After showing off his long, athletic frame, plus handles and deadly shooting accuracy at California's skill camp over the weekend, Woods Cross (Utah) shooting guard Trevin Knell spent Monday touring campus and talking to coaches on an unofficial visit.
"Sunday, I talked with the coaches, and they kind of set up an unofficial visit for Monday, so we went around the campus for a couple hours, and then I watched a weight lifting workout that the basketball team did, and then a practice, and we had lunch with some of the coaches. Then, we met with coach Martin, and sat down and talked for about an hour."
Coming out of the visit, Knell and his father were impressed by both the Bears staff, and the school on the whole.
"I even told the coaches, I thought the campus was amazing, and different from what I first imagined Cal to be," he said. "I imagined it more wide-spread, maybe a beach, but it was in the mountains, it was beautiful, and there were redwood trees there. There were all sorts of people there, they were all friendly, and the team was welcoming, so it was really good. I really loved it.
"My dad loved it. He asked a lot of questions of coach [Cuonzo] Martin, and coach Martin answered honestly, and I think that really hit home, because some coaches say things to try to get a player, but coach Martin was genuine and was really honest with everything, and my dad was blown away with the campus, and how beautiful it is, and how much time and effort goes into everything with academics, and on the court, how hard the team works. My dad was all on board."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1694883-future-tense-cal-a... The 6-foot-5 prospect plans to go on his Mormon mission for two years, and will delay his enrollment at his school of choice until the class of 2019, a situation with which the Bears are on board.
"They definitely love the idea of the mission, and coach Martin always talks about how it's a character-building thing," Knell said. "He loves the idea of me being stronger, more mature, and he called it me being a grown man when I come back."
Knell certainly already shoots like a grown man, even if his choice of family treat drew a bit of playful derision from assistant Wyking Jones.
"When I first started talking to coach Jones, he asked what I was doing, and I said I was chilling with my family, and he's like, 'What does chilling with the family even mean?'" Knell said. "He said, 'Get more specific,' so I told him we were planning on doing s'mores, and my mom wanted to have the whole family over, and he's like, 'S'mores? That's like a little kid treat, Trev, come on now,' so he's never let me live that down."
That extended to Sunday's camp.
"During the drills, I thought I was pretty good, but I was nervous, because I had never met any of the coaches [in person]," Knell said. "At first, I was pretty nervous, and then I talked to coach Jones, and we joked around, still, about the s'mores that I kept bringing up when we first talked. It was neat that he remembered it."
The joking put Knell at ease, as did Jones reminding him that it wasn't like the Bears were going to pull his offer.
"They already know how I can play, and it's not really an evaluation -- they just wanted me to meet them in person and grow that relationship," Knell said. "Once he told me that, that it's not really an evaluation -- they know I can play and they know that I'm an elite shooter -- I settled down and found my stroke.
"I was worried, because I'd never met them in person," Knell laughed. "But, it was really cool."
In the adidas Gauntlet Series Finale in South Carolina July 7-9, Knell was 13th in the entire tournament with an 18.5 ppg average, shooting 46.2% from beyond the arc (18-for-39).
At the adidas Gauntlet Summer Championships at the end of July, Knell was seventh in the tournament, with a 21.5 ppg average, shooting 48.6% from three-point range (18-of-37) in four games, and 47.3% from the field.
He started Sunday showing off a tight, compact and smooth shooting motion from mid range out to the perimeter, with a clean release with good rotation. But, Knell wasn't satisfied until he got into the five-on-five afternoon portion of the camp, after Jones reminded him of the s'mores.
"I settled into my zone, and once five-on-five games started, I just started playing the way I know how to play. The first game, I didn't shoot as much, because I kind of wanted to be more of a team player, but coach Jones pulled me aside, and said, 'Trev, just shoot it. We want to see how well you shoot, so shoot it every time you catch it.'"
The next game, Knell hit three treys, a pull-up jumper and a lay-up in five minutes of play.
"It was funny, because Ivan Rabb was coaching the [other] team, and Jabari Bird was my coach, so I was dialed in, and I came up for my last three, and made it, but before it went in, I looked at Ivan Rabb, and I said, 'There's another one,'" Knell said. "They all welcomed me, and it was really cool."
Bird loved it, running up and down the sideline. And, Knell loves what he's seen from Bird. It was more than appropriate that Knell was on Bird's team, given that his skill set -- a lengthy, athletic three-point-shooting wing who has the physicality to drive when he needs to -- who closely aligns with that of the senior wing, something he was shown during a video session with the coaching staff on Monday.
"If I do end up going there, coach Martin said, he would put me in places that I would succeed, and, step-by-step, where I fit into their system," Knell said. "He showed me clips of Jabari Bird, and even some plays when [Sam] Singer shot it, and I would be coming off of triple screens, having guys drive and kick it, so he showed me that I would fill in for Jabari. When I come back in 2019, I could definitely have a huge impact on the team."
Knell has offers from the Bears, Montana, Rice, Robert Morris, San Diego, Santa Clara, Southern Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley, Weber State and Wyoming. Knell has set up visits to Santa Clara and San Diego, and is currently working to set up an official to Cal in October.
"I definitely want to come back, and do the whole official thing and grow our relationship even more, and see what happens there," Knell said.