Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith announced the signing of 6-foot-2 guard John Knight III on Monday. Knight III joins the Aggies following one year at Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he was a Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) honorable mention all-state honoree. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“John is a play-making guard that we feel will really thrive in our system,” Smith said. “He brings size and athleticism to our backcourt. John is a guy that can get downhill on opponents and put pressure on the rim. He does a great job of creating contact and getting to the free-throw line. His defensive instincts will also have a big impact on that end of the floor for us.”
Knight III was a key contributor for the Bears last season, finishing third on the squad with 14.3 points per game and leading the team to a 17-9 overall record, including a 12-1 run to open the 2017-18 season. Knight III appeared in 21 games during the year, including 15 starts. He scored in double figures 15 times, including a season-high 26 points in games against Holmes and Meridian. On the year, Knight III shot 41.7 percent (85-of-204) from the floor and 72.4 percent (126-of-174) at the free-throw line.
Knight III was also strong on the glass, averaging 4.0 rebounds per game and pulling down five or more rebounds in a game nine times during the year, including a season-high seven in games against Meridian and Jones County. Knight III finished second on the team with 81 assists, averaging 3.9 per game and totaling five or more helpers in a game eight times, including a season-high six dimes in three different contests.
Defensively, Knight III led the Bears with 45 blocks and was ranked in the top 25 in the nation averaging 2.1 per contest. He finished second on the team with 27 steals, averaging 1.3 per game. His block total included all but seven games with multiple rejections, including a season-high five in games against Meridian and Copiah-Lincoln. Knight III recorded a steal in the final four games of the year and in nine of the last 11 games, tallying a season high of four in a contest against Mississippi Delta.
Knight III prepped at Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi, where he earned all-state honors as a senior, averaging 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game in leading the team to the Mississippi 6A state semifinals.
Kyle Cottam is the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Utah State University.