FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s basketball team added some depth and size to its frontcourt on Monday, landing 6-foot-9 Iowa State transfer Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy (Md.)/Iowa State). McKnight will have to sit out the 2011-12 season due to NCAA four-year transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility.
“Eric has a chance to make a significant impact on our program,” said head coach Andy Enfield. “The combination of his size, length and athleticism will allow him to be a difference-maker on both ends of the floor. With a transfer year and three years of eligibility, Eric has an opportunity to develop into a premier big man in the Atlantic Sun Conference.”
McKnight saw time in 14 games as a freshman in 2010-11 with the Cyclones, who finished with a 16-16 overall record. Prior to signing with the Cyclones, the Raleigh, N.C. native chose Iowa State over Indiana, Maryland, Missouri and Georgetown.
McKnight became a highly sought-after recruit during the late signing period after showcasing his athletic ability during his senior year at Princeton Day (Md.). Standing 6-foot-9 with a seven-foot wingspan, McKnight averaged 11.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game during a 20-5 season for Princeton Day.
Following his senior season, McKnight was named to the All-Independent team, while being invited to the annual Capital Classic, Metro Premier All-Star game and District All-Star game. McKnight was ranked as the 42nd-best power forward in the class of 2010 by ESPN.com, earning a rating of 91.
McKnight’s recruitment also heightened in November of 2009 during his senior season when he turned in a terrific performance at the Impact Basketball Academy Classic in Las Vegas. ESPN.com listed him as the surprise player of the tournament, saying “A 6-foot-9 post, McKnight is a long, athletic jumping jack. He has great mobility and agility that allows him to beat his man up and down the floor. McKnight never stops competing and is always well-placed around the basketball.”
McKnight is the fourth player to sign with the Eagles since Enfield took over as the program’s second-ever head coach. FGCU has also added three freshmen with guards Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) and Bernard Thompson (Rockdale, Ga./Rockdale County HS), along with forward Filip Cvjeticanin (Croatia/American School of Madrid) all signing NLIs.