Having already received a verbal commitment from one in-state Class of 2016 guard, West Virginia has reportedly snapped up another.
6-foot-1 point guard Brandon Knapper, who averaged 19.6 points and 5.2 assists per game as a sophomore at South Charleston HS, verbally committed to Bob Huggins’ program ahead of his unofficial visit to the school according to Rick Ryan of the Charleston Gazette. Knapper, who according to the report was the lone underclassman to be a first team Class AAA all-state selection last season, joins shooting guard Chase Harler as players who have decided to remain home and play for the Mountaineers.
However it’s likely that Knapper won’t join the program until 2017, with Ryan noting that the point guard could very well attend prep school for a year after graduating from South Charleston.
For several reasons, Knapper will likely attend a prep school following his graduation from SC, delaying his entry into the Mountaineer program for a year. It will allow him to physically mature for the grind of the Big 12 Conference and give WVU some flexibility with its scholarships already offered for the 2016-17 school year. In addition, WVU is already awash with guards.
“That’s agreeable,’’ said Sean Knapper, Brandon’s father and an assistant coach at [South Charleston], on Saturday from Morgantown. “We’re looking at a lot of these guys here right now, and they’ve built up big and strong and have good bodies on them. It’s to Brandon’s advantage to build up his body and mature.’’
West Virginia has two freshmen on the current roster who will have eligibility remaining when the 2016-17 season rolls around in Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter, and 2015 commit James “Beetle” Bolden will be a sophomore at that time. Bolden is one of three 2015 commitments the Mountaineers currently hold, with forward Esa Ahmad and center Levi Cook being the others.