After a 29-0 start to the season, Keion Brooks Jr. and the La Lumiere Lakers came up just short in the GEICO High School Nationals title game, falling to IMG Academy by a final score of 66-55.
In his final game as a high school basketball player, the Kentucky commit finished with a team-high 15 points (6-18 shooting, 1-9 from three), five rebounds, and one assist in the loss.
La Lumiere (Ind.) defeated Bishop Gorman (Nev.) in the quarterfinals on Thursday, and followed it up with a victory over Cole Anthony’s Oak Hill squad yesterday afternoon.
In three games, Brooks averaged 17.7 points, seven rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game on a combined 48 percent shooting overall and 25 percent from three.
After the event, the 6-foot-8 forward was named to the GEICO Nationals All-Tournament Team:
#GEICONationals All-Tournament Boys' Teams
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG)- MVP
Isaiah Stewart (La Lumiere)
Keion Brooks (La Lumiere)
Jaden Springer (IMG)
Josh Green (IMG)
— InsideTheLockerRoom (@ITLR_DMV) April 6, 2019
After watching all 100+ minutes of action with Brooks on the floor this weekend, here is a quick rundown of his biggest strengths and weaknesses:
- Spot-up shooting
- Scoring instinct
What impressed me the most about Brooks’ game is that he is a true grab-and-go threat on offense. With great instincts on the glass, the future Wildcat can grab a rebound, take it coast to coast, and finish over talented defenders. With a confident shooting stroke from mid-range and three, along with a knack for finding open lanes and easy baskets inside, he can put the ball in the basket wherever he wants on offense.
His shot obviously didn’t fall from deep this afternoon, but the mechanics are there and he has proven throughout the course of his senior season that he can be a consistent threat.
- Shot selection
Where Brooks struggled the most was when he tried to force the issue too much with the ball in his hands. Against quicker, aggressive guards, the 6-foot-8 forward had the ball stolen from him on numerous occasions both in the half court set and in transition. He’ll need to get that tightened up if he wants to play on the wing in college.
In terms of shot selection, he reverted to hero ball a bit when his team was down throughout the tournament. He would drive the lane and shoot over double teams or take unnecessary jumpers to bring his team back from behind. On Friday, it worked, as he scored several consecutive baskets, allowing La Lumiere to come back and win over Oak Hill. Today, it didn’t as the Lakers fell behind again, and unnecessary shots pushed the deficit even more.
While John Calipari has been recruiting Brooks to play a Kevin Knox role at Kentucky, I see him as a mix between Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel. Like Vanderbilt, Brooks has phenomenal playmaking ability with the ball in his hands, but his smooth face-up shooting ability allows him to have a Gabriel-like impact from deep.
As a scoring threat from all three levels, Brooks will be able to make an instant impact at Kentucky. While he struggles with turnovers and forcing the issue a bit as La Lumiere’s primary ball handler and scorer, he’ll thrive as a third or fourth option in Calipari’s system.