The Kentucky basketball program lost 93 percent of its minutes, 94 percent of its points, and 98.6 percent of its assists from the 2019-20 roster, with the latter two being the most in the John Calipari era in Lexington.
The lone individual making each of those statistics a solid 100 percent? Keion Brooks Jr., the only player in Kentucky’s rotation returning from last season, with the rest leaving the program via graduation, transfer, and the NBA Draft.
While UK’s returning talent is limited (at best), three former teammates of Brooks told Shawn Smith of Go Big Blue Country that the 6-foot-9 forward out of Fort Wayne, IN is poised for a breakout season as a sophomore.
Nick Richards made it clear that Brooks wasn’t able to show off his complete game as a freshman, but promised that would change in year two.
“You’re about to see something different,” Richards told GBB Country. “Keion is actually a really talented player. He didn’t really get to show his entire game as a freshman, but I think this season, you will see a totally different side of him.”
As for Nate Sestina, he believes Brooks is set to have an “unbelievable” sophomore campaign.
“It really started to click for him at the end of the year, and he was dangerous,” Sestina added. “He was strong, confident, and in great shape. He’s an incredible athlete. He’s going to have an unbelievable sophomore season.”
While the praise was high from each of the other former Wildcats, Tyrese Maxey’s quote is the one that turns heads the most.
As excited as Kentucky fans should be for Brooks, Maxey believes UK’s upcoming opponents are the ones who need to keep a close eye on the Fort Wayne native.
“A player every team should be worried about,” Maxey told GBB Country.
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.
To see what all the former Wildcats had to say about Brooks, head to Go Big Blue Country here.
While you’re at it, check out Brooks’ highlights from the 2019-20 season below: