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Kentucky freshman Knox entering NBA draft, hiring an agent

Kentucky forward Kevin Knox (5) drives the ball toward the basket in front of Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Crystal LoGiudice)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox says he will enter the NBA draft and hire an agent.

Knox's departure was somewhat expected after the 6-foot-9 Tampa, Florida , native averaged a team-high 15.6 points while leading the Wildcats to a fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference Tournament championship and the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

SEC coaches named him co-freshman of the year. Projected as a first-round selection in the June 21 draft, Knox thanked teammates, coaches and fans in a release Friday, adding, "You have made my year as a Kentucky Wildcat one of the best years of my life. God bless."

Kentucky coach John Calipari praised Knox's maturity and says his frame and scoring ability are what the NBA seeks. The coaches he "can't wait to see what the next step is for" Knox.

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