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The 10 Best Things About Kevin Knox’s Commitment




On Saturday, Kevin Knox took Derby Day to another level when he shocked the world by picking Kentucky over Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, and Missouri. I was hosting a Derby party when the news broke and didn’t see it until I picked up my phone about a half hour later, at which point all of my friends learned who Kevin Knox was and were forced to watch the video of John Calipari riding his hover board around his kitchen. It’s been a few days since then, but I’m still basking in Knox’s decision; here are my ten favorite things about it.

1. No one saw it coming

Between the AAU circuits, Crystal Ball predictions, countless all-star games, and social media, basketball recruiting gets almost as much coverage as the sport itself, to the point that 90% of the time, you know where a kid’s going by the time he announces. Not so with Knox. Heading into Knox’s announcement, 87% of the predictions in his Crystal Ball were for Duke and only 13% for North Carolina. Not one of the 23 experts thought Knox would end up at Kentucky, and after the news broke, recruiting messiah Evan Daniels said that while he is very rarely shocked by college commitments, Knox’s pretty much stunned him. In recent weeks, we heard the folks at UK still thought they had a shot with Knox, hence Calipari’s trip to Tampa last month, but none of us actually predicted he would end up a Cat, which is why Saturday’s news was especially sweet.

2. It came at Duke and North Carolina’s expense

Remember this time last year when Duke was putting together a mega class that had people whispering about 40-0 and pundits gleefully pounding out articles about how Coach K had stolen Calipari’s thunder in recruiting? What a difference a year makes. Not only did Duke fail to live up to expectations during a roller coaster season, they’ve only got two five-star commitments so far in the 2017 class in Gary Trent Jr. and Wendell Carter…AND they had to steal a three-star recruit from Eastern Kentucky. Knox would have been a game-changing addition to Duke’s class; instead, Coach K struck out and Calipari got a home run.

Meanwhile, if there was ever a time for Roy Williams to land a superstar like Knox, it was now. Coming off a national championship, Roy brought his box of rings to Tampa to impress Knox last month. It didn’t work, and the Tar Heels have zero five-star players in the 2017 class. Luckily, their fan base is pretty used to that these days.

3. It eases the shooting concerns

Knox may be 6-9, 205 lbs., but he’s also a good shooter, so much so that Calipari plans to use him at the two or three spot to fill the void left by Malik Monk. The main concern with next year’s team is a lack of shooters, and while Knox won’t be the scorer that Monk was from the outside, having a 6-9 wing that can punish you in the lane and hit a consistent jump shot will be HUGE for the Cats. His size, ball handling skills, and jump shot make him the perfect example of the positionless player Calipari so often covets.

4. It takes pressure of the Hamidou Diallo decision

With the NBA Combine starting tomorrow, we’re going to hear a lot about Hamidou Diallo’s pro potential and whether or not he’ll stay in the draft, a debate that’s embroiled the BBN since Diallo declared a few weeks ago. If Diallo does stay in the draft (and I’m starting to think he will), it will be a difficult pill for most Kentucky fans to swallow; landing Knox makes that a little easier. People will still grumble, but at least we’ve got one of the top ten players in the country coming in to distract us.

5. It opens up a whole world of combinations

Say Kentucky gets Bamba and Diallo stays in the draft…what will the roster look like? Thanks to Knox, there are tons of options, specifically at the two/three spot, Kentucky’s biggest weakness before his commitment:

  • PG: Quade Green/Shai Alexander
  • G: Kevin Knox/Jemarl Baker
  • G/F: Kevin Knox/Jarred Vanderbilt/PJ Washington
  • F: PJ Washington/Jarred Vanderbilt/Wenyen Gabriel
  • F/C: Mohamed Bamba/Nick Richards/Sacha Killeya-Jones/Tai Wynyard

If Diallo comes back, he’ll start as the two guard, shifting Knox to the three spot; if he doesn’t, I’d expect Cam Johnson to commit and help out at the two, giving Knox more time at the three.

Or, Calipari could say screw it and just platoon again.

6. It might help with Bamba

Knox’s dad told SEC Country that his son and Mohamed Bamba talk five days a week, and while Knox’s decision has no impact on Bamba’s roster wise, the fact that he’s joining Bamba’s other friends on UK’s roster (notably Quade Green) has to help the Cats’ chances, right? Knox’s dad seems downright giddy at the thought of the two teaming up next season.

“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.”

Come on down and join the super team, Mo.

7. It means that the U19 National Team might actually have a Kentucky starting five

Next year’s team will be John Calipari’s youngest, and therefore, most challenging; however, it does help that the core of that team will also play for Cal this summer in the FIBA U19 World Championships in Egypt. Quade Green, Kevin Knox, Jarred Vanderbilt (if his foot injury isn’t serious), PJ Washington, Hamidou Diallo, and Mohamed Bamba will all likely be on that squad, meaning that if Bamba comes to Kentucky, Vanderbilt’s able to play and Diallo doesn’t stay in the draft, Cal could have an all-Kentucky lineup. Nick Richards (Jamaican native), Wenyen Gabriel (too old), and Shai Alexander (Team Canada) can’t be on the roster, but what’s stopping Cal from bringing Sacha Killeya-Jones and Jemarl Baker along with him?

Kentucky can’t go on an overseas trip until 2018, but the ten days in Egypt (July 1-9) and the week of training camp in Colorado (June 18-25) will be a great head start for a team that desperately needs it.

8. It came with a football assist

The hidden hero in getting Knox to Kentucky? UK Football recruiting guru Vince Marrow, who played professional football with Knox’s father, Kevin Sr. The elder Knox played wide receiver at Florida State and was drafted in the sixth round by the Buffalo Bills, where he met Marrow. The two are still great friends and met up when Knox visited for Big Blue Madness. Knox Sr. also knows Lamar Thomas, who played at Miami from 1989-92, the same time Knox was at Florida State.

Marrow was especially happy to hear the news Saturday night:

Thanks for the assist, big dawg.

9. It instantly makes Kentucky a Final Four contender next season

Even if Diallo came back to school, without Knox, UK still had some issues at the two/three spot. With the body of a small forward and the handle/stroke of a guard, Knox instantly vaults Kentucky from a team with some weak spots to a team that, once they gel and grow up a bit, can contend for a title on talent alone. By now, we’ve learned the pitfalls of overhyping a recruit, but Knox’s athleticism and versatility changes the game for Kentucky next season.

10. It gave us one of the greatest Calipari videos of all time

Knox’s commitment reportedly moved Kenny Payne to tears, but Calipari? Well, Cal was so happy he risked his life by jumping on his hover board and spinning around his family’s kitchen.

“This is a celebration,” Cal said. “That’s right, I had to do it.”

That will never ever get old.

Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh… cal-spinning cal-peaceout

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

25 Comments for The 10 Best Things About Kevin Knox’s Commitment

  1. turdyshmurda
    7:58 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    I can’t even read Mrs. Tyler Thompson’s post with seriousness anymore.

  2. jaws2
    7:59 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    One of the BEST things about this is that the ‘duckie’ writers that predicted duke, were wrong. Love it!!!

  3. JusSayin
    9:04 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    I’m a fan but this guy is NOT a good shooter. Only a slight upgrade over Diallo and nowhere near the caliber of Monk.

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      9:57 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

      Who said he had to “replace” any of those guys? All he’s asked to do is what Cal says and it’s really simple, be the best version of himself! It really is that simple once you think about it. Come in, work your butt off to become a two way player and play his role, which is not to be really determined. With the guys Cals assembled, practice is really going to make all of them better and lead to their success. Once they gel, it will be a great oiled machine hopefully, and at the right time. The worse thing a player could do is try to be another player, or think they have to fill somebody’s shoes. Let them figure out who they are and watch them thrive and become comfortable on the floor, some fans often times want to rush that process here. Why Cal says there’s no magic wand and each players diff.

  4. Bluebloodtoo
    9:09 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    You guys forgot about #11- it’s worth at least 5 more articles of site content.

  5. Cokely53
    9:28 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    Agree with all of these especially #5, except for #9. Think it’s a bit of a reach to say that team would be a final four contender without any more additions. Last years team had more talent than this years will without diallo or bamba. Get those 2 and that definitely changes things.

    • CatsfaninFL
      7:53 am May 9, 2017 Permalink

      Huh? So we weren’t contenders for a FF this year? I’m pretty sure if we were in any other bracket at the Elite 8 level we would have made the FF. Bad draw with UNC, but that’s part of the tourney.

      One of my friends is a UNC fan and he texted me before the tip of our E8 game. He said ‘whoever wins this game wins the tourney” and I think he was right. There were 5 teams left in the tourney and that time and UK and UNC were 1 and 1a.

    • Cokely53
      1:33 pm May 9, 2017 Permalink

      No sorry wasn’t trying to say last years team wasn’t a FF contender because they certainly were and should’ve made it. Just saying we had all that talent and didn’t make it. The way the current roster is, in my mind is pretty far behind last years team in talent.

  6. luke_emberton
    10:08 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    if Diallo leaves he shouldn’t be allowed to step foot on Kentucky’s campus again. When you decide to be a one and done you basically agree to play 35-40 try to win a national title and if you don’t you leave and have a great career you don’t come for 3 months and say ha I get to go pro now that’s so messed up

    • unbridled
      10:12 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

      Just stop. If the kid isn’t a first rounder he would be moronic to come back. He helped the previous team develop in practice. He has paid his dues. Quit with the ignorant 35-40 rant. It looks silly.

    • unbridled
      10:13 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

      * if the kid IS a first rounder it would be moronic to come back.

    • BBNDan7
      10:24 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

      Really? Because when I went to UK I graduated in three years but most do 4 or more. So should I have just said screw it and hung out for a year if it’s not needed? No. Let the kids do what’s best for them

    • CstlCAT22
      10:35 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

      Seriously dude grow up. Do you hear yourself? He fulfilled his agreement hence the reason he can enter the draft. He doesn’t owe you any games, period. It’s the beauty of our school and program and a large reason why players like Knox commit even though players and time are stacked. I’m assuming if you good enough to enter the draft and make millions, you would stay? Joke. Chill out we don’t what he’s going to do… Bottom line fans like yourself are creating a bad image. Educate yourself please, it’s embarrassing.

    • wyatts1
      11:52 pm May 9, 2017 Permalink

      I agree, somethings a miss somewhere with this issue. If coach wouldve thought this kid was gonna go pro then I’m sure he wouldve gotten some playing time. Anyways I’m ok with the one and done, however what occurred here i am not. We are kentucky, one and done is acceptable, but this is disrespectful to every single fan that praised him durin his decision only to be fooled. Any other players wanna do this, they can go somewhere else is my book. Unless he comes back, then my whole comment is irrelevant lol

  7. unbridled
    10:10 pm May 8, 2017 Permalink

    Diallo please come back and Bamba please commit! That’s all I’ve got.

  8. Angelo
    1:08 am May 9, 2017 Permalink

    Bamba! Bamba! Bamba!

  9. nicky
    6:44 am May 9, 2017 Permalink

    Cal nipping on the Tequila mix in the background?? 🙂

  10. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:15 am May 9, 2017 Permalink

    He looks a lot heavier than 205 lbs to me. We have a lot of big guys coming in and it is possible (Scholarship-wise) to have Diallo, Bamba, and Cam Johnson. Diallo and Johnson play big for their position. Going to be interesting.

  11. Steve Jobs
    10:52 am May 9, 2017 Permalink

    Ellen Calipari is the best!

  12. wildcatfan20
    12:52 pm May 9, 2017 Permalink

    What’s this about a training camp in Colorado? I live in Colorado and am curious to know if it is open to the public or how I can get in on this.

    • wildcatfan20
      12:55 pm May 9, 2017 Permalink

      Oh, I gotcha. It’s for the U19 National Team…not Kentucky. It will most definitely be at the USOTC in Colorado Springs.