Kentucky forward Keion Brooks Jr. is officially back for a sophomore season.
In an interview with Chris Fisher of The Cats Pause, the 6-foot-7 forward’s father, Keion Brooks Sr., said his son will be returning to Kentucky,
“Yes, [Keion is returning],” Brooks Sr. told The Cats Pause. “We’re still in the process of getting feedback but we know what we’re going to do as far as coming back. That’s more for how to get better and improve on what they’re looking for as far as the next level.”
In his first season in Lexington, Brooks Jr. averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds to go with 47.2% shooting overall in 15.1 minutes per game. To close out the year, though, the Fort Wayne, IN native finished with 10 points on 4-5 shooting and 2-2 from three in the regular-season finale at Florida, his fifth double-digit scoring performance of the year.
Following Brooks’ slow-but-steady growth throughout the year, the former five-star prospect’s father sees a significant sophomore jump for his son.
Players such as PJ Washington and Immanuel Quickley paved the path on how to make second-year leaps, and Brooks is prepared to follow down a similar one.
“When we decided on Kentucky, that’s one of the things we were looking at. Everybody thinks Kentucky is one and done. You’re there for 11 months,” Brooks Sr. said “Looking at those guys shows you what Kentucky can really do for you. Those guys blew up on the back of what they did as freshmen. They learned how to fight, how to play hard and battle on every possession.
“Immanuel Quickley comes off bench to SEC Player of the Year. PJ Washington goes on to become a lottery pick. It shows development. It shows that they’re putting in a lot of work with the kids. I watched Immanuel work his butt off. Every time I was down there he was working his butt off. I talked to PJ’s dad throughout that season, same thing. That’s the difference and the sky’s the limit for [Keion].”
Last week, Calipari announced on the SEC Network that five Wildcats would be testing the NBA Draft waters.
Though he sought out feedback from NBA teams, we can now confirm Brooks Jr. is looking forward to a return to Lexington.