One of Kentucky’s final targets in 2017 is Kevin Knox.
But as is the case with any elite prospect, Kentucky is battling several other blue bloods for Knox, mainly North Carolina and Duke. Those three teams have fought hard to land the five-star forward out of Tampa, but it sounds like Kentucky may be falling behind those two ACC powers.
Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi thinks it’s the Tar Heels and Blue Devils that are battling for Knox heading down the stretch of his recruitment, and it may be UNC who’s surged into the lead.
As was pointed out while setting up Knox's options, the latest talk has been that Duke and North Carolina seem to be emerging from the pack. I don't want to discount the draw of the home school that he has ties to in Florida State and it's foolish to ever dismiss Kentucky in a recruitment. However, I do think this one is going to come down to North Carolina and Duke.
I think North Carolina should be able to prove it has a spot for him because it would be a surprise if Justin Jackson didn't turn pro and I think that the likelihood Joel Berry comes back is a huge plus for the Tar Heels. Duke's history with players similar to Knox is very tough to dismiss and if the talk that it was his dream school growing up holds water then it's tough to beat the Blue Devils.
Right now, though, I feel like we may have all been discounting Roy Williams in this one and I'm giving the slight edge to the Heels at this point.
That said, it’s hard to see UNC landing Knox if Justin Jackson returns next year to occupy the role they’re selling Knox on. But if Jackson leaves for the NBA Draft, then UNC may offer the best chance for Knox to have a big role next season.
Kentucky is in a similar situation with Wenyen Gabriel, who has shown flashes of becoming a star over time, though that won’t happen until next season at the earliest. But if he leaves to take his shot at the pros, Kentucky suddenly offers Knox arguably the best chance to be ‘the guy.’