RALEIGH, N.C. – And then there was one.
Kevin Knox is the lone remaining senior target for the Tar Heel staff, which has four commitments and aims for one more. And the Tampa (Fla.) Catholic forward is well aware of that status.
“I know with Jared (Vanderbilt) committing to Kentucky I’m one of their last 2017 recruits, so they’re really pressuring me hard right now,” he said.
Knox was on the UNC campus Tuesday for the third time this year, touring the facilities with his team and practicing on the Smith Center court – before heading over to Raleigh to drop 38 points, including a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, on the opening night of the John Wall Holiday Invitational.
“When I was up there on my unofficial (visit), they were doing reconstruction on the locker room, so I was able to go up there and see the new locker room, the new facility they have for the players, the game room and everything,” Knox said. “That was my first time seeing it, it was really nice. I got an opportunity to talk to some of the managers about it. They toured me around.”
The Tampa Catholic team will return on Wednesday to watch the Tar Heels host Monmouth in their final non-conference game of the season. That game day visit, Knox said, will include conversations with the UNC coaching staff.
Knox’s Tar Heel recruitment began in earnest more than a year ago, with the official offer coming last December. Roy Williams has made countless trips to see him for games – including as recently as two weeks ago – plus multiple in-home visits. Knox has, in turn, made those three unofficial visits to Chapel Hill, and has two more UNC visits on his schedule – an official visit the first weekend in February and then an unofficial one a month later for the game against Duke. Meanwhile, he’s been watching UNC’s 2016-17 campaign.
“UNC is really known for their bigs – getting their bigs the ball – and being able to play on the wing, too, like Justin Jackson,” Knox said. “And they like to run, which is something I really like to do.
“I’m (approaching them) the same as with the other schools – take my time, talk to the coaches, build a relationship and go from there. I’m looking forward to my official visit in February.”
The Tar Heels have two Florida natives on the roster who also played for Knox’s E1T1 travel team. Both have been in contact with Knox to make a recruiting pitch.
“I talk to Tony (Bradley) the most,” Knox said. “Me and Tony played on the AAU team so we know each other very well. Joel (Berry), when I was on my unofficial, I talked to him a little bit and he was just telling me everything …”
Duke, which received its official visit from Knox in the fall, has hosted him for a comparable number of unofficial visits and his team is practicing there this week as well. The other two official visits that remain are Kentucky and Florida State.
The decision remains – at least – a few months away.
“I decided I’m going to commit after the season,” Knox said. “Focus on the state championship and school and make the decision at the end of the year.”