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Kentucky standout Kevin Knox decides to hire agent, enter NBA Draft

Kentucky forward Kevin Knox has decided not to return to Lexington next season and will enter the NBA Draft in June. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor)

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Kevin Knox made his decision official Friday and will be entering the NBA Draft.

Knox, the team’s leading scorer and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, plans to sign with an agent, ending his career at Kentucky. During his lone season with the Wildcats, Knox scored 576 points, knocked down 57 3-pointers and collected 200 rebounds. Kentucky finished 26-11 this season and lost to Kansas State in the Sweet Sixteen.

“After careful consideration, I have made the decision to follow my dreams of becoming an NBA player and enter the 2018 NBA draft,” Knox said in a university release. “Thank you to my teammates, my coaches, and the fans. You have made my year as a Kentucky Wildcat one of the best years of my life. God bless.”

Knox helped led the Wildcats in scoring (15.5 points per game) and scored double figures in 30 games last season. Knox scored 20 or more points in 10 games and led the team in rebounding eight times. Kentucky coach John Calipari praised the performance by Knox last season.

“Kevin came in as one of the youngest freshmen in the country and adapted as well as any player I have ever coached,” Calipari said. “He improved in every area of his game, became an efficient scorer like some of the best players I’ve coached here and could score all types of ways, including runners, pull-ups, 3-pointers, post-ups and in pick-and-roll offense. His defense and rebounding improved throughout the year, which is a big reason why we were able to go on a run at the end of the season.

“He’s one of the greatest kids I’ve coached. He was a great teammate, a great student, and a great player. He is mature and responsible well beyond his years. All of that will bode well as he moves on to the pro ranks. His scoring ability and his 6-9 frame make him a position-less player that the entire league is looking for. I can’t wait to see what the next step is for him.”

Knox, who made a last-minute decision to attend Kentucky during the recruiting process, said “it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life”

“I’m not going to lie, the journey has been rough. But I have no regrets. It has made me a better player and a better person. Throughout the season I faced challenges, but with challenges comes growth. At the age of 18 growth is always good.

“My development and my team’s development led us to an SEC championship and a berth in the Sweet 16,” he said. “Not many can say that. I started this journey with a tough decision and once again I’m faced with another tough decision. I have found lifelong mentors in my coaches, a brotherhood in my teammates, and playing for the best fans in the country, the Big Blue Nation.”

PJ Washington announced his plans to enter the draft earlier this week but elected not to hire an agent. Washington could opt to return to Kentucky next season after he evaluates his status during the NBA Combine set for May 16-20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The NBA Draft set for June 21 at the Barclays Center.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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