Talk about a role reversal watching Kentucky basketball shut down Ohio

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari and Oscar Tshiebwe (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari and Oscar Tshiebwe (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky basketball
Kentucky’s Keion Brooks Jr. ( Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Keion Brooks steps up canning midrange jumpers having to be the Big Man

With no bigs left it became clear that Keion Brooks would need to be the force under the basket. It was a good thing he was ready.

Brooks started at forward but was forced to play closer to the basket being the last of the bigs for UK.

He was only a point short of tying his career-high finishing with 22 points on 9 of 18 shooting. However, he missed all three shots from behind the arc and shot mid-range jumper after the other. Obviously, he was intent on that being his game.

I am not 100 percent convinced this type of 18-foot shot is where his game lies. The 6-foot-7 junior needs to take a few steps in for some closer shots and have the ability to grab more rebounds.

Calipari was asked about his play difference from half to half.

"“What I did with Keion, he was unbelievable in the first half. Started the second half letting this kid catch the ball and kind of going through. You’re out. You’re not doing that. I’m not looking at that guy. The other guy I see is one of the best players in the country. The other guy that started the half, I’m not seeing it. Now, by saying that and being honest, people may be sad or mad. It’s just being honest. Why did you take him out? Because his level of intensity went down. But that’s who we need him to be. Make twos. Don’t need you to make threes. If you make one or two, fine. But that’s not what you’re playing for. I told him, ‘you like getting 22? I know you’re kind of sad you didn’t make a three. Hit 22 points; don’t worry about it.”"

If Brooks can give you this type of effort night in and night out it really doesn’t matter but he must contribute in this range with the team banking its success more on offense this year.

Kentucky returns to action on Monday night hosting Albany at 7 pm EST. The game can only be seen on SEC+ or ESPN+.