PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Jeff Brooks


#1

I think he now deserves his own thread, as I’ve seen many grand comments about the improvements in his game. Many have bashed him over the years, feeling like he was nothing but a waste of talent. But funny things happen when an ultra-talented player such as Jeff is faced with his last go-round. He wakes up. He takes pride in his game. And through all this, develops the confidence and the game to finally meet his potential.

I’m excited for Mr. Brooks and I hope these first two games are just a smidgen of what will be for him this season (and beyond).

For those of you who have seen him play these past three scrimmage/games (I haven’t, except for a hyped up Tivo version of the Lehigh game), please comment on what you’ve seen and what he still needs to do to help this team move forward.


#2

I was at the game last night. Jeff played as well as I’ve seen him. At least one of his fouls was borderline ludicrous. Not as bad as the foul on Jones where the St. Joes player put both hands on one side of Jones and pulled him so that he could get by though. ::slight_smile: Jeff seems much more focused on the defensive end than in the past. He’s got his body on his man and his eyes on the ball. On O he seems a little more comfortable with taking it into the lane for a runner. That is a fantastic move for a 6’8" guy with great wingspan.

We were sitting in the 2nd row behind the coaches and saw that Jeff was visibly irritated at coming out of the game in the second half. I think it was after the bogus foul. Danny tried to calm him down. 30 seconds later he cooled down and reached over and patted Danny on the back to indicate he was sorry for the outburst. I don’t recall ever seeing that much fire from Jeff. btw. I don’t consider celebrating after a dunk or block to show fire.

I was very suprised at how active Danny is during the game. He seemed much more involved in the game than KK and Lew.


#3

Jeff’s defense has been outstanding. He has more blocks this season than probably all of last season. This is huge. His offense looks much better. I’d still like to see more back to the basket play, as I think vs. the better teams it won’t be so easy for him to penetrate, but right now, just on his D, he has to be considered a key player on this team, and IMO, clearly the most improved, though he has to continue to play well in conference play. His rebounding has improved as well. He set a personal scoring record last night, and a rebounding one for him the game before. Good stuff.


#4

Jeff is really coming along. More maturity and much more basketball awareness.
A big step will be continuing this type of play against bigger, more athletic and better opponents. I look forward to watching.


#5

Given that he’s shown brief flashes before I am hesitant to get overly excited just yet, but there are two things that really have me optimistic…

For one, he’s not settling for outside shots like he has in the past. He looks like he realizes he is quicker than most of his covers and is working hard to get inside where he’s very tough to stop off the dribble. I don’t mind the occasional 3 from him if it’s in the flow of the game and he’s wide open, but there aren’t a lot of guys who can stop him when he makes up his mind to take somebody to the hole. Glad to see he’s figured this out.

Secondly - he looks more explosive to me. He’s always been an athletic freak, but the bounce I see when he decides to jump this year is much better than years past. You can see it when he blocks shots this year and on a few of his dunks this year. It’s pretty exciting to watch.

Keep up the good work Jeff.


#6

Guys, thanks for all your insight.

Do you feel we are seeing the second coming of Gyasi Cline-Heard ten years to the day? If I recall, Gyasi showed signs of good play in his first three seasons with the Nittany’s. But it wasn’t until his last go-round in 2000-01 that he really stepped up his game to become a much-needed force down low and a leader for this team.


#7

[quote=“NittanyIllini, post:6, topic:1512”]Guys, thanks for all your insight.

Do you feel we are seeing the second coming of Gyasi Cline-Heard ten years to the day? If I recall, Gyasi showed signs of good play in his first three seasons with the Nittany’s. But it wasn’t until his last go-round in 2000-01 that he really stepped up his game to become a much-needed force down low and a leader for this team.[/quote]

Yeah, somewhat. I think GC-H was a more solid contributor (please, I don’t care about stats) than Brooks in his first 3 seasons. He worked hard and played his type of game. Hustle - defense - rebounding.
Then, he keep getting stronger every year until he was a “beast” on the boards in his senior year. Brooks can have a big year. I still want to see him do it against the big boys. Here’s hoping.


#8

There was one play last night where Brooks got the ballbehind the 3 pt line and was pretty open. He spotted up, then drove inside and picked up 2 points with a nice move in the paint. I’d love to see more of that.


#9

We’ve seen flashes of what we saw last night, but we never saw it for a full game. Last night Jeff played a full game up to his potential. And it wasn’t only offensively. He rebounded and played D, I am liking his blocking ability. Sure he picked up 4 fouls but he used to get 4 fouls and score 4 ppg and 5 rpg.

Like I said last night and somebody else brought up I think last night was his Gyasi Cline-Heard moment.

Now maybe he could tutor Andrew.


#10

[quote=“jjepsu92, post:9, topic:1512”]We’ve seen flashes of what we saw last night, but we never saw it for a full game. Last night Jeff played a full game up to his potential. And it wasn’t only offensively. He rebounded and played D, I am liking his blocking ability. Sure he picked up 4 fouls but he used to get 4 fouls and score 4 ppg and 5 rpg.

Like I said last night and somebody else brought up I think last night was his Gyasi Cline-Heard moment.

Now maybe he could tutor Andrew.[/quote]
Jones just doesn’t have the talent to do much more. Brooks has star talent, and finally is starting to do something with it.

His attitude on the court looks entirely different. He is way more aggressive in all aspects of the game.


#11

I do think Brooks playing better is going to rub off on Jones at least a little bit though.


#12

[quote=“Craftsy21, post:5, topic:1512”]Given that he’s shown brief flashes before I am hesitant to get overly excited just yet, but there are two things that really have me optimistic…

For one, he’s not settling for outside shots like he has in the past. He looks like he realizes he is quicker than most of his covers and is working hard to get inside where he’s very tough to stop off the dribble. I don’t mind the occasional 3 from him if it’s in the flow of the game and he’s wide open, but there aren’t a lot of guys who can stop him when he makes up his mind to take somebody to the hole. Glad to see he’s figured this out.[/quote]

Craftsy, you are really on a roll today. I think you’re right about how he figured out one of his advantages was off the dribble. There will be games where he will have to settle for jump shots, but now that he’s shown he can dribble drive that affectively, he can start refining and polishing his decision matrix regarding when to dribble, pass or take a jump shot.

[quote=“Craftsy21, post:5, topic:1512”]Secondly - he looks more explosive to me. He’s always been an athletic freak, but the bounce I see when he decides to jump this year is much better than years past. You can see it when he blocks shots this year and on a few of his dunks this year. It’s pretty exciting to watch.

Keep up the good work Jeff.[/quote]

Again, spot on Craftsy. It’s that first step that is more decisive this year. He seems less tentative this year. If he can force some double teams as the season goes on, watch out.


#13

All this talk is really getting me pumped up… I think if Jeff can continue this level of play he could give us the inside presence that we’ve been missing. You really have to work the game inside-out and have balance, and if Jeff can provide that balance I think there are enough other peices that this team could pleasantly surprise a lot of people this year.


#14

Did anybody see the play that he made towards the end of the game. Hawks were pressing and they inbounded to Jeff. Last year Jeff would have tried to pass the ball like an exploding bomb. This year he looked for an outlet, didn’t see one pulled the ball down and calmly dribbled up court.

I think the thing with Jeff is he can get the ball on the perimeter but now he is confident to take the defender to the hole and float one in over them.


#15

The radio crew named Jeff the POTG and he was the post-game interview.
He was certainly talking like a motivated senior in the midst of his final go-around as a collegian.

Lots of cliches, but his tone and demeanor was convincing.

Paraphrasing from memory…
-He stayed at school over the summer and worked on his game, strength and academics
-Last year was not to be repeated particularly in his senior year
-What the coaches have been telling him is sinking in… Slowing down and letting his athletic ability take over
-On his second straight near-double-double “You’re going to see more of the same”

Only three games in but Jeff’s talking the talk.


#16

Which in Jeff’s case is just as, if not more important as walking the walk. He can do it. Now it sounds like he believes he can.


#17
[quote="Speed, post:15, topic:1512"]Only three games in but Jeff's talking the talk.[/quote]

Which in Jeff’s case is just as, if not more important as walking the walk. He can do it. Now it sounds like he believes he can.


Why hasn’t he been listening to us? We all knew he had the talent to be doing this at least 2 years ago. :wink:

#18

It would be great if Jeff Brooks could have a Gyasi Cline-Heard-type senior season. Obviously different styles and temperaments but both were highly-touted, athletic and talented forwards who needed to work on skill development and couldn’t quite put it all together their first 3 seasons.

I’ve always thought Brooks’ primary position should be PF and that he should get 3-5 post-ups per game on the left block. He’s incredibly long and I don’t think there are many 4’s who can challenge his left-shoulder jump hook.

FWIW Brooks averaged 12 pts and 4 reb on 60% shooting over the first 5 non-conference games last season, so hopefully he can maintain his strong play so far this season. The fact that he’s rebound and blocking shots at a higher rate is encouraging.


#19

It’s encouraging to me that Brooks has started like this, hopefully he keeps it up.


#20

In the off-season, many comments have been made as to what this team was lacking.

Forget rebounds, blocks, and inside shots, what this team needs is a LEADER. This was the biggest thing that Mel brought to the table, and the bigest absence last year.

If Brooks shows signs of dominating physically in the games, his voice will be heard off the court. If the team has someone to rally around, it will make them much more effective.