WVU’s Knapper Continues Improvement Steps

WVU’s Knapper Continues Improvement Steps

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia guard Brandon Knapper took another small improvement step in West Virginia’s 74-72 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday afternoon, but admits that there is still much work to be done if the Mountaineers are to climb out of the four-loss hole they have dug themselves in November and December.

West Virginia guard Brandon Knapper (2) and a Jacksonville State opponent trade pushes on a drive

Knapper scored 12 points and made two of his five 3-point attempts against the Gamecocks while dishing out three assists in 22 minutes of action.

“We had a lot of practice this week. We tried to limit those mistakes,” Knapper said of the week of practice between the Rhode Island loss last week and the narrow victory over JSU. “We just have to get better and prepare for the Big 12 conference. There’s areas we need to improve in.   We’re not where we want to be right now, but I feel like we can continue to get better every game. We just have to stay together and have trust in each other.”

Knapper had one of the best games of his young career on Saturday, but still has some lapses that mystify head coach Bob Huggins.

“I thought Knap was playing really well, then he just hands the ball to them for some reason unbeknownst to anyone other than him,” Huggins said with a mixture of bemusement and frustration. “Why does that happen? Why do you have the ball in two hands and it just pops out?”

A couple of plays such as that put three turnovers on Knapper’s stat line, but to his credit he didn’t let those multiply into other mistakes as they have previously. While he’s still a good bit from claiming the point guard job as his own, he showed some flashes of being able to handle more of that workload in the future. That could, in turn, make for a better overall rotation in the backcourt, with Beetle Bolden handling more at the two guard while Knapper and Jermaine Haley, who isn’t as dynamic but who is also protecting the ball better, man the point.

“That would be a good situation,” Knapper said, while noting that he could also play off the ball if need be. “If we can get Beetle and Jermaine and me, and then Jordan McCabe in that rotation, I think we would be a tough backcourt to guard.”

First up, though, is cutting down those turnovers. West Virginia wasn’t awful in that statistic on Saturday, committing 14, but with every possession vital for a team that has struggled to run its offense efficiently, that’s job one as league play looms after next Sunday’s non-conference game against Lehigh.

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    WVU’s Knapper Continues Improvement Steps MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia guard Brandon Knapper took another small improvement step in West Virgini
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    Improvement is goos but 11 games into the season thing should be clicking better.


    He’s a freshman and he didn’t play last year. I’m willing to be patient and see what happens. It’s gonna be a tough year, but he looks to have some potential.


    Somebody needs to step up and take over at PG. Beetle just doesn’t seem to be able to make things happen. Is it because of his wrist? IMO seems more than that. The inconsistency with distributing the ball from any of the PG’s has hurt us. That combined with the other 4 players on the floor seemingly with lead feet.

    When we move the ball efficiently we score. When we take quick shots and just pass it back and forth only to make a last second drive in the paint we fail. Unfortunately we do very little of the former.

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