Louisville basketball: Karter Knox ‘will be looking for coaching’ at the next level

The Nike EYBL Session 4 is underway on May 27, 2023 at Memphis Sports and Events Center in Memphis, Tenn.
The Nike EYBL Session 4 is underway on May 27, 2023 at Memphis Sports and Events Center in Memphis, Tenn. /

Five-star wing Karter Knox recently released his Top 8 schools cut list, including Louisville, Kentucky, USF, Florida State, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, and the NBA G-League.

Trimming his list of collegiate destinations is a big first step for the eight programs mentioned above. But, the focus on his recruitment has always been surrounding two particular programs. It has been a long-anticipated battle for his recruitment primarily between the two teams in the Bluegrass State: the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

The University of Kentucky is in on him for two primary reasons: they are typically in on every five-star in each recruiting class and Lexington is where Karter’s older brother, Kevin Knox played his collegiate ball.

The University of Louisville is in on him for largely one reason: Kenny Payne. Although, his older brother, Kevin went to Kentucky, one of the main reasons why was because of Kenny Payne. Now, Kenny Payne is at the helm of the program at his alma mater and has made it a clear priority to recruit the 6-foot-5, 205-pound small forward.

South Florida could be the dark horse in this two-headed race because his older brother, Kobe Knox, recently announced his transfer there from Grand Canyon University. Plus, the University of South Florida is also in Tampa, Florida, which is the hometown of the Knox family.

Karter Knox is currently listed as the Top 8 player in the nation and the No. 2 overall prospect out of the state of Florida, only behind Liam McNeeley. Last season as a junior with Tampa Catholic, he averaged 19.8 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game, and 2.6 assists per game.

He already has a collegiate-ready body and will transition to the next level fairly easily. He also is the leading scorer in this summer’s EYBL circuit so far after three sessions. He’s shooting the ball with a 53% clip from the floor and is averaging 21.2 points a game.

Despite the recent list of eight schools, multiple media outlets have reported that his recruitment in a battle between Louisville and Kentucky.

In the Primetime Preps article about his brother Kobe Knox, the author mentions that Karter is deciding primarily between Kentucky and Louisville. The Lexington Herald and Kentucky Insider have reported similar things.

So, if that is the case, then what could give one program the edge over the other? According to Karter Knox, it will come down to coaching.

"What will be the deciding factor in Karter Knox’s recruitment? Here’s what he had to say:“I’m going to look at the coaching, I want to play for a great coach and staff. The player development will be big for me. And the fans. I want to play in a greatatmosphere. How they play will matter to me. I don’t want to go to a school andlearn a whole new way to play. I want to go somewhere that matches my play style: playing fast and in transition with a lot of motion on offense.”"

Once Kenny Payne was hired by the Knicks, Fan Nation’s Jonathan Macri published an in-depth article about what New York was getting in the former Louisville Cardinal. One quote particularly stood out among the rest:

"“…When it comes to Kenny Payne, the resume and press clippings don’t just say that the Knicks hired a difference-maker, but perhaps the difference-maker in all of college basketball.When you read things about “the player whisperer” who was voted the number one assistant coach in the SEC that “once guys leave Kentucky, some talk more about Kenny Payne than they do about John Calipari,” as Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans relayed to Kentucky.com’s Ben Roberts, it’s tough to remain neutral about the hire."

For all intents and purposes, Kenny Payne could be the X-factor in Karter Knox’s recruitment. Judging based solely on the recruiting class he has coming in the Class of 2023, which is a Top 5 class, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to think Louisville could land one of the nation’s best in the Class of 2024.

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