Confident Brooks leads Idaho

Two years and two national junior college basketball championships.

Jordan (pronounced jor-DAN) Brooks calls winning those titles at Arkansas Fort-Smith and Midland as his proudest moments in his basketball career. In both post-seasons, he was named to the national finals all-tournament team.

So, Brooks comes from winning national titles to an Idaho team that has won just 12 games the last two-plus seasons, and is 4-11 heading into Thursday's Western Athletic Conference game (7 p.m.) against Nevada at Lawlor Events Center.

"It was nice," Brooks said in a telephone interview before Tuesday's practice. "I learned a lot, and I want to bring that (winning attitude) to this team so we can challenge for a championship.

"Coach (Mike) Score recruited me when he was at Utah. I came on a visit and liked it. They (coaches) will give me the freedom I need to be the player I can be."

Many coaches only recruit players from winning programs because they like that "winning attitude" in their program. That certainly is what head coach George Pfeifer and assistant coach Score were thinking about when brought Brooks to the Vandals' Moscow campus.

"When I think of Jordan, the word that comes to mind is winner," Pfeifer said in the Vandals' media guide. "He finds ways to get things done and his junior college accomplishments speak to that.

"We can see the potential of Jordan playing different positions throughout the season. We need Jordan to bring all of his special gifts every night because when he does, the impact to our program will be a real plus."

The 6-foot-3 195-pound Brooks has already had an impact, as he leads the team in scoring (12.1) and rebounding (5.8). Included in those marks were a 16-point, 16-rebound effort in a loss to Fresno State last week. That's right, a guard grabbed 16 rebounds.

"I should have had more," Brooks said. "I stopped rebounding with about 10 minutes into the second half."

That performance showed that Brooks is a different type of player.

"He's unique," Pfeifer said. "In junior college, he was a forward. He's learning how to play point guard. He does a good job involving teammates.

"What is unique is you never see a point guard score 16 points and get 16 rebounds. He's had 26 rebounds in his last two games. He's doing different things that a lot of point guards don't do."

Brooks said he expected to play a wing position, but the change to point guard was made a week into practice. It hasn't been a rough transition.

"I have to make better decisions; know who to get the ball to and when to give it to them," Brooks said. "I want to decrease my turnovers, especially early in the game. I don't want to fuel the other team's offense by turning the ball over. The Louisiana Tech game was good. We had only three turnovers in the first half. Ball-handling isn't a problem. I've always been able to handle the rock.

" When I played power forward (in JC), I brought the ball up the floor a lot. Point guard is a different thing. Playing power forward, they want you to post up and score. That's cool they moved me to a 1 (the point). Playing the point isn't hard. I like playing the point. It doesn't matter, I can play them all (positions)."

Ah, you have to love that confidence.

• Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal,com, or by calling (775) 881-1281


Position: Point guard

Year: Junior

Height/weight: 6-3/195

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Favorite TV show: The Simpsons


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