UK Men's Basketball

A closer look at what Kentucky is getting in Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox averaged 28 points and 11 rebounds per game for Tampa Catholic last season.
Kevin Knox averaged 28 points and 11 rebounds per game for Tampa Catholic last season. newsobserver.com

Kevin Knox stunned the college basketball recruiting world by committing to Kentucky on Saturday night.

Now that the dust has settled on an announcement that came right on the heels of the Kentucky Derby, a dive into the bio of the newest Wildcat reveals several interesting facts.

1. Knox was named Florida’s Mr. Basketball in 2017. The only previous Florida Mr. Basketball to play for Kentucky was Brandon Knight, who won the award in both 2009 and 2010. The award dates to 1983. The 6-foot-9 Knox, who led his Tampa Catholic team to the Class 5A state championship game, compiled 40 points and 20 rebounds in the state semifinals.

2. Kentucky’s roster for 2017-18 now includes six McDonald’s All-Americans: Joining Knox will be sophomore Sacha Killeya-Jones and freshmen Quade Green, Nick Richards, Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington. If John Calipari manages to secure a commitment from big man Mohamed Bamba, the Wildcats would match their 2013 haul of six McDonald’s All-Americans in one recruiting class. That year, Calipari brought in Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Julius Randle, James Young, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee.

3. Knox turned down a chance to skip college basketball and play one season in China before entering the 2018 NBA Draft. A professional team in that country offered $1.4 million, Knox’s father, also named Kevin, told the Tampa Bay Times.

Kentucky coach John Calipari rode around and danced on a hoverboard to celebrate 5-star recruit Kevin Knox's commitment to the Wildcats.

4. Before his rise as a basketball prospect, Knox was a highly touted football recruit as a three-star, dual-threat quarterback for Tampa Catholic. He’s said he can throw a football 65 or 70 yards. Knox’s father was a wide receiver for Florida State’s national championship team during the 1993 season and was a sixth-round draft pick by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills in 1994. He went on to play one season for the Arizona Cardinals. His mom, Michelle, was a volleyball player at Florida State.

5. Knox’s USA Basketball bio says he compares his game to his favorite player, Kevin Durant. “A lot of people say I play like Grant Hill, Kevin Durant, so those two long type of wings, Brandon Ingram, I can play pretty much any position on the floor so that’s who a lot of people compare me to,” Knox said in an interview with NBADraft.net.

6. DraftExpress.com analyzed Knox as an NBA prospect at this year’s Nike Hoop Summit, saying he still might not be done growing. DraftExpress liked his potential as a rebounder and multi-positional defender but said he needs to get stronger, more consistent and improve his motor, shooting mechanics and basketball IQ.

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