At long last, the wait for Kevin Knox is over. The decision has been delayed several times over, but the No. 10 prospect has announced that he will attend Kentucky next year. Knox’s decision came down to a final five of North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Florida State, and Missouri before he ultimately decided on the Wildcats.
The 6’8” forward out of Tampa Catholic has been surrounded by a great deal of hype throughout his recruitment process. The Tar Heels hosted Knox at the Smith Center on Senior Night against Duke, and met with Knox in his home just a couple of weeks ago. The pitch from Roy Williams had to have been an easy one: Knox could step right into the role vacated by Justin Jackson leaving UNC for the NBA.
Odds had greatly favored Knox playing at Duke next year, which fits with the expectation that he could be a one-and-done player. Although it was never explicitly stated, it seemed like Knox would end up at one of Duke or North Carolina with Duke having the edge. Then Knox surprised most everyone by choosing Kentucky, which hadn’t really stayed at the front of the conversation.
The national champion Tar Heels will return Joel Berry II, Theo Pinson, Luke Maye, and Kenny Williams as important pieces for next season. Tony Bradley could still decide to return to North Carolina after receiving feedback at the NBA combine. That is in addition to an incoming freshman class that includes Jalek Felton, Garrison Brooks, and Brandon Huffman.
Without Knox, the Tar Heels are a bit thin in the post unless Bradley returns. Either way, it never really felt like Knox was going to end up in Chapel Hill and that ultimately was the case. If Knox’s only goal is getting to the NBA as quickly as possible, he probably made the right decision.