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Kevin Knox explains why John Calipari drew him to Kentucky

Knox told Evan Daniels that Calipari is “100 percent on everything ... I just felt like he could develop me ... to get ready for the next level.”

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball recruiting expert Evan Daniels recently had Kevin Knox on his podcast, “The Sidelines with Evan Daniels,” to discuss his season at Kentucky and his draft stock.

Knox and Daniels covered a lot of topics, but Knox had a lot to say about what drew him to Kentucky and what he liked about playing there for a year.

He had high praise for head coach John Calipari when Daniels asked him why Calipari is such a good recruiter.

“He’s just 100 percent on everything, he’s going to tell you the truth at all times,” Knox said. “Growing up, I was in a military family, my dad was really hard on me, and that’s kind of what I want in college, and Cal, he’s on you 24/7, he’s going to push you outside your comfort zone, he’s going to keep it real with you at all times, if you’re playing bad he’s going to tell you, he’s not going to sugarcoat nothing. That’s kind of what I wanted. I wanted to be pushed, I want to be great, so — Cal, he’s one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history. I mean he’s put a lot of great guys in the NBA, so I mean I just felt like he could be able to develop me as a person and as a player to be able to get ready for the next level.”

But it wasn’t just Calipari’s coaching that helped Knox make that decision. It was the stage and the level that Kentucky plays on compared to other schools.

“Playing on that big stage, being able to play in front of 24,000 every night, playing on national TV in front of millions of people, it just kind of gets you ready for the next level,” Knox said. “And then Cal just taught me how to be able to fight for a whole game, fight whatever during the game. That was kind of tough for me at first, being able to match the intensity that Cal coaches with, being able to fight the way that he wants you to fight. It was rough for us freshmen early on in the season, it was rough for me as well. But as the season went on we just got better and better. We learned how to play together, I learned how to play with my teammates, play under pressure, be able to play with a coaching style, so throughout the season I just got better as a person and player.”

Daniels also asked Knox about his favorite part of his season at UK, and without hesitation, he said it was the SEC Tournament and winning the SEC Championship.

“I never really won a big championship like that in my life, I mean I’ve lost state championships,” Knox said. “I’ve won some mini-championships but nothing big like that so that was definitely something that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life.”

You can listen to the whole interview here, which features Knox discussing the success of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, his draft pitches to NBA teams and more.