While Kentucky fans might be speculating on whether Brandon Knight is or is not ready for the NBA, apparently Knight and his family are not even contemplating that scenario right now.
“We always tell him that what may or may not go on next year should not be his focus right now. What happens next year is next year,” said Tonya Knight, the UK freshman’s mother. “His focus is on this team and this season.”
Knight’s mother knows there has been speculation that her son could be a first-round draft pick if he puts his name into the draft.
“We will take all the other things into consideration when he is finished this year. But he won’t look ahead. He is focused only on this year,” Tonya Knight said.
“When people are focused on the task at hand, they have a different mindset. He just gets it into his head to be ready to play every game. He can’t be thinking about next year or what might happen then. So we don’t do that either. All we focus on is this season. That’s the way Brandon has always been.”
Knight’s high school coach, David Beckerman, knows an NBA lockout could impact what his former star player might decide about his future. However, he also has no doubts that Knight will be a successful NBA player.
“If has a green light, he can score and those guys like that,” Beckerman said. “He’s a kid with great intelligence, never gets in trouble off the court or is involved in anything remotely bad. He could be a poster boy for the NBA. He brings a lot to the table. He is a nice young man, a good student, knows the game and has never been in trouble. What is there for the NBA not to like?”
John Wall, UK’s starting point guard last season, was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft and now starts for the Washington Wizards. Kentucky coach John Calipari has also sent point guards Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans to the NBA and both are starters.
“Wall clearly had great speed and is probably faster than Brandon, but offensively Brandon is better. He sees the floor better, can score and is a terrific defender. I would have to think a lot of teams are really going to like him,” Beckerman said.
His mother has not been surprised by her son’s play this season. He’s averaging 17.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He leads the team with 86 assists and is shooting 45.8 percent (57-for-139) from 3-point range and 77.8 percent (70-for-90) at the foul line.
“He hasn’t surprised me. I always call him cream and he rises to the top,” she said. “He has just always been that guy.”