Clarifying Super Recruit Karter Knox’s CHICKEN MAN = Tyson NIL Talk

Karter Knox, Arkansas basketball
photo credit: Nick Wenger/SportsCenter Next

FAYETTEVILLE — It took a week, but Lawson Blake officially has a teammate on the 2024-25 Arkansas basketball roster.

The Razorbacks announced the signing of Kentucky transfer Zvonimir Ivisic on Wednesday, a couple of days after the 7-foot-2 Croatian publicly committed to following Razorback coach John Calipari to Fayetteville.

He is the first — and, so far, only — scholarship player on the roster, as every other player from last year’s team either exhausted their eligibility or entered the transfer portal and both incoming freshmen were released from their NLI. When the dust settled, only Blake, a walk-on from Fayetteville, remained.

That means there are still 12 scholarship spots to fill, which Calipari is hard at work doing on both the recruiting trail and via the transfer portal.

(READ NEXT: Hear from the Last Razorback Standing, walk-on Lawson Blake)

One player who many believe will be the next domino to fall is Karter Knox, the five-star prospect who previously committed to Kentucky, but has since re-opened his recruitment.

He is the younger brother of Kevin Knox, who was an All-SEC performer with the Wildcats and became a top-10 draft pick, so there’s already a close connection between him and Calipari. Throw in the fact that his de-commitment from Kentucky happened about the same time work leaked that Calipari was leaving and it’s easy to connect the dots.

Knox added to that speculation when he updated his Instagram bio to read “CHICKEN MAN” with a chicken emoji — seemingly in reference to Arkansas booster and Tyson Foods chairman John Tyson.

However, that might not be the case, according to 247Sports national basketball analyst Travis Branham. In an interview on the Morning Rush, ESPN Arkansas’ morning sports talk radio show, the Lexington-based reporter said the reason behind his social media update could be much more simple: the kid just loves chicken.

“He has an obsession with McDonald’s McChicken sandwiches,” Branham said. “When you’re a McDonald’s All-American, all these kids like to call themselves ‘burger boys.’ I wouldn’t be surprised if he was calling himself a chicken man, because when he goes to McDonald’s, he’s rocking out with McChicken sandwiches.”

That said, Branham admitted he’d be “shocked” if Knox didn’t end up picking the Razorbacks.

After all, Calipari made the trek to Atlanta earlier this week to watch him and fellow former Kentucky commit Somto Cyril at the OTE Combine. While most coaches took in the event from the floor, he had a bird’s-eye view.

Those are certainly two players to watch as the Razorbacks continue to fill out their roster, but there are several other players worth keeping an eye on, as well…

High School Recruits

Boogie Fland — G

A five-star prospect on ESPN and Rivals, the latter of which ranks him as the No. 10 overall player in the 2024 class, Boogie Fland asked to be released from his National Letter of Intent with Kentucky earlier this week. He recently told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi that his recruitment was “back to square one.”

Louisville is making a strong run at the point guard and several other programs have also reached out to him. A key thing to watch for Fland is the status of former Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, who has strong recruiting ties in the New York City area.

Liam McNeeley — F

The only high school recruit on this list who wasn’t originally committed to John Calipari at Kentucky, Liam McNeeley actually pledged to Indiana before backing off last month. He is now one of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2024 class, ranked as high as No. 11 overall by ESPN.

McNeeley is from the DFW area, but spent the last two years of his high school career at Montverde Academy in Florida — the same powerhouse prep school that produced Moses Moody and many other NBA stars. Calipari stopped by the school Wednesday, so he’s clearly a top target, but his only official visit currently scheduled is to two-time defending champion UConn from April 22-23, according to Biancardi.

Jayden Quaintance — C

The top player in Kentucky’s No. 2 recruiting class prior to John Calipari’s departure, Jayden Quaintance is a consensus five-star, top-15 prospect. Listed at 6-foot-9, he has a massive 7-foot-3 wingspan. The most intriguing aspect of his recruitment is the fact that he’s only 16 years old and will have to play two years of college basketball.

Quaintance is visiting Louisville this week and Missouri, which finished runner-up in his recruitment, could also be a factor, but it’s worth noting that his father, Haminn, posted support of Calipari on Twitter late in the season.

Billy Richmond — F

Earlier this week, Billy Richmond III announced his de-commitment from Kentucky and was immediately linked to the Razorbacks. He is a top-20 prospect in the 2024 class on both On3 and Rivals.

Although he played at Camden High in New Jersey, Richmond is originally from Memphis. That’s where his father, Billy Jr., played collegiately for John Calipari for two seasons from 2002-04. It’s still believed he’ll also end up playing for the legendary coach.

“Sure, stranger things have happened in recruiting, but most other schools have already assumed Richmond will be a Razorback and don’t seem to be pursuing the four-star forward with much gusto,” wrote Rivals basketball recruiting director Rob Cassidy.

Arkansas Basketball Transfer Portal Targets

Jonas Aidoo — Tennessee

After three seasons with Rick Barnes at Tennessee, Jonas Aidoo made the surprising decision to enter the transfer portal last week. Barnes even admitted he didn’t see the move coming from the 6-foot-11, 240-pound big man.

The Volunteers’ loss will be another program’s gain, though, as Aidoo is coming off a breakout junior season in which he earned All-SEC honors after averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.8 blocks as a full-time starter. He also landed on the SEC All-Defensive Team.

The Razorbacks have reached out to Aidoo and are believed to be a contender in his portal recruitment. He had a monster game at Bud Walton Arena this season, posting a double-double with 23 points (on 11 of 14 shooting) and 12 points in Tennessee’s blowout win.

Jeremy Roach — Duke

In addition to testing the NBA Draft waters, Jeremy Roach has entered the transfer portal and Arkansas, Kentucky and St. John’s have emerged as the leaders if he chooses to remain in college, according to basketball insider Adam Zagoria.

The former five-star recruit has spent the last four years at Duke, where he earned All-ACC honors this season after averaging 14.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals. He started 108 total games for the Blue Devils, including twice against the Razorbacks.

Arkansas held him in check in the Elite Eight two years ago, as he had 9 points with 2 assists and 5 turnovers, but he went off for 22 points, 3 assists and no turnovers at Bud Walton Arena this season.

UPDATE (April 18): Despite early reports that Arkansas, Kentucky and St. John’s were the leaders for Roach, national basketball analyst Jeff Goodman is now reporting that Baylor is the favorite to land his services.

D.J. Wagner — Kentucky

The Razorbacks have already seen one Kentucky player follow John Calipari from Lexington to Fayetteville and D.J. Wagner could be another possibility to do the same. Another “legacy” Calipari recruit, his father, Dajuan, was a top-10 pick who played for the legendary coach at Memphis in 2001-02.

A consensus top-6 recruit in the last recruiting cycle, Wagner was tabbed to the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.9 points and 3.3 assists at Kentucky last season. He could look at other schools, but 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi believes Arkansas is the favorite to land him.

“I do think that eventually Wagner ends up at Arkansas,” Bossi said. “He may do some looking around, may even possibly take some other visits, but ultimately, I see Arkansas being really tough to beat when it comes to him.”

Another thing working in Arkansas’ favor is the fact that it just announced the hire of Kenny Payne as its associate head coach. Payne was previously the head coach at Louisville, which Wagner also seriously considered despite its struggles on the court.


For our latest on Arkansas basketball:

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More on the possible origins of the Karter Knox “CHICKEN MAN” talk here;


Karter Knox is officially a MCCHICKEN BOY 🍔🔥 #ote #rwe #hoops #basketball

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