Virginia’s No. 1 target, Knueppel, commits to Duke

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: WI Sports Heroics

Kon Knueppel has announced a commitment to Duke, picking the Blue Devils over Virginia, Alabama, Wisconsin and Marquette.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is the No. 15 overall prospect in the country for his class, according to 247Sports’ composite. He is rated even higher — No. 9 nationally — by, and No. 15 by Rivals, No. 22 by ESPN.

It was evident that the 5-star sharpshooter, widely regarded as the top shooter in his class, was a top priority “get” for Bennett. A recruiting industry insider recently revealed to a Wisconsin Badgers website that Bennett was pulling every connection under the sun to land Knueppel.

The Bennett family name still looms huge in the state of Wisconsin basketball circles, but it wasn’t enough to lure Knueppel even though Duke came in late on the 5-star sharpshooter.

Bennett spent most of the recruiting season hot on the trail of Knueppel, following him on the EYBL circuit, where the prospect led that league nationally in scoring, averaging 23 points per game. He is a “sniper”-quality shooter, with deadeye accuracy from the 3-point line, but also has a complete overall game.

Knueppel, who is called “K2” by the family to avoid confusion with his dad, made his second visit to Virginia last Thursday when he made numerous stops to the leading schools on his list in order to settle where he will call home for the next four years. After spending the previous weekend at Alabama, where he took in the Crimson Tide’s home football game against Texas, he scrimmaged with ‘Bama’s players.

From Tuscaloosa, he made a trip to Charlottesville for another look at Virginia, spending a day with the coaches and players, then was off the next morning to Duke, where he also took in the Blue Devils’ home football game against Northwestern. As noted, it was his second visit to UVA, having attended the Cavaliers’ dramatic overtime win over Duke at John Paul Jones Arena last February.