Florida Gulf Coast is poised for another strong season, but to start the year they will be without starting center and redshirt junior Eric McKnight. According to News-Press, McKnight was suspended due to a violation of team/school policy, which occurred before new head coach Joe Dooley arrived.
"But he’s been outstanding in regaining his status on the team. He’s grown up as much as any kid I’ve been around in a short period of time. He’s trying hard. … I’m convinced he’s learned his lesson," Dooley told News-Press.
Interestingly enough, Dooley had even more praise for McKnight at Dunk City After Dark, the Eagles Midnight Madness event:
"I think Erik McKnight has really improved. He averaged about six and a half points a game last year," Dooley said.
The Iowa State transfer was also suspended last season for a three game exhibition trip in the Bahamas.
With McKnight out, Nate Hicks, who was already challenging for the starting role, will step in and likely carry the brunt of the load in his first season playing for the Eagles. He was a Georgia Tech transfer who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Among the six games he will sit, McKnight will miss a "homecoming" at NC State. His first game back will be against Iona on Dec. 1.