basketball

Duke, UNC, UK and Florida State a dead heat for five-star Knox

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Kevin Knox
Rivals.com

RALEIGH, N.C. – The 2017 class has begun to close the chapter that is their high school playing careers. Five-star Kevin Knox stands out as one of the few top prospects that has yet to name a home for next season. He has a final four of Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State and plans to wait until near the end of the college hoops season to announce his commitment.

During his time at the John Wall Holiday Invitational, the 6-foot-8 forward out of Tampa Catholic displayed what makes him unique as he spoke on the current state with his college recruitment.

Walking onto the scene as a sophomore bringing elite energy levels and athleticism coming off the bench for the Each 1 Teach 1 17-under brigade on the Nike EYBL circuit, the maturation process with Knox has been as fluid as can be. Now hitting 6-foot-8 but becoming more of a skill-based player that can lead the break, make plays in the lane and make jump shots from 15-feet and out, there is no questioning just how good the Sunshine State native can be.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

Coming off a solid run on the travel and international circuits this past summer, Knox has become a marked man but also one that continues to improve. Thanks to the attention that has steadily increased within the past two years, Knox remains steadfast with the entire process.

“All four of my schools I am watching every game and with how they use guys at my spot on the floor,” Knox said. “I am just going to wait until after the season to make a decision, around late February or early March.”

On Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel were out and about to see the five-star forward. The following night, Knox hosted Kentucky head coach John Calipari for his contest.

DUKE AND NORTH CAROLINA: During his time in the Tar Heel State, despite not being allowed to talk to any of the coaches due to NCAA rules, Knox got another look at the campuses at Duke and North Carolina.

“It was great to go out there and see what they’re doing,” Knox said of his trip to the two blue-blood programs. “The first time down there I wasn’t looking at my recruitment as much but it was a good experience for me.”

KENTUCKY: Having Calipari in attendance on Friday, Knox spoke further on the Wildcats and the misconception that they are no longer in the hunt for him after landing another comparable forward in the form of Jarred Vanderbilt.

“Me and Coach Cal talked about me and Jarred. We don’t play alike and we talked about how we could make it all work,” Knox said.

FLORIDA STATE: The final school on his list, the local Florida State Seminoles, is a program that both his mother and father suited up for during their own college playing days.

“They’re doing really. They’re in the top-25 and moving up,” the bouncy forward said. “(Dwayne) Bacon and Jon Isaac are doing well. I could come in and fill Bacon and Isaac’s spot.”

Having played with freshmen stars Tony Bradley and Isaac on the travel circuit, the Tampa Catholic forward did admit that both are doing their very best to get Knox to campus next year.

“Tony texted me after the game the other day seeing how I liked the visit but I probably talk to Jon more since we play the same spot,” Knox said. “He tells me about how they use him there and the situation at Florida State.”

WHAT'S NEXT?

Entering the final stretch of his recruitment, the 6-foot-8 senior will head to Florida State on Jan. 7, Kentucky on Jan. 28, and finish things off by heading to North Carolina on Feb. 4, all of which will be official visits.

RIVALS' REACTION

Having already officially tripped to Duke during the fall, it does seem like the recruitment of Knox is in a dead heat between all four involved as things could come down to the wire. The Blue Devils have been out in the lead a bit for a while now, though the longer the process plays out, the better it is for Florida State, North Carolina and Kentucky.

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