Keion Brooks Sr. on Hysteria: “I thought it was done at a high level”

  • 10/23/2017 8:56 am in

Fort Wayne North forward Keion Brooks Jr. was one of three five-star recruits on campus for Indiana’s Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The Hoosier coaching staff has prioritized the class of 2019 forward since taking over in late March and Saturday night was a special experience for Brooks and his father, Keion Brooks Sr.

“I thought it was done at a high level by the coaching staff and by the university and the athletic department,” Keion Brooks Sr. told Inside the Hall on Sunday evening. “They made the recruits really feel special and wanted. Whenever you feel wanted, it’s a good thing and you really get a chance to enjoy it. The atmosphere was just great in there.”

Brooks Jr., the No. 23 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite, has scholarship offers from Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas and several others.

Keion Brooks Sr., who played for Indiana assistant coach Ed Schilling at Wright State, has been impressed by the emphasis the coaching staff is putting on the in-state kids.

Another highly regarded class of 2019 Indiana prospect, Trayce Jackson-Davis, was also in attendance for Hysteria.

“I think they’re doing a great job of recruiting the kids in Indiana. They’ve done a great job with the 2018 class,” he said. “If they land (Romeo) Langford, they’ll really have done a really good job. I think they’re genuine guys that are straight up. I think the priority is all of the Indiana kids. They want to bring that back to Indiana and they got a great group of kids in the state right now that could really do that.”

Hysteria, which featured player introductions, remarks from Archie Miller to the crowd, a shooting and dunk contest and a scrimmage, was the public’s first look at the 2017-18 Indiana team.

Brooks Sr. said his primary takeaway from the 24-minute scrimmage was how hard Indiana’s players competed.

“The kids really played hard. Almost too hard for a midnight madness,” Brooks Sr. said. “If you can do that in an event like that, it’s going to be a good thing that they’re going to be doing in the season that you’re going to see.

“That’s one thing that you always want to see is a team play hard. And I think coach (Archie Miller) has got the guys in a situation where they’re really going to be ready to compete. That’s the beginning of it. You’ve got to know how to play hard.”

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  • Arch Puddington

    Nothing is certain, and we know from too many examples in recent years that making a recruit’s final five, or even final two, doesn’t close the deal. Nor does having an awesome experience at Hoosier Hysteria or a great in-home visit. Close doesn’t count, and all we are is close.

    But BOY are we close to something big. Not only some really great players, but some really great Indiana players. CM has already put a halt to a long trend by getting Phinisee and Anderson, and he appears to be really strong with Langford, Brooks, and Jackson-Davis (not to mention Garland). If “even” two of those players come here, it will mark a turning point in the program comparable to the commitment of Cody Zeller and those who followed him. But there was always something tenuous about that, and we all know that that early success could not ultimately be sustained. It not only seems like CM is close to something big, it feels like something much more sustainable in the long run. Again, nothing is certain, and we could end up empty handed and wondering how we will ever get back to where we want to be. But I wouldn’t count on it.

  • Hardwood83

    Wait, Is that Darnell Hillman?
    I love the in-state emphasis. All I want is to keep the best in-state players at IU, win at an incredibly high level and not cheat. Is that asking too much?

  • Lance76

    A voice of reason to control expectations. I like your post and my thinking exactly parallels your post. Still wonder if Garland and Langford have talked about playing together.

  • bball at nick’s

    They seem really close. When shooting around with Collin and Derek after HH, Romeo at one point taunted Darius in a playful way. The fact that both of them hung around with Collin and Derek says a lot.

  • N71

    …you lost me, who is Derek?

  • bball at nick’s

    Elston. There were tweets, including by Alex, of them shooting around after HH, and video as well.

  • Arch Puddington

    That has to mean something. Not as in “so now we know they are coming here,” but “they clearly like each other and understand the possibilities.” They could go anywhere they want, but they both seem like mature kids from strong families who are looking for more than glamour. Being around other kids like that, including not only each other, but Collin, RJ, and what seems like just about everyone else on our team, must be appealing.

  • N71

    Key things that are different:

    + Recruiting Indiana kids which some think is important, others think it doesn’t matter. I personally think it matters.
    + Archie’s communication style
    + Archie’s playing experience and what seems like an excellent sense for the game
    + Archie’s points of emphasis (i.e. fundamentals, defense, ball protection, team, etc.).

    With Archie’s age (38?) sustainability is exactly what we need and may be able to achieve. I think we’ll know 10 games into the season.

  • N71

    Ah…I should have known that.

  • Arch Puddington

    I’ve made the point a number of times that in addition to whatever Xs and Os we could debate, CM is just a better cultural fit here than CTC. That’s not a knock on CTC. He is a good man, but was never truly at home here and never truly taken into fans’ hearts. CM is not only a basketball lifer from a place not that different from Southern Indiana, he is a plainspoken, straightforward man whose most appealing attributes are his sincerity and sensibility. He just fits here, and I think that almost regardless of how things go with this bunch (I still think Langford will end up at Kansas), he is likely to do well with Indiana kids in the long term.

  • bball at nick’s

    Okay, curious why you think Romeo will end up at Kansas, LOL. It’s fine if it’s just your gut feeling, you don’t have to explain. Is it because IU is bigger gamble?

  • Arch Puddington

    Mostly just gut, but there are a couple of things that add to that sense:

    1. He was long said to be a lock for Louisville or Duke, then IU came into the picture, which made some sense. That Kansas has gotten into the mix at such a late stage, and after Kentucky got nixed, it would be hard to deny that the interest is real. He is long past the window shopping stage, and has clearly been willing to exclude schools that don’t interest him
    2. Gregg Doyel reported last month that Romeo to Kansas was essentially a done deal. Just a rumor, clearly, but he obviously heard SOMETHING that he thought was worth making a definitive claim about.

    And Kansas has swept in late and gotten players before. Andrew Wiggins, for example. And last year a 5-star named Billy Preston came to HH and raved about it, then declared for Kansas after going to their event the next week.

    Lots of words, no real substance. Maybe just fear.

  • The one good thing here is that Kansas already had their big event, and they don’t even have an exhibition game scheduled for next weekend. And so, it would seem like there’s no opportunity at all for Romeo to feel as welcomed as he did at HH. I think if Romeo knows nothing else, he knows that IU is the place where he’ll be worshiped by the fans as an Indiana hero. No other school can offer that to the home-state kid, and maybe — just maybe — that matters to him.

  • There had to be some talk between those two about how special it would be to take part in launching IU back on a path to elite status. Garland grew up in Indiana, and his dad loves the place (we have no idea how much that matters to Darius, of course). Romeo knows full well how much his commitment would matter to the state. They could be part of something truly special, and hopefully that was hammered into them during the visit.

  • TomJameson

    Remember, Derek still has his job at IU. I would bet the recruits can really relate to DE on many levels. Good to see him shooting hoops with Romeo and Darius.

  • IUMIKE1

    I too think he ends up at Kansas. It’s probably no coincidence that them coming in this late, with much force anyway, coincides pretty much with his, let’s just say public disinterest, in UL and pUKe. Think he ended up at UL until everything went down. Have thought for some time now that we will not get both and that if we get one or the other it would be Garland….and I’m ok with that.

  • Arch Puddington

    Garland this year, Brooks and Jackson-Davis next year, plus all the really solid players we have on board already would be AMAZING. Romeo would just be so much extra amazingness.

  • pjschgo

    My brother-in-law is a teacher and coach at his high school, and Langford told him directly that he’s leaning toward Kansas.

  • dwdkc

    If it was, a shame he wasn’t in the dunk contest! Loved that guy. And no, you aren’t asking too much. You can ask for a few titles too while you’re at it.

  • Hardwood83

    He was a little before my time, but my older brother tells me Darnell could pick a quarter off the top of the back-board.
    The Banners were assumed 🙂

  • dwdkc

    If he goes to KS (or UNC for that matter) it is because he is prioritizing playing for a championship, and you can’t blame him. They will have more impressive rosters than IU for his one year, although I’m thinking it may not be by that much. Clearly the chance to be idolized is greater at IU, where everyone already knows who he is.

  • dwdkc

    He won one of the first dunk contests put on I think at the NBA All-Star game. I think he might have still been ABA pre-merger but nobody outside Indiana or the ABA even knew who he was and he blew them all away.

  • Well tell your brother-in-law get his act together and to get Romeo to choose IU!