Noel, Adebayo and Knox: Their time as UK basketball players

UK forward Nerlens Noel’s shot is blocked by Lipscomb center Stephen Hurt during the first half of the UK men’s basketball vs. Lipscomb University at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, December 15, 2012. Photo by Tessa Lighty

Bailey Vandiver

An FBI probe into college basketball names former UK basketball players Nerlens Noel and Bam Adebayo and current player Kevin Knox. 

READ: Three UK men’s basketball players appear on FBI documents

The probe and accompanying documents were first reported by Yahoo Sports on Friday. According to the documents, all three had involvement with ASM Sports’ Andy Miller or Christian Dawkins.

Knox is currently on the team, but as Noel and Adebayo have moved on from Kentucky, here’s a reminder of their time at UK. 

Nerlens Noel

Noel, the number one recruit in the 2012 class, picked UK in an iconic commitment: He revealed the UK logo shaved into his head.

At UK, Noel was continually compared to his predecessor Anthony Davis, who played at UK the year before and was drafted No. 1 in the 2012 NBA draft.

Noel’s season ended early when he tore his ACL in a game against Florida on Feb. 12, 2013. He went down while blocking a shot during the second half.

Later that season, the Cats missed out on the NCAA tournament and went to the NIT instead. UK lost to Robert Morris in the first round.

Despite his freshman season’s ending early due to injury, Noel decided to enter the draft instead of returning to UK for his sophomore season.

Noel was drafted sixth overall by the New Orleans Pelicans, though he was quickly traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. Last February, he was traded to the Mavericks. He suffered from a thumb injury in December 2017.

Bam Adebayo

Edrice Adebayo, nicknamed Bam, surprised many when he chose UK over likely choices North Carolina State, Auburn and Arizona. 

In the 2016-2017 season, Adebayo played in all 38 of UK’s games. He averaged 13 points and eight rebounds a game.

In the 2017 NCAA tournament, UK beat Northern Kentucky University and Wichita State University in the first two rounds.

In UK’s Sweet Sixteen victory over UCLA, Adebayo had 12 rebounds. 

Two days later, UK’s season and Adebayo’s career at UK ended when the Cats fell to North Carolina, 75-73, in the Elite Eight. 

Adebayo declared for the NBA draft in April, but waited a few weeks before signing with an agent.

He was drafted 14th overall by the Miami Heat and is now playing his rookie season there. 

Kevin Knox

Five-star recruit Knox committed to UK last May, though he was expected to choose Duke or defending national champion North Carolina. 

Knox has played an average of 32.8 minutes per game this season, according to UK Athletics’ stats for Knox. He has played in all 28 of UK’s games this season, with the record of 19-9.

Knox is the team’s leading scorer, with his season high of 34 points coming against West Virginia in January.

Many think Knox is likely to declare for the draft this year, and he is normally projected as a top-15 pick.

According to FBI documents, Knox had a meal with ASM Sports’ Dawkins. A meeting is not a violation, but whether Knox could face penalties depends on who paid for the meal.

His father, Kevin Knox Sr., told Alan Cutler of LEX18 that he never met with Dawkins.

The Cats play Missouri at home tomorrow, and there is speculation about whether Knox will play or not. His father is not concerned about whether he will play.

UK has three more regular season games before going into the SEC tournament March 7-11. 

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