CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A significant part of South Charleston’s success this year on the boys basketball court has been from the emergence of sophomore guard Brandon Knapper whose name has made a splash statewide.
“He is just something else,” said South Charleston coach Vic Herbert. “The sky is the limit for him. He’s a true gym rat – you can’t keep him out of there. He’s not only a really refined offensive player, but he’s a tremendous defender. I think he’s a D-I player waiting to happen, I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Knapper stands in at 6-foot, around 165 pounds as a sophomore – but it’s how he continues to grow and work in the weight room that Herbert thinks will ultimately determine how high Knapper goes at the D-I level.
“He could be 180 pounds, he has that kind of frame where he could carry that kind of weight,” Herbert said. “He’s gone off for 35 or 40 points four or five times this year, averaging 21 points per game as a sophomore. Unless he gets injured, he will probably be the leading scorer to ever come out of South Charleston High School. With all the good players that they’ve had, that’s saying something.”
And certainly the potential for Knapper to be in the mix for a scholarship at WVU is intriguing as the Mountaineers have already shown some interest.
“Obviously, I’m partial to West Virginia and I would love to see him in Morgantown,” Herbert said. “(WVU assistant coach) Larry Harrison and I are pretty tight and we were just on the phone – I know West Virginia does have some interest. Offensively, I think he’s probably further along than any player I’ve ever had.
“He’s very coachable, a kid that will go to class and not cause problems. He was raised by his mom and dad the right way, and is just a class kid,” Herbert continued. “His dad also played D-I college basketball out at Southern Utah. If I don’t miss my guess, he’ll be an upper level D-I player. We’re already getting feelers and calls from different people and connections that you have on the D-I level.”
Regardless, the Black Eagles have been having a tremendous season overall as they head into postseason play this week out of Section 1 in Region 3. The Black Eagles will face either Ripley or Riverside on Wednesday, and then, with a win, either Capital or George Washington for the sectional title on Friday.
The opposing section features the likes of Woodrow Wilson and Greenbrier East as well.
“What we have is home court advantage through the sectional. If we can win that one and then win the second game, we would have regional home-court,” Herbert said. “But it’s going to be real tough. Our region, I don’t think there’s a tougher one in the state. I would guess five of the top 10 teams are all in that one region – that’s pretty tough to have to deal with.”