Knoxville, TN– Recent Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) graduate Eric McKnight has signed an institutional aid agreement to transfer to Tennessee and play his final collegiate season as a Volunteer, UT head coach Donnie Tyndall announced Sunday.
McKnight, a 6-9, 225-pound forward from Raleigh, N.C., plans to enroll at Tennessee this summer. As a graduate transfer, he will not have to sit out a year and will be eligible to play next season as a senior.
McKnight was a key member of the well-known 2012-13 FGCU squad that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 15 seed and earned the Eagles’ program the moniker “Dunk City.”
“Eric gives us more size and athleticism – along with a lot of great experience – along our front line,” Tyndall said. “He’s played in a lot of big games over the course of his career, and I believe that experience will pay dividends for us this season.”
As a redshirt junior last year, McKnight averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting .663 from the field (FGCU single-season school record).
He was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field in a win over Jacksonville Feb. 6, 2014, in which he scored a career-high 22 points.
A top-100 prep prospect according to ESPN.com, McKnight graduated from Princeton Day Academy in Lanham, Md. In his lone season at Princeton Day, McKnight was coached by Van Whitfield.
McKnight spent his freshman collegiate season at Iowa State – appearing in 14 games – before transferring to FGCU.
He sat out the 2011-12 season per NCAA transfer rules and then started 34 of FGCU’s 37 games as a sophomore in 2012-13. He earned Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Week honors three times that season and finished the year ranked second in the league in blocks, with 1.3 per game. McKnight also averaged 6.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game while shooting a team-best .602 from the field.
McKnight is the seventh member of Tyndall’s 2014 signing class, joining Devon Baulkman, Willie Carmichael, Ian Chiles, Jabari McGhee, Detrick Mostella and Kevin Punter.
Like McKnight, Chiles also is a graduate transfer (IUPUI). Other recent graduate transfers to enjoy one season of hardwood success at Tennessee include John Fields (2011) and Antonio Barton (2014).