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Basketball Recruiting

Top-40 junior Isaac McKneely goes in-depth on his recruitment, growth

October 6, 2020

Prior to the transition to the F5 Networks, had discovered a short-sharpshooting guard that goes by the name of Isaac McKneely. We fast forward months later and that 6-foot-2 prospect out of Poca in West Virginia is now standing at 6-foot-4 and has even gained nearly 20 pounds of muscle, making him 175 pounds.

McKneely is a sharpshooter, prides himself offensively. Recently in a workout with his trainer, McKneely made 102 three’s in a five-minute span. His impressive shooting ability has drawn him comparisons to Miami Heat’s rookie sensation, Tyler Herro.

Herro is a player that McKneely says he’s compared to along with Denver Nuggets superstar Jamal Murray.

“I watch mostly Tyler Herro and Jamal Murray film. I’ve heard comparisons of me to both of those guys, and I can see it. So I try to model my game after them by watching them do their thing in the league,” McKneely said.

So, a player with that impressive skillset must have high-major recruitment, correct? Oh yes, he does and he broke it all down with

Which programs would you say are ‘heavily’ involved?

McKneely: “Programs heavily involved include Indiana, Illinois, WVU, Virginia, Louisville, Ohio State, Purdue, and Xavier.”

Discuss your new blue blood interest from North Carolina and Kentucky?

McKneely: “UNC and Kentucky are the newest schools in the mix - It’s very early in the process with UK and UNC, but both of them have told me that they’re going to begin the recruiting process with me. I’ve only talked to assistants from both schools.”

What has your fellow AAU teammate/friend Puff Johnson pitched to you on UNC?

McKneely: “Puff has been telling me that UNC is a great place to be. Not just on the basketball court, but off it as well. I’ve also talked to Cam Johnson [Phoenix Suns] about UNC. They both told me a lot of the same stuff. That UNC really develops their players and gets them ready for the next level. They’ve told me the coaches really care about the players, and also that UNC has some great players around them. They’ve made some great friends there they’ve told me.”

Virginia has entered the mix and quickly is making a big push, what is their pitch?

McKneely: “Virginia’s pitch is that they think I would fit really well in their system. I’m doing a zoom with them on Wednesday, so they’ll probably tell me more about the program on that and why they see me being a good fit.”

Being the state’s top-rated prospect, what has West Virginia been pitching to you?

McKneely: “They’re telling me that nothing is like playing in front of your home state. They think I would be the hero in Morgantown. I’ve been in contact with the coaches for a while now. They think I would look good in the gold and blue.”

With everything going on, what’s your speed approach to the recruiting process?

McKneely: “As far as recruitment, I’m definitely gonna take my time with it. I want to make sure I’m making the right decision, I don’t want to rush into anything. Especially with COVID, I haven’t got to visit a lot of places, and I can’t see myself committing somewhere without visiting at least once.”

You told me a goal this summer was to grow, how has off-season development been?

McKneely: “That was for sure a goal of mine. My whole life I’ve been really skinny and tall, but over the summer I’ve really changed my body. I put on about 10-15 pounds of muscle, I’m weighing about 175-pounds now, and at the end of basketball season in March I was 160-pounds. I’m also about 6’4, I was 6’2 or 6’3 during the season, so I’ve grown a bit as well.”

You’re playing against yourself, draw up a scouting report, and describe your game.

McKneely: “I’m a combo-guard. I can run one or the two. I can put it on the floor and get to my shot, or I can shoot it at a high percentage off the catch and shoot opportunities. I see the game really well, high IQ, and I am a good leader. I bring a lot of energy, and I am long and athletic. I can also defend pretty much 1-3, and my length bothers other guards.”





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