Cal commit shooting guard Trevin Knell -Photo by Salt Lake Tribune
Following a visit to Berkeley in August, the Bears secured a commitment from 6-5/185 sharpshooting Woods Cross (Woods Cross, UT) High School senior Trevin Knell today.
Knell announced his commitment to Cal this morning on Twitter, saying:
"Today is a day I've waited for since I was first able to shoot a basketball. I've been blessed with great coaches, family and friends that have always been with me. It's with great excitement that I have committed to play for the University of California Berkeley. #CAL #GOBEARS"
What makes Knell's signing unique -at least for Cal- is the senior guard won't arrive in Berkeley till 2019 after completing a 2-year Mormon mission.
The 3 star senior will apply for his mission in February and expects to be able to depart in early June after graduation and return in time for Summer Bridge in June 2019. And lest anyone worry about his readiness when returning after two years with no competition, Knell's already begun preparing with extra weight training and at least 500 shots per day from deep range and is more than prepared to do what it takes to be ready to jump in and compete right away on his return.
"We don't really have a say where get assigned but I think the ideal place for me to help build character is somewhere in Africa," said Knell. "I'd like to really help people over there and influence their lives in a positive way. Coach Martin is big on high character players and I think this would help in that area a lot.
"I'm able to talk to my mission president who can help me out by making sure I have extra time to shoot and lift and everything wherever I am. And I'm lifting a lot right now to build a good foundation for when I leave.
"I'll work hard every single day and wake up early to get in all the work I need to get done to stay sharp then do my other work, also."
Knell averaged 21 points for Woods Cross as a junior, helping lead the Wildcats to the state semifinals and a 20-5 record.
The Bears got in on Knell this summer and quickly developed the relationship.
"My last game on the Adidas 64 circuit, me and Coach Jones started talking and we developed a really good relationship," said Knell. "And Coach Martin is a tremendous coach and I'm extremely excited to play for him.
"The relationship with every single coach there is amazing."
The relationship grew when Knell headed out to Berkeley to play in Cal's Elite Camp in August, where the senior guard was hosted by Cal senior wing Jabari Bird.
"I was really blown away on my time there," said Knell. "Coach O'Toole and all the other coaches showed me around the campus after my unofficial and I learned about how impressive Cal's academics were. That's something really important to me as I take academics really seriously (4.0 gpa).
"They took me to the football stadium, too, which was amazing. It was just a really great experience."
As for Knell's strengths: "I believe I'm an elite shooter," said Knell. "I can shoot from anywhere on the floor.
"Seeing the type of players Cuonzo recruits, I'll be able to get more shots because of the type of versatile and high-level players he has there. I feel like if I have any room at all, I can hit my shot and help the team. That opens up the game for other players.
"This past year and a half, I've worked on off-the-dribble stuff, utilizing a pump fake and other stuff so I feel really confident creating my own shot and creating space to shoot."
Guards with Knell's size and shooting range aren't especially common but the fact that the Woods Cross guard will be out of competitive play for a while impacted his recruiting.
"Butler and Oklahoma would've offered if I wasn't going to go on a mission," said Knell. "I feel like that was a huge part of who I am, though, so I decided to go on my mission right after school.
"BYU was involved a lot, too, but they felt like they didn't want to bring on another mission kid because of the number who will already be on one and they wanted someone who could come in and contribute right away."
Contributing early will be on Knell's mind whenever he returns for college and he'll do everything in his power to step in early to make his mark.
A benefit to starting college after his mission will be a more physically and emotionally mature player for the Bears.
"Coach Martin jokes with me that I'll come back as a grown man gunslinger," said Knell.