Kevin Knox shocked us with this announcement
It may sound funny to say that we were genuinely shocked when a high-level prospect decides to commit to the powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats — but that was certainly the case here with Kevin Knox’s commitment.
One of the top unsigned recruits left in this class, the Wildcats seemed like something of an after-thought in a Top 5 that also included Duke, Florida State, Missouri and North Carolina.
Duke looked like the front-runner throughout the process, in no small part due to rumors of Knox being a package with Duke-commit Wendell Carter. North Carolina made a lot of sense as Knox could step right in and take the place of the NBA-bound Justin Jackson.
North Carolina made a lot of sense as Knox could step right in and take the place of the NBA-bound Justin Jackson.
Missouri has been rising late since the commitment of top prospect Michael Porter Jr. and Knox’s parents both went to Florida State.
On top of that, this incoming Kentucky class is heavy with forwards and big men.
Still, Knox is heading to play his college basketball at the famed Rupp Arena.
Here’s Knox talking about his decision:
“As tough as it has been, I am confident and comfortable with the decision I have made,” Knox said. “I’ve decided to do what’s best for me, and I’m happy. Because in the end, that is all that matters.
“There were a lot of reasons why I chose Kentucky; first the coaching staff is phenomenal! They know how to get players to the league and get them outside of their comfort zone and push players to the limit. Then I’ll be playing with a lot of great players every day in practice getting better against the best competition and, lastly, they know how to win.
The program knows how to win and I’ll have a lot of players around me that know how to win and want to learn how to win even more.”
The #9 overall player in ESPN’s rankings for the 2017 recruiting cycle, Knox joins a class that already includes ESPN’s #11 player (PF P.J. Washington), #16 player (C Nick Richards), #18 player (PF Jarred Vanderbilt), #23 player (PG Quade Green), #33 player (PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander), #63 player (SG Jemarl Baker) and SG Hamidou Diallo, who was an early enrollee at Kentucky last winter but would have ranked as a Top 10 player in this class had stayed put.
Someone, the Wildcats may not be done adding to this class as they’re still recruiting ESPN’s #3 player (C Mohamed Bamba) and are seen as the favorites to land Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson.
Diallo has entered his name into the 2017 NBA Draft, but he’s expected to withdraw before the deadline.