Keion Brooks Jr. once fancied himself as a one-and-done college player for Kentucky.
Brooks is now in his fourth collegiate season, and he will suit up for Washington for the first time when the Huskies open the season against Weber State on Monday night.
Brooks parted ways with Kentucky after last season, but it wasn’t to head to the NBA. Instead, he ventured west to join a program in need of reinforcements after losing Pac-12 leading scorer Terrell Brown Jr. (21.7 points per game) off a 17-15 club.
Expectations are mixed for the Huskies, but Brooks is bullish on his new teammates.
“People might be underestimating us and think we might do this or that, but I believe in the group that we got,” Brooks said. “We play extremely hard and we play really well. That’s what I’m looking forward to and trying to get that story out.”
Brooks, a forward, averaged 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in his final season for the Wildcats. He will be asked to complement holdover guards Jamal Bey (9.4 ppg) and PJ Fuller II (7.4).
The Huskies also landed guard Noah Williams in the transfer market. Williams played the last three seasons for Washington State, a fierce rival of Washington, and averaged 9.5 points last season.
The Huskies reeled in prized freshman guard Koren Johnson, rated as the top recruit in the state of Washington. Johnson could find himself in the starting lineup soon if he lives up to his billing.
Weber State went 21-12 last season and is operating under new coach Eric Duft after Randy Rahe retired following his 16th season.
Continuity won’t be a problem as Duft was an assistant for Rahe’s entire tenure with the Wildcats.
Standout forward Dillon Jones said it’s hard to find a difference.
“I could say Duft was almost like a head coach last year, just with how involved he was, how much he talked to us and how hands-on he was,” Jones said, according to the Standard-Examiner of Ogden, Utah. “Now he is guiding everything a little bit more, as expected.”
Jones averaged 12.6 points and a team-best 10.6 rebounds last season and produced 17 double-doubles.
–Field Level Media