Monday, March 19, 2018

Where does Kevin Knox rank among John Calipari’s best at Kentucky?

Former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox will be making his first – and, almost certainly, only – trip to Gainesville on Saturday with Kentucky.

The Wildcats freshman forward is a consensus lottery pick on NBA mock drafts and is expected to achieve his high school goal of being a one-and-done college player.

After one of the best stretches of his career – seven consecutive games with double-digit scoring, 22 points per game over his last three – the 6-foot-9 Knox leads Kentucky in scoring (15.8 points per game) and is second in rebounding (5.4 per game). He also ranks in the top 20 in the SEC in steals per game (0.9) and 3-pointers made (49).

Here's how Knox stacks up against the previous 15 one-and-done lottery picks John Calipari has produced at Kentucky:

G John Wall (No. 1 overall pick, 2010): SEC player of the year and first-team All-American averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 assists per game on an Elite Eight team.

Advantage: Wall

F DeMarcus Cousins (No. 5, 2010): Led the Wildcats in rebounding (9.8 per game) and trailed only Wall in scoring (15.1 ppg) and posted almost two blocks per game.

Advantage: Knox

C Enes Kanter (No. 3, 2011): Ruled ineligible, did not play.

Advantage: Knox

G Brandon Knight (No. 8, 2011): Led a Final Four squad in scoring (17.3 ppg) and assists (4.2 per game) while adding 4 rebounds per game.

Advantage: Knight

C Anthony Davis (No. 1, 2012): One of the best shot blockers in NCAA history was the national player of the year and led the Wildcats in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals.

Advantage: Davis

F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (No. 2, 2012): All-SEC talent averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists for the NCAA champions.

Advantage: Kidd-Gilchrist

F Nerlens Noel (No. 6, 2013): Averaged almost a double-double (10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds) and was named the SEC's defensive player of the year.

Advantage: Noel

F Julius Randle (No. 7, 2014): Leading scorer (15.0 ppg) and rebounder (10.4 per game) for NCAA runner-up.

Advantage: Randle

F Karl-Anthony Towns (No. 1, 2015): Second-team All-American led the Wildcats in rebounding (6.7 per game) and was the No. 2 scorer (10.3 ppg).

Advantage: Towns

F Trey Lyles (No. 12, 2015): Averaged 8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg and shot 48.8 percent from the field as a key contributor on a Final Four team.

Advantage: Knox

G Devin Booker (No. 13, 2015): Earned SEC sixth man of the year honors by averaging 10 points and 2 rebounds per game while making 41.1 percent of his 3-pointers.

Advantage: Knox

G Jamal Murray (No. 7, 2016): Third-team All-American led the SEC tournament champions in scoring (20.0 ppg).

Advantage: Murray

G De'Aaron Fox (No. 5, 2017): All-SEC selection averaged 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists on an Elite Eight squad.

Advantage: Fox

G Malik Monk (No. 11, 2017): SEC player of the year was named the nation's top shooting guard after averaging 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Advantage: Monk

F Bam Adebayo (No. 14, 2017): Shot 59.9 percent from the field and averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds for the SEC champs.

Advantage: Knox.

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