UK’s Keion Brooks Returning for Junior Season
In my opinion, the best place to put the University of Kentucky basketball team's 2020-2021 season is in the rearview mirror and OUT of our minds.
The specific stats about the Wildcats' ghastly 9-16 record usually featured the phrase "the worst season in nearly a century." Well, okay, but let's call it what we all think about it...UK's worst season ever.
And it's over and the 'Cats and UK head coach John Calipari are moving on. And boy, did that season ever light a fire under Calipari.
He overhauled his coaching staff, bringing back Orlando Antigua--an ace recruiter who, along with new UK assistant Ronald "Chin" Coleman, helped Illinois land a 1-seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, its first in 16 years.
In other words, I don't see the Fighting Illini scheduling Kentucky anytime soon. (Not a crazy prediction, by the way, since that hasn't happened in 38 years.)
And despite the fact that Cal has said UK will not "live by" the transfer portal, he took full advantage of it, essentially going shopping for the best collegiate "free agents" available. And in so doing, he pulled in Davidson's Kellan Grady, West Virginia's Oscar Tshiebwe, Georgia's Sahvir Wheeler, and Iowa's CJ Frederick. All are among the top 51 transfers, according to CBS Sports.
I haven't even mentioned UK's incoming freshmen Daimion Collins, Bryce Hopkins, and TyTy Washington, another five-star point guard headed to Lexington.
I have been really enjoying the Kentucky off-season and that was without knowing the status of Keion Brooks Jr. Well, that has also now been resolved. John Calipari has confirmed that Brooks will be back for his junior campaign.
This is exciting news for the team and the fans, and for me personally. It was fascinating to watch Brooks this past season. I saw so much maturity and leadership. He seemed to really be a strong, GUIDING influence for the freshmen. And I haven't even mentioned his 10.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. And he will only get better because he really WANTS to be at his very best. Yes, I know that's the goal of every player, or should be, but I always see the intense focus when he's playing.
Of all the potential returnees, I was crossing my fingers the hardest for Keion Brooks, Jr.
And now those fingers can relax.
I'm excited about the 2021-2022 season, which kicks off with a game against Duke at the Champions Classic. It's gonna be a blast.