Knox blocks out distractions to help UK beat Missouri


Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox walks off the court during the game against Missouri at Rupp Arena on Saturday, February 24, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 88-66. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

About 36 hours after Yahoo! Sports reported that Kevin Knox’s name was listed on a document pertaining to the FBI’s investigation into college basketball, the freshman scored 21 points against Missouri in UK’s 21-point victory over the Tigers. 

Recap: UK beats Missouri by 21 points

The document Knox was listed on claimed that Knox had a meeting or meal with ASM agent Christian Dawkins, who is at the forefront of the investigation. Knox didn’t answer any questions related to the investigation, but he did answer questions relating to his preparation for the game.

“I had two good days of practice, wasn’t really focused on anything that was going on,” Knox said. “Got in the gym, got some shots up before and after practice and just came out and was just aggressive tonight, just had a good win.”

Knox said maintaining his focus and limiting distractions was key in his having a good game against Missouri. Knox even admitted to deleting all the social media apps off his phone just so he didn’t hear any of the outside noise.

Many might think it would be easy for a freshman to succumb to the pressure and struggle after being linked to the FBI investigation, but Knox is used to blocking out distractions thanks to those close to him.

“That’s just what Cal (John Calipari) trained me for, my dad has trained me my whole life just to block everything out, all the negative stuff and just be able to play your game,” Knox said.

Knox said he had kept in close contact with his dad since Friday’s report from Yahoo! Sports came out, and he was helping remind him to stay focused.

“I just woke up, my dad text me, he called me and just told me to make sure that I was focused,” Knox said.

Knox got support from his teammates and coaches as well. Calipari and Knox never had a formal meeting relating to the investigation because Calipari believed that everything would sort itself out.

“I wasn’t involved in any way, but I felt good about it,” Calipari said.

Knox shared that similar belief in the people handling the internal investigation that found no rule violations took place regarding Knox’s involvement with Dawkins.

“I trusted Kentucky, I trusted the media people, trusted Eric (Lindsey) and Deb (Moore), trusted compliance, let them handle all of it,” Knox said. “I just focused on me, focused on my game and let them handle it. I slept well that night knowing I was going to be able to play.”