WVU Basketball Recruiting Analysis: Isaac McKneely

Daniel Woods

Earlier this week, Bob Huggins officially offered a scholarship to Isaac McKneely, a sophomore at Poca High School and the top-rated class of 2022 recruit in the state of West Virginia.

McKneely is a prospect whose stock has risen drastically over the last year after a freshman season and was named West Virginia Class AA second-team all-state in 2018-19. In his second season at Poca, he continued to impress and improve upon those early honors, being named to the 2019-20 first team.

Mountaineer Maven had the opportunity to catch up with McKneely shortly after he received the offer and he believes he's not done yet and expects to get better and better each day as he moves toward a college career. 

Standing 6'3", he already has the size to play shooting guard in the Big 12 and the type of long frame that leaves plenty of room to keep growing. Through his two years of high school basketball and a stellar freshman travel season with the Wildcats Select program out of Pittsburgh, his shooting ability stands out as his strongest trait thus far.

However, he is clearly more than just a sniper, showing sneaky athleticism with the ability to explode to the rim in traffic and use his length to elevate over defenders in traffic. His skills will only continue to improve over the next few years.

One of the most encouraging factors for the Mountaineers in McKneely's recruiting process is the travel program he is a part of, the aforementioned Wildcats Select. The Pittsburgh-based outfit has two of its alumni already on the West Virginia roster in leading scorer Oscar Tshiebwe and highly anticipated redshirt freshman Jalen Bridges.

According to the younger McKneely, he was able to form some strong friendships with those two this offseason, saying, "We hung out quite a bit this summer. We got to know each other really well." Having those two as older mentors for the sophomore has to be seen as a positive in trying to recruit him.

Another pair of mentors that affected McKneely in the past are also Division I basketball players in Poca graduates Elijah Cuffee and Luke Frampton. The two preceded him as the marquee recruits out of the storied high school program, accepting scholarships to Liberty and Davidson respectively.

He feels like having players like that to emulate growing up has had an extremely positive impact on his career.

"Watching them was amazing. They were great role models and very good players to take away from. I used to always pretend I was them when I was younger on my mini hoop. They inspired me a lot to continue to play basketball and work my hardest," he said.

Being the home state school definitely looks like a positive for West Virginia as McKneely cited that as the biggest thing that makes the Mountaineers standout among the many schools recruiting him. Bob Huggins' staff was able to identify his talent early on in the process, first seeing him in person at a travel tournament in Myrtle Beach while he was still in just eighth grade.

He still wants to keep his options open with two years left in the recruiting process but has been pleased with each of the places he has visited to this point.

McKneely currently holds offers from West Virginia, Xavier, Marshall, Liberty, Davidson, Robert Morris, and Stetson. He has also unofficially visited Ohio State, Indiana, Virginia, and Pitt.

He was on campus in Morgantown for a game in January 2020.

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