Kevin Knox Emerging As UNC Target

Kevin Knox's stellar summer sent him surging up the 2017 rankings and the Tar Heels are among those that have taken notice.

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,” said Knox, who played alongside UNC commitment Tony Bradley on the E1T1 travel team. “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 see 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 (where both his parents attended and played sports), 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.”

North Carolina assistant Steve Robinson was the UNC coach in attendance watching his this week. He said UNC has recently stepped up their communication with him.

“I talk to their coach a lot, all the time,” he said. “He’s a good coach. He wants me to come up there and visit. He said they’d be back a couple of times to watch me work out again. They just like the way I play and just love my style of play and really want me to be a Tar Heel.”

At this stage, Knox has yet to talk to Roy Williams, so the Heels have yet to offer him a scholarship. But Knox said that’s only a matter of time.

“Coach Robinson told me that the offer will come, he just didn’t know when,” he said.

What does Knox think about the Tar Heels?

“That’s a big time school,” Knox said. “It’s a good program with good education and good coaching. Those top programs are really good and do well in the tournament.”

“My grandpa lives up there so they want me to come up there and visit and so do all the North Carolina schools, they all want me to come visit,” he added.

Knox, who ranks No. 10 overall in Scout’s 2017 top 100, hasn’t taken any college visits to date, but said he does plan to set some up for the fall.

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