupp Arena sound like party animals.
  • Jonathan Dunn of LEX18 drove from Raleigh, NC to Atlanta for this game after the UK women’s basketball team lost, and he’s pretty thrilled that we only get ten minutes with the Kentucky players after this game.

7:34 – Jack

Score with 3:25 remaining in the half is 52-40. There isn’t a boxscore available yet, so I have no idea who the leading scorer is. I think it’s Isaiah Stewart, but your guess is as good as mine.

7:38 – Jack

Just found stats. Maxey has five points, zero rebounds, and one assist. Whitney has zero points, zero rebounds, and zero assists.

Cole Anthony leads all scorers with 10, followed by Stewart with eight, and Hurt with six.

Go team.

7:43 – Jack

HALFTIME: East leads West 60-49.

Time for Migos.

7:44 – Jack

Question by BBNSince93: ESPN showed on the screen that we are in the running for Trendon Watford. Is this a real thing or just an error by ESPN because he hasn’t been covered on this site at all?

Kentucky is not in the running for Trendon Watford. He has been considered an Alabama lean for a while, but now that Avery Johnson is out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he joins James Wiseman and Penny Hardaway in Memphis.

His brother is Christian Watford, so there’s also that.

8:02 – Jack

Migos performed at halftime, and they actually weren’t too bad.

Also, this might be in the running for picture of the year:

8:08 – Jack 

Apparently Tyrese Maxey’s three didn’t make it on the ESPN broadcast earlier, they were showing a highlight instead. That’s just lovely.

It was an open three in the corner. Catch-and-shoot. Looked great.

8:12 – Jack

Comment from BLUE WHITE: Not very many alley oops or big plays so far.

It’s riveting basketball, lemme tell ya. Imagine doing a Live Diary on it.

8:17 – Jack

Tyrese Maxey just hit another impressive three, brings his point total to eight. Second on his team behind Wiseman.

Still waiting for a Whitney bucket.

8:19 – Jack

Maxey hits another three. He’s heating up. Leads the team in points with 11 now.

East leads the West 84-70.

8:38 – Jack

East leads the West 107-90 with 2:58 left. Fans starting to hit the exits.

Maxey is up to 13 points, and Kahlil Whitney just scored his first basket.

Precious Achuiwa (West) leads all scorers with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Maxey, Wiseman, and Robinson-Earl each have 13 for the West.

8:45 – Jack

FINAL: East defeats the West 115-100.

Tyrese Maxey ties for a team-high 13 points on 5-10 shooting and 3-6 from three. Also added an assist and two steals.

Kahlil Whitney finishes with two points and one rebound.

McDAAG Day One Notes: Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney turn heads at Powerade Jam Fest

McDAAG Day One Notes: Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney turn heads at Powerade Jam Fest

McDonald’s All-American Game festivities tipped off yesterday, and future Kentucky Wildcats Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney made sure their presence was known from the jump.

The Wildcat duo, both suiting up for the West squad this week, got things started on Monday morning with their first practice, followed by a brief media opportunity. Yesterday evening, Maxey and Whitney each participated in the Powerade Jam Fest event, where they both turned heads.

Let’s dive right in.

Practice/Media Availability

With over 90 NBA scouts in Atlanta watching the top high school basketball players in America compete, both Wildcats participating this week let those watching know that they are two of the most impressive players in high school basketball.

For Maxey, it was his elite shooting ability and competitive nature that had onlookers fascinated.

Here are just a few of the reactions:

Here is Maxey’s entire highlight tape from this morning, where his ridiculous shooting stroke separated himself from his peers:

As for Whitney, while his athleticism and defensive intensity is always the center of attention, his improved jump shot was also quite impressive.

Here is one look at it:

And another look:

As early as last year, Whitney had a Hamidou Diallo-like hitch in his shot that really hurt his ability to find consistency as a shooter. He has always been able to drive and finish in the paint, but opponents could neutralize him a bit on the floor by sagging off of him and forcing him to work from the outside.

Now that he has tweaked his form and has developed that muscle memory, he has truly become a threat on all three levels of the floor. Every time I watch him play (especially now) I see a more-advanced Jaylen Brown at this stage. Going into college, Brown was a low-30s 3-point shooter, and he followed it up with a “meh” 29.4 percent clip in his lone season at Cal-Berkeley.

In the NBA, though, Brown has shot 36.3 percent from three over the course of his career and has become just enough of a consistent threat to keep defenders.

If he’s even an above-average perimeter shooter at Kentucky, the rest of his game will more than make up for it.

As far as media availability is concerned, we only got about ten minutes or so for quick interviews after practice, so it’s slim-pickings with news (from yesterday, at least).

The biggest updates of the day, though, are as follows:

  • 2019 five-star forward Matthew Hurt will make a decision on April 19, down to Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis, and Minnesota. He’s still working on visits to Memphis and Minnesota, and he claims all six schools are on equal ground.
  • 2019 five-star forward Jaden McDaniels still has no idea where he wants to go and has no timeline for a decision.
  • Kahlil Whitney talked about how excited he is to get pushed to the limit by John Calipari in Lexington, says the elite competition makes him want to get on campus as soon as possible.
  • Tyrese Maxey believes Kentucky is going to win the national title this year, says he thinks his group can make another run next year. Still recruiting a piece or two to close out the 2019 class.

As far as light-hearted content is concerned, Jake Rosen of sat down with Maxey and asked him about his favorite food, movies, music, and more.

You can check that out here:

With Media Day taking place this afternoon, we’ll have more time to talk with the players, where I’ll be able to ask more Kentucky-specific questions to those in attendance. Be on the lookout for that in a bit.

Powerade Jam Fest

After practice and media opportunities, we packed into buses and drove to Wheeler High School (EJ Montgomery’s former school) in Marietta, GA for the Powerade Jam Fest.

There, Maxey competed in the Legends and Stars Shootout, where he absolutely dominated the event.

After going 1/2 from the 3-point line (both shots looked good, if we’re being honest), the future Wildcat jogged over to the half-court line and drilled it in one attempt.

Take a look:

No one else came close. Maxey ran away with the easy victory in this one.

From there, Kahlil participated in the Slam Dunk Contest, where he unleashed his ridiculous athleticism.

On his first attempt, Superman cape and all, Whitney got Maxey to toss him an alley-oop off the backboard:

On his second attempt, Whitney went with the self-oop back-scratcher, where his entire head was above the rim.

Maxey also helped out future Florida Gator Scottie Lewis in his insane dunk attempt:

This was the contest-winning dunk from Stanford women’s basketball commit Francesca Belibi:

Overall, it was a fun event and the Cats looked impressive in the national spotlight.

Evening Media Opportunity

After the Powerade Jam Fest, Maxey, along with Belibi, five-star recruit Cole Anthony, and Notre Dame women’s basketball signee Samantha Brunelle, each talked to the media about their performance.

Maxey, in particular, talked about his Lewis jumping over him in the Dunk Contest, his favorite dunk from the night, and practicing specifically for the half-court attempt in the Legends and Stars Shootout.

Take a look:

Practice will be from 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. this morning followed by Media Day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

I’ll have several updates with all the footage, interviews, and analysis you could ever need throughout the day.

See you then.