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Brandon Knapper working to be a presence in WVU’s backcourt

Brandon Knapper (2) averaged 5.0 points and 1.4 assists as a redshirt freshman. (Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS)

For Brandon Knapper, his tenure at West Virginia has been full of ups and downs but the redshirt sophomore is ready to make a difference for a team that struggled substantially.

During the 2017-18 season, Knapper redshirted after suffering an ACL injury. Last summer the redshirt sophomore was diagnosed with a blood clot.

Then last season, the 6-foot, 180-pound guard averaged just five points per contest. However, there were flashes of brilliance. On some nights he appeared that he could be a fixture in the Mountaineers’ backcourt.

Against Baylor Knapper scored 15 points. Two weeks later he dropped a career-high 25 against Oklahoma but he was never able to put everything together.

On other nights, Knapper struggled immensely on the court and plagued by the turnover bug. He committed 50 miscues on the season.

With the past in the past, the Charleston native is looking towards the future and improving his game.

“(I’ve) just been working on defending, passing and really just improving my shot,” he said. “That’s the thing, towards the end of the year you go to be able to make shots.”

Having all the former WVU alum around the practice facility has really been beneficial to Knapper and his teammates, helping them improve their game.

“I got a chance to work out with Tarik Phillip,” Knapper said. “He told me a lot, especially off of ball screens with what to do and what not to do and on defense. He was a great defender here. He always used to tell me ‘never let the offensive player get into your body. That’s one thing he helped me with this summer.”

Leadership was something last year’s Mountaineers lacked. As a player who has been with the program for two seasons, Knapper knows he needs to become someone the younger players look up to.

“We have a lot of new guys this year,” he said. “We have six new guys. They always want to look up to the guys that have been here. That’s what coach Huggs comes to us and talks about. Follow the guys that have been here and have experience.”

Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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