Knight: strong basketball IQ and will to win

David Beckerman, his coach at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, thinks it's important to understand that Knight is more than an extraordinary basketball player.

Point guard Brandon Knight could have his choice of college scholarships, including one from the University of Kentucky.

However, David Beckerman, his coach at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, thinks it's important to understand that Knight is more than an extraordinary basketball player.

"He could go to any school in the country without boucing a ball," said Beckerman. "He has a 4.3 grade point average at the No. 1 academic school in Florida. He could not bounce a ball and go to Harvard. He's a once in a lifetime player, but he's also a superb student."

He's so special that Beckerman said at an open gym a few months ago coaches from Kentucky, Florida, Kansas, Connecticut, Virginia and others were tehre. "It's just part of the daily business for him. They were all there and will keep being there," Beckerman said.

That will include Kentucky coach John Calipari coming to Dayton, Ohio, Monday to watch Knight play in the Flyin' To The Hoop. He had 36 points, including the game-winning 3-point shot with six seconds to play, in a win at Dayton Saturday.

"He actually averages about that (point-wise) per game)," Beckerman said. "We kind of started slowly. At halftime we adjusted and told him to take the ball to the hole more and work on his mid-range game and let the 3-pointers comes. He did that. He has an incredible first step, and then he drained that 3 at the end of the game."

Beckerman said one reason his team won was the second-half defense Knight played against Ohio State recruit Jordan Sibert, who had 13 points the first half. "Brandon guarded him the second half and he only got three points. He is an equally good defensive player. He has good lateral movement and footwork. He averages taking two charges per game. He really understands the game.

"He is very well rounded. Everybody can get beter. He has an incredible work ethic besides his God-given gifts. When practice is over, he wants to stay with the shooting machine for an extra half hour. He wants to get in the gym on weekends. He always wants to work on his game. There are things he continues to work on as any good player must if he keeps wanting to develop his game."

Beckerman thinks Knight, who has helped his team win two consecutive state titles, has the ideal point guard attributes. "He can handle, he has great vision on the floor and he can shoot the 3. He's working on his midrange jumper," the coach said.

He says Knight is different from UK freshman John Wall, who recently was on the cover of both Sports Illustrated and Sporting News.

"Wall is blessed with incredible speed, skill and ability. Brandon has a lot of attributes that makes for a complete package. "He's very strong, sees the floor extremely well, takes the ball to the hoop well and shoots the 3 well," Beckerman said.

"He has two other intangibles. He has a very strong basketball IQ and he has a strong will to win. There was a game last year in the regional final where we were down 11 points with three minutes to go and he told the kids during the timeout that we had practice the rest of the week. He scored 52 and we won.

"But don't compare him to Wall. He is not John Wall's replacement. He is his own man because he has all the things you want in a point guard."

Beckerman doesn't expect any movement in Knight's recruiting until the season ends.

"He's the kind of kid who puts things in order. He brought his books on this trip to do his homework," Ackerman said. "He does everything methodically. No one is going to rush this kid. That is not his style.

"I do know he is down to four or five schools, but he's concentrating on his basketball season and getting us back to state. When those priorities are behind him, he'll begin the process of making his college choice. I think I'll have input, his parents will, but at the end of the day it will be Brandon's decision."


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