Kon Knueppel will bring more to Duke basketball team than shooting

The Duke basketball program is getting more than just a shooter in signee Kon Knueppel.
Wisconsin Lutheran guard Kon Knueppel (33) handles the ball against Pewaukee guard Nick Janowski
Wisconsin Lutheran guard Kon Knueppel (33) handles the ball against Pewaukee guard Nick Janowski / Dave Kallmann / Milwaukee Journal

Duke basketball fans are thrilled about the kid with the last name that everyone seems to mispronounce. Kon Knueppel, a dynamic playmaker at the guard spot from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will arrive on campus and have a chance to contribute immediately.

Even more exciting is that the Blue Devil coaching staff is confident in Knueppel's ability to seamlessly integrate into the team's style of play at Duke. In a league filled with top prospects, the EYBL, Knueppel averaged 22.5 points per game this past spring and led the league in scoring, which has carried over to his senior year of high school. The 5-star prospect is averaging over 27 points per contest and has led Wisconsin Lutheran to an 18-0 record so far this season.

The question still remains if Knueppel come to Duke and make an immediate impact but there are a lot of factors that make him such a good prospect.

Kon Knueppel's shooting mechanics are textbook. If you know what you are looking at, you can see that he's a high-level shooter from his shot preparation, balance, form, and quick release. He has very deep range and disciplined footwork.

His shooting and shot creation make him an ideal fit in Duke's offense, predicated on a balanced floor with shooters all over the court. If you think about it, it's a perfect situation for Knueppel to play in alongside other elite players like Darren Harris, a prolific shooter in his own right, Cooper Flagg, the No. 1 player in the class, Isaiah Evans, an elite wing and shotmaker, and Patrick Ngongba II, a smooth big man. 

Jon Scheyer will benefit from another weapon in his arsenal—a sizable guard with the physicality and skill set to score and create plays from the post. At 6-foot-6 and over 200 pounds, Knueppel has excellent positional size and will seamlessly integrate post-play into his repertoire, showcasing a highly effective approach.

He's good at pinning his man under the rim after sealing them off in anticipation of a pass. Various moves highlight his effectiveness on the block, ranging from adept scoop shots to a polished one-legged fadeaway.

Long story short, his post-game is real!

What he lacks in explosive pop, he makes up for it with cerebral play, craftiness, fundamentals, and a high IQ. He's very good at using ball screens and making plays off the live dribble. His handle is nice and tight and when he gets a defender on his hip, he uses angles and his body to carve out even more space.

He's a patient player who doesn't force shots and won't hesitate to pass to his teammates. 

Overall, it's easy to envision a scenario where Kon Knueppel assumes the role of a secondary ball handler within the offensive scheme and is actively involved in Duke's pick-and-roll sets, similiar to the current utilization of Duke guard Jared McCain. 

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