As strong has Knutson has been on the court, he’s been just as impressive off it, owning a 3.23 GPA as an Accounting major. He’s made the Academic All-Patriot League team in each of the last two years, joining Bucknell’s Mike Muscala and Lafayette’s Ryan Willen as the only three Patriot Leaguers to do so. Knutson has earned a spot on multiple Patriot League Academic Honor Rolls while winning the Faculty Athletics Council Award as well. Other academic awards include recognition on the 2012 NABC Academic Honors Court while garnering the Faculty Athletics Council Award as well. Knutson has excelled at numerous academic projects at a challenging school like Lehigh. His team finished first out of 75 teams in Lehigh’s Business Project Team. They created a business plan in “Introduction to Business” which included financials, marketing and industry analysis. Knutson and his partners presented the plan to area venture capitalists, which were sent to Accenture for judging. They ultimately won a trip to New York City and toured the New York Stock Exchange. Knutson has a bright future as he’s already enjoyed extensive work experience in his area of interest. Last summer, he interned at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, shadowing and constructing bank examinations and approving dividend requests through financial analysis and communication with bank management. Just this month, he accepted an internship position in New York City with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Knutson has thrived in the leadership realm as a member of Lehigh’s Emerging Leaders program. Emerging Leaders is a voluntary program and prerequisite for Lehigh’s Leadership Legacies. Throughout his experiences, Knutson has learned basic leadership and self-assessment skills. He’s also served as a Student-Athlete Mentor, assisting freshman athlete move in and mentoring 13 student-athletes, facilitating discussions on a weekly basis. Knutson was a member of the Lehigh Pride program while serving as a Student Council President his senior year of high school. Knutson took part in a Leadership Program Participant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the summer of 2012 following an extensive interview process. He attended the three-day event at the New York City office and was named “MVP” of the conference after its conclusion for the degree of participation and contributions given during the program. A leader on and off the court and a role model to his teammates, Knutson was recently voted a team captain for the 2012-13 season. Having started from day one, he is looked up to as one of the leaders of the team as his presence cannot be denied.
Knutson has certainly made his presence felt in the Bethlehem community. He and his Lehigh men’s basketball teammates have made numerous school visits, especially right before the season (in October) then during school break in January. Knutson has also played a role in “Reading Rocks,” run through the C.O.A.C.H. program (Community Outreach by Athletes who Care about Helping). The program also helps middle and high school student-athletes and their peers make informed choices regarding their education, drug and alcohol issues, and other factors that may affect reaching their full potential. Lehigh student-athletes act as “coaches” for local school students by making presentations to students and student-athletes and offering educational-themed sports clinics, group outings to Lehigh athletic events and facilities and other special projects. In addition, Knutson has worked at numerous summer basketball camps, mentoring youngsters to help them build team and leadership skills.
Knutson has teamed up with C.J. McCollum as both seniors who have already eclipsed 1,000 career points. While McCollum has been a strong force as a guard on the outside, Knutson has been a rock as a forward/center. He’s played in 98 games (starting 95) since stepping foot on campus; the only three games he hasn’t started have come on Senior Days when he stepped aside to let a senior start. Knutson has tallied 1,110 career points, surpassing 1,000 last Feb. 11, 2012 against Colgate. He became the 30th player in program history to reach that plateau. Knutson is just 29 points away from the top-20 in school history for career points, and could crack the top 10 before all is said and done. Knutson averaged 9.5 points and 5.6 rebounds as a freshman, 12.2 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore and 12.2 points and 5.6 rebounds as a junior. He’s reached double-figure points 58 times in his career, including 23 times a season ago. Knutson had 17 points and eight rebounds during Lehigh’s historic NCAA Tournament win over Duke, which included a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. He’s been very efficient as his career field goal percentage is 51.1 percent (385-of-753) while he’s shooting 77 percent from the free throw line (333-of-432). Knutson was named All-Patriot League for the first time last year, earning Second Team laurels. He posted a season-high 23 points at Bucknell in the Patriot League Championship Game along with 21 points at Fordham and vs. Colgate (when he eclipsed 1,000 career points). He finished last season with two double-doubles, at Cornell and Bryant (when he grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds).