Kevin Knox’s recruitment is finally reaching its conclusion — or so it would seem.
The 5-star forward from Tampa, Fla., recently told ZagsBlog.com that he’ll announce his college decision by Sunday night. The family is reportedly working to make sure the announcement is broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Knox’s decision looms large for North Carolina, which joins Duke, FSU, Kentucky and Missouri as a finalist. With his length, quickness and scoring ability, Knox is an instant-impact talent. Should he become a Tar Heel, he would compete for a starting spot right away.
If Knox Picks UNC
UNC would instantly become a strong contender to repeat as national champion. Knox could fill the shoes of NBA-bound Justin Jackson, or he could play more of a combo forward role. He has a golden opportunity to walk in from Day 1 and be one of the team’s top contributors.
As a Tar Heel, Knox would put the cherry on top of another talent-laden class for Carolina. He’d be the sixth member of a 2017 class that also features a potential star in Jalek Felton (combo guard) and promising frontcourt players in big men Garrison Brooks, Sterling Manley and Brandon Huffman.
Perhaps more importantly, it would give Roy Williams more recruiting momentum. Despite recently winning his third NCAA title, Williams hasn’t signed a prospect of Knox’s caliber since Jackson three classes ago. Landing Knox would help dispel the notion that Williams is losing his touch with the nation’s top talent.
If Knox Doesn’t Pick UNC
Losing out on Knox wouldn’t be the end of the world for Williams and the Tar Heels. However, the 2017-18 roster won’t be as loaded.
Theo Pinson’s return for his senior season ensures a veteran presence along the wing for UNC. North Carolina will continue to rely primarily on its upperclassmen, including Pinson, Joel Berry and Kenny Williams.
The worst possible outcome for the Tar Heels in this case, quite simply, is that Knox goes to Duke. It would only add salt to the wound should Knox lead the Blue Devils to a victory or two over UNC next season.
Roy Williams has lost some major head-to-head recruiting battles with Mike Kryzyzewski in recent years. The list includes Austin Rivers, Brandon Ingram, Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum. Another loss to Coach K on the recruiting trail would be almost unbearable for the UNC Hall of Famer.