Top-10 Junior Kevin Knox Remains Prime UNC Target

Kevin Knox has performed splendidly this season and remains a top priority for the UNC coaching staff

TAMPA, Fla. --- There’s nothing particularly surprising about Kevin Knox’s sterling play this season. The 6-8 forward at Tampa (Fla.) Catholic constructed an outstanding summer last year that solidified his place among the Class of 2017 elite.

Currently ranked No. 10 nationally, Knox has maintained his momentum this winter and become a featured attraction within grassroots basketball.

“This season is going really well, we’ve won 16 games in a row and beaten some good teams,” Knox said.

But Knox isn’t merely excelling in the areas most comfortable to him. He understands that, from a long-term perspective, he’ll likely need to transition fully out of the post and onto the perimeter. That he has been so successful while making that adjustment bodes extremely well for his ultimate development.

”A lot of college coaches tell me they want me to play on the perimeter, so I’ve been working on that a lot,” Knox said. “I want to play on the wing, that’s my future at college and if I make it to the next level, that’s what I really want to do.”

Another issue he must address is his recruitment — and it may not prove to be easy. Knox holds offers from North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Syracuse, N.C. State, Florida and others, and he said he hopes to continue expanding his list during the course of this calendar year.

Meanwhile, he’s also ready to begin engaging with the process more seriously. He’ll travel to the Research Triangle area next month, visiting both UNC and Duke unofficially on the weekend of Feb. 13. He’ll watch games on both campuses and also visit his grandfather, who lives in Holly Springs.

He doesn’t intend to take any dramatic steps in his recruitment, but he certainly expressed excitement about the visits.

“This will be my first time really visiting schools for the recruiting process,” he said. “It’s going to be fun, the coaches will make jokes, shoot around on the court, the games should be fun and hopefully both teams will get the win.”

Florida State also looms large in the recruitment. Both of Knox’s parents were athletes at FSU — his father, Kevin Sr., played wide receiver in football and scored a touchdown at UNC in the early 90s — and thus there’s obviously a close connection to Tallahassee.

Nevertheless, Knox said, he doesn’t feel obligated to follow in their footsteps.

”That’s something my parents and I talk about all the time, I don’t have to go to Florida State just because they went there,” he said. “I want the school that’s the best fit for me and that I have the best relationship with, wherever that is.”

Knox played up with the 17-unders last year and became close to Each 1 Teach 1 teammate and Tar Heel signee Tony Bradley. Knox said that the two remain in contact and have discussed playing together in college.

”Oh, yeah, I talk to Tony a lot,” Knox said. “He watches the (UNC) games, he’s supposed to go up to some of the games this year. I couldn’t make it to the same games as him but we talk about it, he tells me how good the campus is and I’m really looking forward to visiting there.”

Knox also remains close to his peers who, like him, suit up for USA Basketball. He plans to attend USAB festivities in June and said that the players have remained in contact throughout this season.

“We talk all the time and keep the relationship strong,” he said. “I talk to Gary (Trent), Wendell (Carter), Jarred (Vanderbilt), all those kids, just to see what their recruiting is up to and how they’re doing. I’ll be back (at USA Basketball) in June and we’ll see each other again.”

As for his specific conversations with the Carolina coaching staff, Knox has keyed in on a current Tar Heel along with his overall interest in the program.

“They tell me to watch what they do, to watch the offense,” he said. “They really want me to play the wing, watch Justin Jackson to see how they use him around the perimeter, come off screens and stuff like that.”

Knox said he intends to fully undertake the process and maintain a methodical approach to his recruitment in the coming months.


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