Earlier in the week, we talked about the big ol’ pile of new scholarship offers that new Marquette head men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart had made for the Class of 2023 on the first day that he and his staff were able to initiate contact with prospects in that recruiting class. As it turns out, all of the staff’s energy was not 100% devoted to the players who have just finished up their sophomore year of high school. Smart and his assistants are keeping their eyes open down range a little bit as evidenced by a scholarship offer in the Class of 2024. On Wednesday, we found out that MU has offered a scholarship to local guy Kon Knueppel. As far as I know, this is Marquette’s first offer under Shaka Smart for the recruiting class that just finished up their freshman year of high school.
2024 G Kon Knueppel (6-4) of Wisconsin Lutheran has picked up an offer from Marquette.— Mark Miller (@WisBBYearbook) June 16, 2021
And one of the many talented players listed below: Kon Knueppel 6-5 Guard 2024 out of @WiscoBB in Milwaukee, WI picked up an offer from NCAA Division I Marquette University today https://t.co/GUL4AImcWC— Diener-Ivers Boys Basketball (@DienerIversboys) June 17, 2021
With everything going on (or not going on as the case may be) in the world of scouting college basketball prospects, it’s probably pretty important that Knueppel has a 247 Sports page at this point already. It’s not particularly useful, other than letting us know that the 247 Wizards are paying attention to him already, as there are no ratings or rankings for the Class of 2024 at all at this point. Still, we can see that they list him at 6’4” tall and 180 pounds, and they have slotted him in as a small forward prospect at the collegiate level. I’m not 100% sure I agree with that if Knueppel stays at 6’4”, but it’s about playing style more than anything else, I suppose. Both Mark Miller and the DI recruiting Twitter call Knueppel a guard, so take that into account.
As Miller pointed out in his tweet, Knueppel attends Wisconsin Lutheran High School, which means he’s a 25 minute bike ride or 15 minute car ride down Wisconsin Avenue and Bluemound Road whenever Shaka Smart wants to stop in to say hi or watch practice or whatever. It’s probably not a coincidence that this scholarship offer came along just days after WLHS participated in a team camp at the McGuire Center, and oh, would you look at that? There’s video of Knueppel?
Oh, and someone kept track of Knueppel’s stats at the camp, too.
2024 6-5 G/F Kon Knueppel II of @WiscoBB at the @MarquetteMBB elite camp today...— Phenom University (@PhenomUniverse) June 12, 2021
Team was 3-0
FG - 22-32 (68.75 %)
3pt FG - 12-16 (75 %)
FT - 3-3 (100 %) @VBScoutU @PaulBiancardi @john_stovall @Cassidy_Rob @RivalsDan @ebosshoops @IsaacDennis_2 pic.twitter.com/m5hoYtqulk
Man, we can’t even say “that’s just one game” because it was three games, but it was just one day. Still, going 12-for-16 from behind the arc spread across an entire day is pretty darn great. It’s not sustainable or anything like that, but that is really impressive no matter what, especially when you consider that he’s not one of the elder statesmen on that team and still, in theory, has a lot of physical development left to go.
Thanks to the always helpful WisSports.net, we can see that Knueppel averaged 10.8 points per game for WLHS as a freshman this past season while shooting just 24% from behind the arc. That’s slightly concerning relative to his performance at the MU camp. Anyway, that was in 19 games of stats recorded this past season, but there’s only six games of rebounding stats. 6.3 rebounds per game is still pretty good in a small sample size, though. Knueppel also had 2.5 assists per contest in six games of stats, which I presume is the six games of rebounding stats as well. The bio rundown on Knueppel says he averaged 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, though.
UPDATE [6/20/21]: Knueppel’s high school team read the article and were happy to correct his shooting numbers. As you can see from the tweet below, he shot nearly 53% from behind the arc last season. SEEMS GOOD, especially on 80 attempts.
Nice write up on Kon. Not sure where/how wissports got their shooting stats, but Kon shot 52.5% on 3s this year (42-80). Effective FG% for the season was 71.3%.— Wisco BB (@WiscoBB) June 20, 2021
The bio also tells us a bit of the Wisconsin basketball legacy that Knueppel carries with him. The Knueppel that we’re talking about here is Kon Knueppel II, as his father scored over 2,000 career points for Wisconsin Lutheran College. Knueppel’s mother is Chari Nordgaard, who is UW-Green Bay’s all-time leading scorer after tallying 1,964 points in her Phoenix career from 1996-99, and she’s also #5 all-time in rebounds and blocks AND double-doubles and #1 in free throws made.
For those of us who are big fans of The Basketball Tournament, Knueppel’s father has played in TBT before. Check this out:
And now, the scholarship chart.
It’s hard to make any serious statements about how Knueppel would fit into the roster in the fall of 2024, as the guys who have just arrived on campus for summer workouts before their freshman seasons will be seniors at that point. We have no idea what twists and turns the roster will take between now and then. But, if Knueppel turns into a top 100 type prospect, then we have to say that Marquette should absolutely be trying to lock up that kind of in-state talent no matter what.