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Recruitment of Top UNC Basketball Target Kevin Knox Taking Shape

Top-10 forward down to four finalists.

Kevin Knox and his family have broken the final months of his recruitment into three phases.

Phase one - which concluded on Wednesday night following a meeting with Roy Williams – saw the head coaches from Knox’s final four schools come to Tampa, Fla. for in-home visits. Kentucky stopped by on Sept. 9, Duke on Sept. 11 and Florida State on the morning of Sept. 14.

Williams was joined by assistant coach Steve Robinson.

“It was a great visit," Knox’s father, Kevin Knox Sr. said. “He (Williams) was very forthright as far as their need and want for Kevin. He was very straightforward as far as the way they were going to use him, which was… his exact words were ‘I really don’t know.’”

“He said Kevin is just a different type of player,” Knox Sr. continued. “He recognizes that Kevin can rebound the basketball, dribble the basketball and push breaks and shoot the basketball. He told Kevin that ‘we just want you to be a player.’ We were really happy and pleased with the way coach formatted his visit. It was well presented.”

Knox, Scout.com's No. 7 overall player in the class of 2017, met with Williams and Robinson for about two hours.

“He wasn’t necessarily comparing Kevin to him, but he was just saying, ‘Hey, the way LeBron does what he does, that’s what I want you to be able to do,’” explained Knox Sr. "He was saying, ‘There’s a time to take over and a time to make everyone else better.’”

“Another name he came out with is Paul Pierce of Kansas,” Knox Sr. said. “Everybody looks at Paul Pierce now that he’s older, but he’s been in the league for 16 or 17 years. If I could have Paul Pierce’s career, I’d take it.  He talked about, of course, Marvin Williams, of course Harrison Barnes, those people he has had a direct impact on in coaching and who have had success on the collegiate level and in the NBA.”

Both of UNC’s 2017 commitments are guards (Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek) and the Tar Heels are losing seniors Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks to graduation, putting a premium on signing multiple frontcourt players in the senior class.

“They’re very hopeful that (UNC junior forward) Justin Jackson can go on to the NBA, obviously, and be a first-round draft choice,” Knox’s father said. “Kennedy Meeks is a senior, he’s leaving. Isaiah Hicks is a senior and he’s leaving, and they’re very hopeful that (UNC junior guard) Joel Berry is a lottery pick, as all coaches are hopeful their kids can go on to the NBA and make money. He was saying there’s going to be a need and a want for a player like Kevin Knox.”

Phase two of the final months of Knox’s recruitment is all about the visits. Knox plans to announce the official visit dates to his four finalists in the “next seven to 10 days.”

Phase three is dedicated to evaluation. In the spring, the family will analyze all available information and come to a decision on where Knox will spend his college career.

“It’s going to be a very difficult and close race,” Knox Sr. said. “It’s going down to the wire I believe.” 


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