Keion Brooks Jr. handles ‘learning curve’ of UW males’s basketball zone protection


Keion Brooks Jr., the touted Kentucky Wildcats switch, tells a narrative to focus on the challenges of guiding a Washington males’s basketball crew in dire want of contemporary leaders whereas concurrently studying to play with new teammates in new schemes, notably UW’s trademark 2-3 zone protection. 

“The other day, we were in practice — you know, we play a lot — and (Coach Mike Hopkins) said we’re going to go man-to-man,” Brooks mentioned. “I beg him: ‘Coach, please, please, please play zone so I can get more reps at it and I can figure it out.’” 

After simply 5 weeks because the begin Husky coaching camp, Brooks isn’t solely snug with calls for, duties and nuances of Washington’s zone protection. 

“It’s definitely a learning curve,” mentioned Brooks, a 6-foot-7 junior ahead who spent the earlier three years at Kentucky. “Kind of got to unlearn what I’ve been taught for the past three years. The biggest thing for me has been watching film. Coach has provided me with some guys who look really good in it. 

“Just to see what it looks like, it really helps. Then when you’re out there, you kind of start to feel it more.” 

Ready or not, Washington’s coaching camp involves an finish 7 p.m. Tuesday following an exhibition towards Division II Alaska Fairbanks at Alaska Airlines Arena. 

It’s the Huskies’ solely costume rehearsal in entrance of a crowd earlier than the Nov. 7 season opener at dwelling towards Weber State and an opportunity to debut a revamped roster that includes seven newcomers and 6 returners from a crew that completed 17-15 final season. 

“What people are going to see is a team with a lot energy,” senior guard Jamal Bey mentioned. “We have a lot of pieces who can do a lot of different things. I think we’re going to have a lot of energy on the court that gives the fans something fun to watch.” 

Since the beginning of coaching camp weeks in the past, there’s been a sluggish trickle of news emanating from the UW males’s basketball crew. 

Freshman guard Keyon Menifield Jr. created a little bit of a buzz with an sudden offensive onslaught throughout a closed-door scrimmage towards Utah State on Oct. 15. 

Brooks has impressed the UW employees with a scoring capacity, notably within the low put up, that’s desperately wanted for a crew that misplaced 70% of its scoring from final season. 

When requested which gamers to regulate throughout Tuesday’s exhibition, Hopkins famous newcomer Franck Kepnang, a 6-11 junior middle from Oregon, provides Washington dimension and toughness inside whereas junior middle Braxton Meah, a Fresno State switch, and freshman guard Koren Johnson have proven flashes defensively in practices. 

“The guys who have been here and know us, you expect them to take another step in their development,” Hopkins mentioned. “But the guys coming in, you want to help them along as fast as possible. That’s what preseason scrimmages and games are for, to get them on the court and see where we’re at. 

“You want to see what translates from practice. You want to see different lineups and how guys play with each other. … Yeah, the game doesn’t count in the standings, but everything matters. We want to play our best every time we step on the court.” 


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