Brooks Shows Out In Front Of Brey

On Monday in Akron, Ohio, at the LeBron James Skills Academy, Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey got a chance to see his future shooting guard Joey Brooks.

Brey watched Joey Brooks do his thing for two games, and quickly called the Houston (Texas) Strake Jesuit star after leaving the gym to let him know what he thought about it.

"He said he was impressed," the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Brooks said. He was one of 80 players invited to the prestigious event. "We lost, even though we lost, I was playing hard. He liked how I was taking the ball to the rim and finishing. And later on, I got my jumper going and he was impressed by that.

"In the drills, I was playing really well, and he said before he came a lot of people were calling him and telling him how solid I was, and how good I was and everything like that."

All those reasons are examples of why Brey can't wait to have the class of 2009 recruit in an Irish uniform.

"We actually talk about this a lot," Brooks began. "On the roster, they really don't have anyone that plays how I can play, so I'll be stepping into a different role. But it will probably be a mix of Ryan Ayers and Tory Jackson, because I'm a slasher, and I can step out and shoot it."

Brooks can also play above the rim too.

"That's another thing that will help on defense too, because coach Brey likes to get after it a lot, so my length and athleticism will play right into what he likes to do."

As of right now, Brooks and Jack Cooley are the only two players committed to Notre Dame, but the coaching staff has been hitting the road in search of another big man and point guard. Brooks gave Brey his pledge back in November, and Cooley soon followed in February. The two future teammates have formed a tight bond since.

"Jack, that's my guy," Brooks said. "We talk probably on a daily basis. I told him I was at the LeBron camp and he was excited about that. I think he's going to the Peach Jam next, so I'm excited for him about that. That's a big tournament, so hopefully he can represent and play well."

That's what Brooks hopes to do his senior season at Strake Jesuit.

This past season, Brooks averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists, earning all-state honors and just about everything else, but a loss in the second round of the state playoffs put a damper on things.

With four returning starters, Brooks would like to end his prep career with a victory.

"We should be in a really good position as far as going deep and making a state title run," Brooks said.

Brooks was not surprised at the run the Notre Dame basketball team had last season, as he watched the team finish 25-8 and right in the thick of things for the Big East Championship.

"I was up there before the season started, and I was watching the team play and practice, and I can kind of tell they were building and had all the pieces," Brooks explained. He visited Notre Dame for the first time last fall for the Navy football game, watched a hoops practice and committed soon after. "Hopefully they can improve on that and have a better season this year."

Brooks returned to the Irish campus in May, and him and Cooley got a chance to play with the team. Both recruits will be back in South Bend for the Notre Dame-Michigan football game in September.

"I'm excited for that," Brooks said.

Probably not as excited as Brey is about Brooks.


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