Looking at 2024 5-star Karter Knox’s recruitment to the Louisville basketball program

2024 five-star small forward Karter Knox is being heavily recruited by Division I programs all over the nation. At present, he holds eleven offers from Division I programs, with Kentucky and Louisville leading the way in his recruitment. Due to his older brother, Kevin Knox, playing at the University of Kentucky, he has known Head Coach John Calipari and staff since he was eight or nine years old.

But he has also known now-Louisville Head Coach Kenny Payne since that age as well, which is why the two Kentucky programs are battling for his services. It could come down to the wire, much like it did in the recruitment of four-star defensive lineman Woo Spencer.

Karter Knox came onto the scene in the media storm surrounding the Louisville basketball program when it was shown that he commented on an Instagram post by On3’s Joe Tipton announcing that fellow 2024 five-star small forward Carter Bryant is down to two schools, one of which is Louisville.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound prospect was originally offered a scholarship by the University of Louisville on May 21, 2022. And then a few months later, in October, he was in town for an official visit on the weekend of Louisville Live.


In December, he caught up with On3’s Joe Tipton following his appearance in the City of Palms Classic Basketball Tournament in Fort Myers, Florida, and recapped his visits to both Kentucky and Louisville in an interview. He had glowing things to say of Louisville’s Kenny Payne:

 “When I was a kid, I used to look up to him and he would always treat me well,” Karter said of Kenny Payne. “We would treat each other like family. He was close with Kevin (Knox) so he was close with me. (Kenny Payne) is a good coach and a good person, a hardworking coach. I’m really glad to see him with the head coaching job.”

While he was playing in the City of Palms Classic, Louisville assistant coach Nolan Smith made the special trip to Florida to make sure Karter knew that he was a priority recruit for the Cardinals. Louisville has been in the same conversations with 2024 five-star combo guard/small forward Trentyn Flowers, 2024 five-star small forward Carter Bryant, and now 2024 five-star small forward Karter Knox.

If Kenny Payne were to land two of those guys, then the program would reset, but the reality is that there is potential to land all three, which would potentially turn what was a rebuilding program into a contender overnight. Granted, Kenny Payne would need to surround them with talent, but a core of those three highly-touted recruits is certainly a core that would make opposing coaches jealous.

In late January, he interviewed with Kentucky Insider’s Tanner Leigh and was asked again of his thoughts about Louisville. He said:

“It’s a good program with a lot of history. They’re not doing great this year, but they have great facilities, and their fan base is great. Things are looking up over there. Me and Coach (Kenny) Payne got a really close relationship. You know, he coached my brother at Kentucky and with the Knicks, so we are kind of close like family.”

There are probably not many people outside of his family that know his brother, Kevin Knox, better than Kenny Payne, having coached him in college and in the NBA. That must be comforting for Karter to know and to experience because although he is not as familiar with the Louisville facilities as he is the Kentucky facilities, he is very familiar with Kenny Payne.

Committing to a college is a massive decision, so it’s understandable why he is taking his time in making this decision. Also, he is only a junior, so he has plenty of time to come to a decision.

In a separate interview with Basketball Recruiting Director, Rob Cassidy of Rivals, he was asked about his timetable when it comes to his decision and he said,

“I think about it on and off. Some days I think, ‘Should I drop a top five or should I just commit right now?’ So really it could happen at any time. I think about it now and then.”

Trentyn Flowers‘ commitment date is set for this Friday night at 5:30 PM on the 247Sports YouTube channel. Carter Bryant’s commitment date is unknown at this point, but we do know he is only down to just Louisville and Arizona. So, Karter Knox is the only one left in the group who has yet to let the public in on what he’s thinking.