Brooks’ recruitment still on the rise

WESTFIELD — His recruitment has spanned both coasts and many campuses in between.

Keion Brooks, the No. 3 ranked rising senior in the Hoosier state, per the 247 Sports composite, appreciates the national attention he’s received as one of the top players in the 2019 recruiting class.

But it’s the in-state affection that is particularly appealing to the Fort Wayne North Side product.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t,” Brooks said, “because my family would be able to watch me play. They’d be able to travel to games and stuff like that, so there is a level of intrigue to playing in state.”

Indiana, Purdue and a long list of others are jockeying for position in Brooks’ recruitment, as they aim to land the versatile 6-foot-8 swingman as one of the signature additions of the current recruiting cycle.

With a pair of pickups this week, including five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford and St. Mary’s graduate transfer forward Evan FItzner, Indiana has shifted its full attention to the 2019 recruiting cycle.

Brooks, along with Indy Heat AAU teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis, are atop the Hoosiers’ list.

That’s for good reason.

Brooks is backing up the nationwide acclaim with a strong start to the current travel circuit. At last weekend’s EYBL session at Westfield’s Grand Park, Brooks earned most valuable player honors after averaging 23 points and seven rebounds across his team’s four games.

In eight total contests this spring, Brooks is averaging 22.1 points, while shooting 52 percent from the field and 45 percent (15-for-33) from 3-point range.

Simply put, Brooks is a dynamic prospect that any school would be glad to have.

“I’m more aggressive off the dribble, my shot has gotten a lot better (and) the game is slowing down to me,” Brooks said of his improvements in recent months. “Last year, playing up, it was kind of fast at times, but this year I’m able to break the game down a little more and see things before they happen.”

Can he see which school he’ll eventually pick? Not yet.

Brooks continues to field attention, receiving new offers from North Carolina, Texas and Illinois just this week. Those scholarships go along with previous offers from IU, Purdue, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan and a host of others.

For its part, IU has a personal connection to Brooks.

While serving as the head coach at Wright State around the turn of the century, current Indiana assistant Ed Schilling coached Brooks’ father, Keion Sr., for his junior and senior seasons.

While Schilling provided the Hoosiers with an immediate in for Brooks’ recruitment, head coach Archie Miller has spent the past year prioritizing the prospect and getting to know him on a similarly personal level.

“(The IU relationship) has grown a lot,” Brooks said, “especially with Coach Miller. I really liked this past year and watching him coach. I was able to see how he got guys to buy in who he didn’t recruit. That really meant a lot to me.”

IU, like so many other schools, has laid out a plan for Brooks to follow if he was to eventually choose it as his college destination.

“They’d feature me as a guy who’s very versatile, who can move all over the floor, defend multiple positions and score at all three levels on the floor,” Brooks said.

Meanwhile, Purdue is pitching Brooks on the Fort Wayne connection.

“Rapheal Davis, Bryson Scott and Biggie (Caleb Swanigan), they all went there and that’s where I’m from,” Brooks said.

For now, Brooks is keeping his recruitment open. He doesn’t have any official visits planned, though he said he would like to take unofficial visits to UCLA, IU, Michigan State, Kentucky and Louisville in the coming months.

In the meantime, he still has work to do on the AAU circuit this summer.

“I’m just trying to show (coaches) that I’m willing to do anything that will help my team win,” Brooks said. “That’s blocking shots or getting defensive stops or making the extra pass. I’m just showing whatever I can to help the team win.”

14 comments

  1. Damn good read.
    FWIW: The Bill Hensley Memorial Run – N – Slam is this weekend, beginning tonight, in Fort Wayne at the Spiece Firehouse. 8 courts of ‘all out git it’ hoops. Some of the highest profile players of many age groups from areas even beyond the Great Lakes/Midwest.

  2. Is it just me, or has football suddenly been put on a major back burner?

    Shakespeare sure knew his tragedies…..and Romeo lives up to another as IU Football appears Juliet in a cruel twist of fate.
    You know how you see those big farms in the countryside…and the big old beautiful farmhouse near the massive gorgeous barn….And then you see the ugly plastic siding ranch home next door that was built for one of the married kids taking possibly taking over the farm someday while the parents are getting up in years?
    IU Football is now that plastic ranch home again. You’re on the property, but it’s sort of obvious you didn’t build the place.

    I feel a bit bad for vesuvius-13…..Now it’s simply up to nature’s whim. When will IU Football erupt again? 50 years? 5 years? 150 years? When will the core of our fans heat up again for serious football?

    v-13, Feel free to come over to the b-ball threads. Fumble around …Your expertise at basketball begins at a more evolved point than our last coach at McCracken. There’s really nothing to lose. We already lost 10 years….and few opinions here couldn’t change the course of that history. Just wanted to let you know you are more than welcome as football hits the back cover of the sports pages once again.

  3. Things are looking up for IU bb. However, variables include how art thou Romeo adjusts and transitions timeline to major league college game, team chemistry (I think will continue to improve), does JW stay (I think he will), how good or how much returning players improve. Bottom line as of May 5, 2018 IU men’s basketball has 0 wins for 2018-2019 season with a bunch of starved fans. Positive is all teams have 0 wins.

  4. I’m teetering…Yesterday I believed JM would stay. Today I believe he departs. An hour from now I’ll likely change my mind again . Come to think of it, I think he stays. But he was starting to show signs of stroking a nice outside shot…? Nope, I think he leaves. Some NBA team will give him a serious look. The possible $$$ are just too enticing. Best get to bed…while I’ve made up my mind. Good luck in the NBA at IU…

  5. I watched a few minutes of Cleveland’s blowout win over Toronto last night and felt sorry for OG as he tried to defend LeBron. I found myself trying to compare OG to JM and wondered if JM is now at the level of OG when he left IU. It is difficult to compare the two former teammates because JM had to be used for a variety of different roles last season, and the season before that, when he was surrounded by more talent, he was plagued with injuries through much of his sophomore season. My guess is that JM would benefit from another year at IU, surrounded by better talent, and playing in his normal position, to showcase the skills that would attract NBA teams. The good news is that OG’s knee injury did not prevent him from being drafted in the first round, or from getting significant playing time in his rookie season, thus diminishing the fear JM may have about getting injured in his last year of college. OG may have slipped a half dozen places in last year’s draft, but he’ll make up the lost money when he signs his next NBA contract.

    1. Juwan’s not going anywhere. He was prudent and took the opportunity to have NBA scouts tell him what he needs to work on to improve his NBA marketability.

      He would have been foolish not to seize that chance.

      He is a coach’s dream and he will improve again next year. We are lucky he is a Hoosier.

      1. I did like what you said in 2016….

        Chet says:
        May 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

        Sure, I get that. It’s just that this whole thing strikes me a little too close to Bret Favre teasing the media while waiting to announce his next bowel movement.

        You know, it just seems like basketball continues to drift away from a team sport into increasing opportunities for a player to place themselves ahead of the game. High school kids routinely have press conferences. WTF? Different players are involved in this ‘combine’ for different reasons. From all reports, for Troy it’s been a cold splash of water in the face. I hope he uses it to his best advantage.

        It just seems a little more forthright to just say what you are going to do and then do it and let everyone else move on. Asking for a little more spotlight just leaves me cold.

        I will agree…that Yogi is a warrior. Anything I’ve said disparagingly in the past(much like your critique above) was based in the trend of what you described eloquently above; “basketball continues to drift away from a team sport into increasing opportunities for a player to place themselves ahead of the game.”

  6. OG looks so lost that he may be sent to the G-League….There might not be a next contract. Toronto is likely going to put that entire franchise into reset/reboot.

    Much like glamorous regular seasons in college basketball, it’s also clear in the NBA that not a lot of stock can be put into certain teams/coaches that look the part until the postseason arrives.

    I think Morgan would be smart to take his chances now…Would love to see how he evolves with a new stud in town, but I don’t see his game elevating a lot more than where it’s at. Every headline will begin ‘Romeo’…and Morgan will enter more of a role player perception.

  7. Based on going 5-20 in a 3-game stretch of the opening round, he should be. His stats average out as looking great…He gets way more touches now. He jacks way more shots…but he’s still the inconsistent shooter he’ll forever be. He goes into cold spells colder than Crean’s personality.

    They are both often deers in headlights when the pressure amps up. It’s a product of being the sorts far behind the b-ball IQ curve when the arrived at college(and why they were labeled as “under the radar”). They weren’t under the radar. They just weren’t going to be recruited by programs that strive for banners over giving court time to athletic phenoms. Archie won’t recruit guys whose games will take half a dozen years to finally mature in the NBA. Romeo is a now player.
    OG and Victor were guys Crean can put on his personal resume.

  8. Morgan doesn’t have the raw athleticism to ever set the world on fire at the next level….He doesn’t have the repertoire of skills to make up for deficiencies in athleticism. He’s built for the college game….
    But if he wants to believe(or is led to believe he has a shot at the NBA), his shot won’t improve based on another year in candy stripes. OG and Bricktor had the athletic skills that make the NBA scouts salivate. The scouts aren’t worried about the lack of polish and poor decision-making in their college games. Morgan’s level of athleticism doesn’t compare to Bricktor…or OG…or even Bryant for that matter. Juwan is the quintessential college baller…He’s crafty and has wonderful instincts around the glass. But his inside game wouldn’t stand a chance at the next level…and he’ll never ‘wow’ in the manner of the super athletic wings.

    1. Sure wish I could invest in NBA futures at this moment. Juwan is likely a can’t miss based upon prior performance of this prognosticator.

      I remember saying Yogi would be someone’s starting point gaurd by the end of his rookie year when you said he’d never make it.

  9. If you throw enough at a wall, even John Wall looks unbeatable.

    I don’t recall saying Yogi would never make it…I do recall thinking it was ridiculous when he and his family had a gathering at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse to announce his decision after his JUNIOR season.

    And you know better, Chet. Yogi was picked up by a team Cuban owns. Hmm? No connection there. And after the news breaking on the despicable behavior toward women and internal mess of the corporate offices of the Mavericks, I’d hardly feel it to be a point of pride to play for the name on that jersey…but that’s a different discussion.
    Even Alford stayed in the league for a few seasons….

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