Maryland already has a couple offers out to class of 2016 point guards, and another who could eventually pull one in is South Charleston (W.Va.) lead guard Brandon Knapper. The 6-foot, 160-pounder is being tracked by UMD assistant Dustin Clark, and Knapper recently took his first trip to College Park, Md., June 13.
"The visit was very interesting. It was great," said Knapper, who has early offers from Marshall and East Tennessee State. "I really liked the facilities there, the Comcast Center, the coaches' offices, the locker room and the coaches. It was a really good trip, and I enjoyed myself."
Knapper said Clark invited he and his father to campus, though the West Virginia prospect has yet to speak to his Terps recruiter personally. He mentioned that Clark had to be somewhere June 13, so the Knappers spent the day with assistant Cliff Warren and graduate assistant Steven Asher.
"I really enjoyed talking to those guys, and they told me all about Maryland," said Knapper, who noted that Clark had spoken to both his high school coach and his father about him. "They were telling me how a lot of Maryland alumni come back to play pickup, and how Steve Blake is always around. They were saying how Maryland was moving from the ACC to the Big Ten and how the Big Ten is going to be a tougher conference. Coach Warren said if I came to Maryland, I'd be playing against great competition and it would make me better."
Knapper went on to describe what Warren relayed about the current Terps. The South Charleston point guard may not have known much about Maryland prior to his trip, but he did know the Terps had lost several players to transfer and hadn't been to the Dance in years.
"I knew they lost some guys and only have like eight guys on scholarship, but Coach Warren was saying all the guys there now work hard. They were saying the team chemistry is great right now and it's a big family," Knapper said. "And they have great guys coming in and the program is building back up. [Warren] said Maryland is in a good place and they're working towards a championship."
After the visit concluded Knapper handed over his film, and Warren let him know the staff would be monitoring him this summer. Knapper currently plays for the West Virginia Wildcats AAU program, which participated in the Hoop Group event in Pittsburgh and is scheduled to be in Myrtle Beach for the Big Shots tournament July 11-13.
"I'd be ecstatic if Maryland liked me and offered," Knapper said. "I'd be shocked to be honest. After seeing Maryland, I loved it. I'd love to play there. It's a great school, a great program and a place I could see myself at."
Before taking in College Park, Knapper had visited Marshall and WVU. Of the two, he was impressed with the Mountaineers, which could be offering shortly.
"WVU was real nice; I enjoyed that. It's a good program over there," Knapper said. "Marshall was OK, but WVU is at another level in terms of facilities."
Next up for Knapper is a trip to James Madison June 27. He said besides Maryland and WVU, he's hearing from Santa Clara, Northern Arizona, Appalachian State, Virginia, Navy and Virginia Tech, in addition to the programs that have already offered.
"I'm just taking everything in right now," he said. "I'm still young, so I don't want to say any favorites or anything like that right now."
Last season Knapper averaged about 20 points per game, five assists and four steals for South Charleston.
"I'm a leader on the floor who makes other players better. But I can score from anywhere, from shooting 3s, to jumpers to floaters," Knapper said. "But I'd say defense is really what I pride myself on – I always go hard on defense.
"A lot of coaches tell me that I have to get in the weight room so I can get stronger, and I have to get more explosive too. That's what I'm working on this summer."
PG Knapper 'Loves' Maryland After Visit
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