In the end the lure of Lexington, Kentucky was just too much to pass-up for Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.,) wing Kevin Knox II; the 6-foot-7 wing, 1 of only 3 players in the ESPN 100’s top 10 still left on the board, ended his recruitment Saturday evening picking the Wildcats over Duke, North Carolina, Missouri and Florida State.
“It was a couple of different things with Kentucky,” said Knox, who spoke exclusively with USA Today about his decision. “It was the coaching staff and the reputation for getting players to the league and then the players that we’ll have coming in. I will get better every day and I’ll practice in front of NBA scouts, but the most important factor for me was that I feel that going to Kentucky gives me the best chance to win.”
Knox, who averaged 28.9 points and 11.3 rebounds a game, was just one win short of winning the ultimate high school prize, a state title, this season falling in the championship game to Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in March.
Knox, who is ranked No. 9 overall in the ESPN 100, is the seventh pledge in the Wildcats’ 2017 haul joining Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) shooting guard Jemarl Baker, Victory Prep (Houston) forward Jarred Vanderbilt, The Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.) center Nick Richards, Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) point guard Quade Green, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) forward P.J. Washington and Hamilton Heights (Chattanooga, Tenn.) point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
“I love competition and I can’t wait to get there and get to work with my guys,” Knox said. “This decision was really tough for me, but I know it was the right decision. I’m ready to work on winning No. 9.”
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