This past spring Tampa (Fla.) Catholic standout Kevin Knox wasn’t a major name on the recruiting circuit. But he quickly rose from unknown to one of the nation’s top prospects in the 2017 class.
Knox, a 6-foot-7, 195-pound hybrid forward, emerged at USA Basketball in early June. Not only was he a participant in their U16 tryouts, but also he made the team, won a Gold Medal and was fourth on the team in scoring at 10.6 points a game.
When Knox returned from FIBA Americas, he raised his play yet again. Knox went from averaging 7.4 points and four rebounds a game through 16 games in the EYBL regular season to 12.6 points and seven boards in six games at Peach Jam.
“After USA the confidence for me really built up pretty good,” Knox said. “I think that carried over to Peach Jam and I had a good Peach Jam. The coaches really liked me and my team did really well. I just kind of blew up and increased in all the rankings and it was just good for me.”
Did Knox his improved play and rise in the national rankings coming?
“I know I’ve been putting in the work and a lot of people have been talking to my dad,” the Florida native said. “I think I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know it was going to be that fast.”
A rangy, athletic forward, Knox is known for his versatility and ability to fill different roles on the court. He’s skilled enough to handle the ball in different situations, can defend multiple positions and also knocks down mid-range jumpers.
“[My strength is] to be able to play any position on the court and to be able to take a rebound and start a break,” Knox said. “To be able to handle the ball and be a mismatch problem and to be able to shoot the ball. I pretty much have the whole package.”
Knox, who said he’s focused on improving his consistency from the three-point arc and his ball handling, has been working out for college coaches in the morning before school.
This past week alone, North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, N.C. State and Virginia Tech stopped by his school to see him.
“It’s going pretty good,” Knox said of the recruiting process. “A lot of coaches are calling me and my dad and coming in to watch me workout. It’s fun having coaches come in to watch you workout.”
Knox told Scout he currently has scholarship offers from Florida State, LSU, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Florida, Miami, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, USF, Auburn, Maryland, Georgia, Memphis and Syracuse.
Mark Gottfried and Buzz Williams were the head coaches that stopped in last week. Knox mentioned N.C. State had picked up their interest with him as of late.
“Coach [Orlando] Early texts me almost every day just checking up on me and coach Gottfried is came up to see me workout,” he said. “They really heavy interest in me.”
N.C. State’s in-state rivals are starting to ramp their efforts up as well.
“Coach [Steve] Robinson told me that the offer will come, he just didn’t know when,” Knox said about UNC.
“Coach [Jeff] Capel texts me and told me I had really good talent and wants to stay in touch with me,” he added about Duke.
But who is after him the hardest at this stage?
“FSU wants me really hard,” Knox said. “LSU has made me a priority. N.C. State is really heavily interested in me, so is Virginia Tech. Florida really wants me to stay in state and so does Miami.”
“I want to take some unofficials just to get around the campus and get with the coaches,” he added. “I have to sit down and talk to my parents about that.”
Knox, who ranks No. 10 overall in Scout’s 2017 top 100, hasn’t taken any college visits to date, but does plan to set some up for the fall. Both of his parents attended Florida State.