Kentucky basketball: when will Fletcher and Brooks return plus Allen’s wait over

The Kentucky basketball team. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Kentucky basketball team. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Keion Brooks is waiting, cheering, learning and much needed

Clearly with little leadership on the floor until Keion Brooks Jr. returns, and it was reported he was on the floor practicing Monday but not in contact drills, this most likely is the missing rudder.

Despite sitting it’s clear he has a new perspective and maybe has a clear look as to what he can best bring to the team once he steps on the court full time.

When he showed up at the post-game press conference after the North Carolina loss it was a surprise. Still for him to shoulder the team’s burden in meeting the media with his team’s morale defeated while cheerleading for them during the games is admirable.

Calipari praised Brooks for taking the bullets for his players.

However, questions do arise as to why all the high-profile players who come to Kentucky knowing the expectations, media, and fan scrutiny about every move they make aren’t big enough to step up and answer questions after losses and defend their own actions.

Brooks made it clear after the North Carolina loss just what he can do.

"“It’s killing me I can’t go out there and help the team and be on the floor and be a part of what they’re going through as far as playing. I’m still with them and each and every way I can right now to help from the sideline, I will, but until then, all I can do is be our biggest cheerleader.”"

With such a young crew that had never stepped foot in Rupp Arena before this year is unclear the role, Brooks is actually playing both in practice and on the sidelines during games and in the locker room.

Brooks is Calipari’s kind of second-in-command or the chief mate  The mate is responsible for the safety and security of the ship, as well as the welfare of the crew on board.

That seems to be the role Brooks is taking coming to the defense of his mates and embracing them.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound sophomore is the only player on the team that had scored a point coming into this season and his absence has sorely been missed.

His physical play in the post is what has been lacking. Oh and if we had E.J. Montgomery back that would have been golden.

But only one of those things can happen. And it’s a waiting-game to see when Brooks returns.

He said his teammates weren’t up to doing press conferences. This team needs some heart and soul and hopefully, Brooks can quickly return and demonstrate just what this means.