Q&A with blueblood priority Keion Brooks
CUMBERLAND, Md. – The recruitment of Keion Brooks has dragged on, and he now sits as one of the final remaining five-star prospects available this winter. Following his time at the Bob Kirk Invitational over the weekend, Brooks didn’t seem to be in much of a rush with his college decision. We sat down with the top 30 senior as he assessed where things sit with his recruitment, the five programs involved and the pitches heard from each of his finalists.
Corey Evans (CE): You’re one of the last remaining, top uncommitted members of the 2019 class. What is the process like for you right now?
Keion Brooks (KB): Right now, I am just trying to sit down with my family and go over the pros and cons of everything and take it all in and just see where it falls after that. Pray on it some more and hopefully make my choice.
CE: How far off do you feel like you are from deciding?
KB: I feel like I am getting closer, especially with having the time to talk with my family and we have set aside specific time to talk about my recruiting, and through those talks we have been making a lot of progress.
CE: You’re down to five schools, so let’s go down one by one. Indiana, the in-state school, what is their sell?
KB: Indiana is great. Coach (Archie) Miller has done a great job. He came to see me immediately when he got the job and ever since then he has been doing a great job of making me a priority. He has gone out of his way to recruit my family, as well, trying to make sure that my whole family feels comfortable at IU. He knows that they are struggling, but he also knows that I could come there and be a game-changer and be a big piece for him.
CE: What has Trayce Jackson-Davis been telling you?
KB: He is on me all the time. He just keeps telling me that we had great success playing together in the summer and we are close friends and we enjoy being around each other and playing at IU, it would be great for us.
CE: Kentucky always piques the interest of the top talent. So where is your head at with them?
KB: Coach Cal (John Calipari), it just comes down to him. He has been able to, you know, what he has been able to do is what I want to do: Be a one-and-done and make millions of dollars playing the game of basketball. Who wouldn’t want to do that, playing the game that I love and making money for it? He has just been saying that not everyone is made for Kentucky, but he feels that I have an edge for it and I could come in and help his team.
CE: Michigan State has always kept you as a priority. So what has been their pitch throughout?
KB: They have been telling me that they have been after me for the longest and Coach (Tom) Izzo does a great job of watching all my games that he can and even on the live stream, stuff like that, or he just goes out of his way to make my family feel comfortable with what I am doing. Me and him have a lot of conversations about my goals and what I want to do and what I can attain, and he feels like I can come in next year and be a really good impact player for his team.
CE: Purdue and Matt Painter have become known for their development in recent years. What have they had to say to you?
KB: Coach Painter is just telling me that he was the first to offer me and for him to take that chance on me way back then as a freshman and how hard it is to come in and be a freshman and impact immediately, sometimes you’re going to hit a wall but he is still going to count on me to continue to play well and he is not going to give up quickly on me. He is just saying that I can come in and be a scorer and be able to make plays.
KB: Yeah, their sell is that next year they have a need for someone like me, especially with everyone leaving, so they need a guy to come in and score the ball and attack in transition and make plays. Also, just the tradition of North Carolina and Michael Jordan went there, obviously, and other great people and they have a rich tradition so they feel like I can come in and be really good early.
CE: I am sure Armando Bacot is in your ear, too?
KB: Yeah. The other day, somebody had told Trayce to get Keion to come to IU, and then Armando retweeted and just said to forget that and that you need to come to UNC. He has done a great job of recruiting me along with the coaching staff. He is very outgoing, outspoken, a very funny dude and I would love to play with Armando.