Top-40 senior Keion Brooks announced his commitment to Kentucky on Friday night.
Brooks chose the Wildcats over a final group that also included Indiana, Michigan State and North Carolina. He took official visits to each of those schools, as well as UCLA, and also took a number of unofficial visits the past couple months. He was at Kentucky when the Wildcats beat Tennessee in mid-February, while Indiana head coach Archie Miller made his final pitch to Brooks earlier this week.
In the end, Brooks’ relationship with Kentucky head coach John Calipari was the difference in his decision.
“He cares about winning and really cares about his players and their goals,” Brooks told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi. “We were eating breakfast on my visit and Coach Cal was talking about how his team could get better. He was talking about zone offense and defense. Coach Cal is always thinking about what’s next.”
Brooks, a 6-foot-7 forward from La Lumiere School (La Porte, Indiana), is ranked No. 39 in the ESPN 100, slotting in as the No. 9 power forward in the country. He was one of the more productive players on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, averaging 19.7 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Indy Heat grassroots program.
“He’s a high-level prospect who adds terrific versatility, activity around the rim and a high-post face-up game,” Biancardi said. “He can slide between a small forward or a stretch forward. His emerging skill, size and 7-foot wingspan make him an ideal combo forward. When you break down his game, he will bring scoring, passing and paint play. When his physical frame comes to fruition, he will blossom into an all-SEC player with a real chance to play at the next level.”
Brooks is the fourth commitment for Calipari and Kentucky in the 2019 class. He joins top-ranked small forward Kahlil Whitney, five-star guard Tyrese Maxey and four-star small forward Dontaie Allen in the Wildcats’ group.