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Kevin Knox brought Kenny Payne to tears; may help in Mo Bamba recruitment

If UK gets Bamba to go with Knox and the rest of the Cats’ 2017 class...wowza.

USA Today

Did getting Kevin Knox actually help UK with Mohamed Bamba? Kevin Knox Sr. is certainly hinting at that.

The father of the five-star forward spoke with SEC Country about his son’s recruitment, picking Kentucky and what it means going forward.

If you needed any more of an indicator to just how big of a get this was for UK, look no further than Kenny Payne. Knox Sr. revealed that the UK assistant coach was brought to tears when learning that all of his hard work to get his son finally paid off.

“He texted and was like, ‘I can’t talk right now’ — and he put a little smiley face with a tear — ‘I’m so emotional, I’m crying.’ Then he was able to call like 10 minutes later.”

You can bet that Payne and other UK coaches would have a similar reaction if they got Bamba, which seems more likely to occur after getting Knox, at least based on what Knox Sr. is saying.

“Kevin and Bamba definitely have similar personalities. It’s safe to say no one really knew where Kevin was going, and you guys have no idea basically where Bamba is going,” Knox Sr. said. “Kevin and Bamba talk 5 of 7 days a week. So who knows? I just know Bamba really likes Kevin; Kevin likes Bamba. I think it would be really great for them to play together. So we just gotta see how that conversation goes over the next couple of weeks.”

Knox Sr. had similar things to say in an interview with MADE Hoops.

“Mohamed Bamba and my son Kevin have become close friends,” said Knox Sr. “They talk every other day through social media or on the phone. I would imagine just through their own conversation and their relationship they will talk about Kevin’s decision. Bamba may ask why he decided on Kentucky and they’ll have that talk.”

If Knox and Bamba are as close as Knox Sr. is indicating, then this is a major step for UK towards getting the big man locked up. Bamba hasn’t set a decision date, and all indications are he hasn’t even made a final decision with his family yet, which is probably good for UK after getting Knox.

That would probably help make up for Hamidou Diallo — another close friend of Bamba — who may now be leaning towards staying in the NBA Draft. Diallo leaving would be a slight blow to UK’s chances with Bamba since they’re good friends, but it sounds like Knox may help make up for that potential loss.