Kevin Knox, II Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Kevin Knox, II averaged 19.2 points per 40 minutes on 51.1% effective shooting and 24.6% effective shooting, while posting a 16.5 PER[1] in 37 appearances last season.
  • Kentucky played the 12th toughest schedule in college basketball[2].
  • His role on offense didn’t change over the second half of the season; the 18-year-old[3] got most of his touches as a weak-side floor-spacer, coming to the ball on dribble hand-offs, curling around pindown screens and posting up smaller matchups every once in a while.
  • On the other end, the six-foot-nine big wing proved he can be trusted to execute the scheme and pitch in on the defensive glass but didn’t have a chance to show how much versatility he offers in terms of guarding different types of players and didn’t create many events.

OFFENSE

  • Knox, II is an average spot-up shooter at this point of his development.
    • He lets the ball go out in front and has a somewhat pronounced dip for rhythm in his mechanics but he goes through his motion quickly enough, catches on the hop and gets good elevation, which makes him able to shoot over closeouts more often than not.
    • He nailed 34.1% of his 167 three-point shots, at a pace of 5.6 such attempts per 40 minutes[4].
    • He nailed 77.4% of his 164 free throws.
  • In terms of creating his own shot, Knox, II got his touches coming to the ball on dribble hand-offs and posting up smaller matchups. He loves operating off a rip-through move, creating just about enough space to pull-up or a good enough opening to drive.
    • Knox, II has pretty good strength in his 215-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact but is not explosive off the dribble and Kentucky didn’t space the floor well, so he was unable to bully his way to the basket often.
      • He took just 21.6% of his live ball attempts at the rim and a big chunk of them came in transition or on cuts, as 34 of his 64 makes at the basket were assisted[5].
        • Knox, II can play above the rim as a target for lobs in transition or sneaking behind the defense backdoor.
      • He lived in mid-range, where he took 40.6% of his shots. Other than one-dribble pull-ups when opponents couldn’t keep up with him as he went to the ball, Knox, II also has a floater off a jump-stop after curling off picks.
        • He hit 42.1% of his 178 two-point shots away from the rim.
      • Knox, II is an adept passer against a collapsing defense but hasn’t yet shown anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision – assisting on just 8.7% of Kentucky’s scores in his 1,198 minutes and posting a lousy 0.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.

DEFENSE

  • He only matched up with slightly smaller players (not that many wings in college are his size) and did reasonably well in individual defense.
    • Knox, II can bend his knees to get down in a stance and has several lateral slides in him to stay in front. He doesn’t use his frame to contain dribble penetration but guards with his arms up, which can be effective as he puts in the effort to contest shots with his eight-foot-10 standing reach[6].
  • Knox, II proved he is able to execute strategies that require him to switch on the fly and is attentive to his responsibilities rotating inside to crowd the area near the basket.
    • He’s not a threat to block many shots in help-defense, though.
    • He was a decent contributor on the defensive glass, collecting 14.4% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • Knox, II doesn’t seem to be an option to cross-match onto smaller, quicker players for entire possessions as he is too big to navigate over screens at the point of attack and he’s also not an asset to chase shooters off screens.
  • As a weak-side defender, Knox, II was caught ball-watching from time-to-time and despite his seven-foot wingspan[7], he averaged just one steal per 40 minutes.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] According to Ken Pomeroy

[3] DOB: 8/11/1999

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to Draft Express

[7] According to the measurements at the Kentucky Combine

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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