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Kentucky Basketball: Kevin Knox comes up golden in victory over WVU

Knox’s most complete game as a Wildcat powered his team to a road win over a top-10 team.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

When you mention the name McDonald's, certain images and things come to mind. McDonald’s iconic golden arches, the Big Mac, and Ronald McDonald have a place in all of our psyches.

But if you’re a college basketball follower, you will recognize the fast food joint for something else.

The McDonald’s All-American.

Kentucky basketball fans have long since recognized that the elite high school basketball players in America have this tag. Since John Calipari came to Kentucky on April 1, 2009, he has made it common place for Cats fans to see these players on a Kentucky roster year in and year out. Names like John Wall, Anthony Davis, and Karl Anthony-Towns have the Wildcat faithful scanning recruiting sites and social media for the next batch of McAA like those fans do a menu at the famed restaurant.

Quite often, these players come up “golden” like a Wall or DeMarcus Cousins. Sometimes those players struggle under the bright lights and the inherent pressures of coming to Lexington with such a high accolade. They sometimes need a little time to grow into their billing that precedes them.

A good example of this might be Kevin Knox.

It was a surprise to many basketball pundits when the 6-9 forward from Tampa (FL) Catholic chose to cast his lot with the Wildcats over such blue-bloods Duke and North Carolina. So with much fanfare, Knox made his Wildcat debut with many of the Cat faithful expecting him to replicate his 28.5 high school scoring average immediately and help his much heralded teammates as well host banner number 9 in Rupp Arena.

But sometimes it takes a little while for players to develop, just like it can take a little bit to get that special order Big Mac you ordered. It will be there, it probably will be good as you expect, but you have to wait a minute.

This is how we should view Knox.

It’s not to say that until last night 34 point seven rebound tour de force against #7 West Virginia Knox hasn’t produced; he has. Knox is the leading scorer on the team, averaging a very respectable 15.5 points a game and adds 5.7 rebounds per contest for the 16-5 Wildcats.

But a lot of times we as fans expect the finished product without giving the player time to grow and develop. It’s just part of our society to expect everything right now. Sometimes, it takes a little bit.

Knox has been good for most of the season. But he has had his struggles like any incoming freshman would. It’s part of growing up and growing into a role.

Last night, Knox for the first time flashed his enormous potential when the Cats needed it the most. After scoring the first seven points for Big Blue, Knox kept the Cats close while they figured out how to play against Press Virginia and a standing room only 15,358 crowd in Morgantown.

And when Kentucky needed to step on the gas and separate themselves from the Mountaineers, Knox made sure it was his foot hitting the accelerator. Final score Kentucky 83, West Virginia 76.

It’s probably not realistic for BBN to expect the Cats to have turned the corner and sprint into the rest of their SEC schedule and March Madness with little trouble. There will be struggles. There will be head scratching. Just part of it.

But Kentucky took a big step forward Saturday night, led by their former McAA and current Wildcat star Kevin Knox.

Just sit down, enjoy that Big Mac, and watch these Wildcats develop into something hopefully special. You will probably be pleased.