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Will Kevin Knox and Mohamed Bamba Come to Kentucky?


The titled question is a better way to say the question I’ve received approximately 472 times since Monday: “What percent chance does Kentucky have at landing Bamba and Knox?”  To answer that question, all you need to know is math.  Each player is down to four schools, so there’s a 25 percent chance they’ll come to Kentucky.

Instead of putting an abstract number on something I don’t really know, I’ll tell you what I do know about John Calipari’s top two remaining targets in the class of 2017.

Kevin Knox

Why He Will Go to Kentucky

Knox seemed to genuinely enjoy the courtship by his four Kentucky McDonald’s All-American teammates.  Anytime they were together or discussed he cracked a smile.  He wasn’t the only one being recruited.  P.J. Washington’s father Paul recruited Knox Sr. throughout the week.

Why He Will Go Elsewhere

“That’s one of the reasons I pushed it back from March to April is to wait to see how people did in the tournament, what people are leaving, what people are staying.  That’s definitely going to play a big part in my decision.”

There were two committed Kentucky small forwards on Knox’s team this week.  Even though he’s the best shooter and the most perimeter-oriented of the bunch, three is a crowd, not to mention Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones.

When He Will Decide

After the Jordan Brand Classic during his Spring Break, the week of April 17-21.

Gut Feeling

At the beginning of the week, I thought Kentucky was in a great place, but the more I mull it over, the more I believe he’ll go to North Carolina to follow in Justin Jackson’s footsteps.

Mo Bamba

Why He Will Go to Kentucky

Bamba has deep ties to next year’s Kentucky team.  He’s played AAU basketball off and on with Hamidou Diallo and Quade Green since middle school, most recently advancing to the Peach Jam final with Green leading the way.  They’ve been recruiting him relentlessly, but know when it’s appropriate to give him space, or mob him on the sideline after a dunk.

A player who will draw comparisons to Anthony Davis, the walls of the Joe Craft Center spoke to Bamba’s family on his visit to Kentucky.  Unlike Knox, Bamba isn’t worried about who is staying or going, “I honestly feel like I can play with anyone,” he told KSR.   In reality, it doesn’t matter because he’s good, he’s going to play regardless.

Why He Will Go Elsewhere

“With Duke, you get something a little bit different because you’re getting three different brands,” Bamba told KSR Monday.  “You’re getting the university, you’re getting the program and you’re getting Coach K.  Coach K has his own global brand, which is pretty outstanding.”

If you’ve ever wondered how Coach K can out-recruit Calipari, it’s difficult to argue against Bamba’s description.  Sure, there are guys like Marques Bolden that can help poke holes in the argument, but choosing not to play for arguably the greatest college basketball coach of all time is not an easy decision to make.

When He Will Decide

He’s still not sure.  “I gotta figure out where I’m going to school before I can pick an announcement date,” Bamba said in a joking-manner.  He’s not counting his chickens before they hatch.

Gut Feeling

I have never interviewed a more eloquent, intelligent young man (I never got to interview Karl Towns).  His sense of humor is spectacular, almost as great as his ability to impact a game.  I reeeeeeeally want Bamba to come to Kentucky, but it’s a toss up between the Cats and the Blue Devils.  The personal connections to UK’s future backcourt probably give the Cats a 55-45 advantage.  There ya go folks, a 55 percent chance.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

9 Comments for Will Kevin Knox and Mohamed Bamba Come to Kentucky?

  1. 3 fan
    10:48 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t think SKJ will be here and how could Knox be worried about losing playing time to Gabriel?? Did you watch Gabriel last 2 months??

  2. thenamerobdigity
    10:56 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    No mention on style of play for Knox?

  3. 8xchamp
    11:11 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Or if he goes to duke, maybe boldens mom will let him come to uk. And use last year as his redshirt year

  4. Rick_S
    12:03 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    As long as Bam goes id say it more like 80-20 UK

  5. BiasedBigfoot
    12:11 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Thanks Nick. Good article.

  6. dballrb
    1:01 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    So you’re saying there’s still a chance. I’ll take it..

  7. UKfanman01
    5:09 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Don’t forget about Bamba and Michigan. He wasn’t offered by Michigan and went up there seeking a scholarship. He personally asked them to extend an offer, which speaks pretty loudly

  8. BlueGrass
    9:33 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Nick said, “At the beginning of the week, I thought Kentucky was in a great place, but the more I mull it over, the more I believe he’ll go to North Carolina to follow in Justin Jackson’s footsteps.”

    Did you mean follow in Jackson’s footsteps by Ol’ Roy turning one and done talent into needing three years to develop talent?

  9. NCkatfan
    5:19 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

    So, after the ridiculous Carolina loss, I got more PO’d thinking about the Wisconsin loss which cost us another national championship along with a 40-0 season. Which brings me to Knox and Bamba. If Cal gets both, it’ll be another 40-0 type season. That’s an unclimbable mountain for all teams not Kentucky…And no team will ever reach it after we do. And as for your comment about Coach K being perhaps the greatest ever, I think you forgot about two others who might argue with that: Wooden and Rupp!