"Like most kids, he had a dream. I think he had a dream of playing in the Big East," Maine Hoops coach Carl Parker said.
"I think that weighed into it. I think the sincerity of Mike Brey weighed into it. They were impressed with the academic guy."
The Irish edged out Rutgers, Maine, Davidson and Northeastern for his services. Knight saw his recruitment ascend shortly after the Reebok All-American Camp. He continued to draw interest through the AAU Nationals.
"His skill is beyond his point totals," Parker said. "He's one of those kids that when the day is done you look at the stat sheet. You see the success and how he interacts with teammates … then he's so humble. That really makes him."
In years past, the Irish have enjoyed taking under the radar bigs and working them into the rotation with success. Luke Harangody was a Top 100 player but few saw his ascension to all-american in advance.
"Brey told him he was going to be challenged and it wouldn't be an easy road. He's had success with guys when people didn't think they were going to be as good. Luke Harangody would be one. You know, truthfully, Notre Dame is one of those special places."