Kevin Knox explains his decision to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft


In an up-and-down season for head coach John Calipari's Wildcats, Knox was a pretty consistent performer. But then along came Kevin Knox's father, hinting for a week that his son's decision might actually go the other way, detailing several convincing reasons why.

In a message posted to Twitter on Friday afternoon, the Wildcat announced his intention to enter the NBA Draft.

All week, fans believed there was a chance that Knox would return to Kentucky for a sophomore season. Taking a deep dive into potential 2018 NBA Draft candidates, I wanted to highlight guards who have a chance to greatly outperform their expectations in the NBA.

While Knox did not address the issue of hiring an agent, his father's previous comments indicated the Friday decision would be final whatever he chose to do.

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Knox finished his freshman season averaging a team-high 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Forward PJ Washington entered his name on Tuesday but will not hire an agent. But I have no regrets. In addition to "we don't need the money", Knox Sr. said all of the things old-school fans want to hear - that cutting down nets next April might be more rewarding than striding across a stage at the National Basketball Association draft this June. It has made me a better player, and a better person. Knox was also named to the All-SEC Tournament Team along with Gilgeous-Alexander and Wenyen Gabriel. His 576 points scored are the eighth-most by a Kentucky freshman.

In the United Kingdom news release, Calipari saluted Knox as "one of the greatest kids I've coached". Throughout the season, I faced challenges, but with the challenges comes growth.

"No one expected me to be a Kentucky Wildcat", Knox said via statement. At the age of 18, growth is always good. His 34 points at West Virginia tied Malik Monk for the most ever scored by a United Kingdom freshman on an opponent's home court. It was also his first SEC honor. "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".

Of the 21 players in the Calipari era who declared for the NBA Draft after one season at Kentucky heading into this season, all 21 were drafted in the first round. In the 2008 NBA Draft, he was the third guard off the board behind Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo.