University of Missouri

Kevin Knox II becomes recruiting target for Mizzou commit Michael Porter Jr.

Small forward Kevin Knox II (above) of Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High is playing in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game — and Michael Porter Jr. would like him to play with him at Missouri.
Small forward Kevin Knox II (above) of Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High is playing in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game — and Michael Porter Jr. would like him to play with him at Missouri. The Associated Press

Now that Michael Porter Jr. has committed to Missouri, he’s also become a major recruiting asset.

Among the top prospects in Porter’s sights is 6-foot-8 Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High small forward Kevin Knox II.

During the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday at the United Center, Porter will suit up for the West squad and likely will match up against Knox, who’ll play for the East team.

The rest of the week, Porter has tried to woo Knox, one of six players in the nation’s premier all-star event who remains undecided about his college choice, to join the Tigers next season.

“He’s been in my ear ever since he committed (to Mizzou),” Knox said Tuesday during media day. “Every day, he texts me and makes sure that I stay in touch with him. It’s a possibility. You never know. I’ve got one more official. That could be it or it couldn’t be.”

Newest Missouri men's basketball commit Michael Porter Jr. opened up about pressure and his desire to make Mizzou Arena thrive again Tuesday at the United Center in Chicago, where he will play in the McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday eveni

Knox — a five-star prospect ranked No. 7 overall by ESPN, No. 9 by Rivals and No. 13 by 247 Sports — already has taken official visits to Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State.

Missouri wasn’t on Knox’s radar until Cuonzo Martin’s arrival two weeks ago from California.

“My dad has talked to (Martin) since he got to Missouri,” Knox said. “He recruited me at Cal, so I talked to him before he got to Missouri. … They really want me to come take a visit.”

Of course, it’s Porter, in particular, who’s putting on the full-court press.

“Mike said we would be unstoppable on the wings together,” Knox said. “I’m just listening to what they have to offer and it’s possible I’ll visit. … We are both the top wings in our class, and it would be really fun to play with him. It would be a lot of stress off both of us for scoring and passing, stuff like that. I think we would be able to play really well together.”

The two have never been teammates, only adversaries at the Peach Jam and with USA Basketball.

“It’s great to go against him,” Knox said. “He makes me better. I make him better, and it’s just a great matchup.”

Knox is looking for a coaching style and playing style that fits his game. He’s also waiting to see how rosters shake out at the four schools he’s already visited.

“I’m definitely waiting to see who’s staying and who’s leaving, so that’s definitely going to be a big factor,” said Knox, who plans to announce a decision after the Jordan Brand Classic on April 14 in New York.

Of course, Knox may not be Porter’s only target. He said the Tigers need to add size.

Porter said he’s also been talking with 6-foot-10 East St. Louis five-star center Jeremiah Tilmon — who signed a national letter of intent with Illinois in November, but could request a wavier after John Groce was fired and replaced by former Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood.

“It’s behind the scenes work,” Porter said. “Nothing is a done deal yet, but I’m working to try to get some pieces with me. … I’m close with a lot of these dudes, so I think they might like playing with me.”

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