DUNK CITY, Fla. – Coming off another 20-win season, the program’s first Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship and initial trip to the NIT, the FGCU men’s basketball team added UNLV transfer Demetris Morant to its roster as the 6-9 forward signed with the Eagles, head coach Joe Dooley announced Wednesday.
Morant – a native of Miami who still has family in Florida – was a 2012 graduate of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. He recently completed his redshirt freshman season with UNLV, but FGCU will apply for a hardship waiver (family reasons), which if granted by the NCAA will allow Morant to compete for the Green and Blue during the 2014-15 campaign with three years of eligibility remaining.
“We are very excited about Demetris joining our program. He’s a tremendous young man with great potential,” Dooley said. “We look forward to having the opportunity to work with him. Demetris comes from a tremendous family and has a great work ethic. He’s going to be a major part of our program as we move forward. The players in our program will enjoy getting the opportunity to have him be a part of FGCU basketball.”
Morant sat out his first year with the Rebels in 2012-13 and appeared in 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013-14. While with Bishop Gorman, Morant helped guide the Gaels to two straight Nevada state championships and finished his senior season ranked No. 11 in the nation. He averaged 10.6 points and 8 rebounds per game his final season while playing alongside Shabazz Muhammad, who went on to be named Mr. Basketball USA before attending UCLA and being taken No. 14 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.
During his time at Bishop Gorman, Morant participated twice in the City of Palms Classic – arguably the most prestigious high school tournament in the country help annually in Fort Myers. Morant was ranked as a top-20 center nationally in 2012, and chose UNLV over Texas A&M, Memphis and New Mexico.
“I think Demetris has outstanding potential,” Dooley added. “He needs, and will get the chance, to develop here at FGCU as a person and as a player. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
The Eagles will return nine letterwinners in 2014-15, while four transfers will also be eligible in Dooley’s second season at the helm. True freshman and 6-7 forward Logan Hovey (Orlando, Fla./Paul J. Hagerty HS) sat out the 2013-14 season following surgery to repair a stress fracture and he will have four years of eligibility beginning next year as a redshirt freshman. In addition, Dooley and his staff will have two incoming freshmen – guards Zach Johnson (Miami, Fla./Norland HS) and Christian Terrell (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence HS) – and welcome 6-11 sophomore center Eric Moeller (St. Louis, Mo./Central Florida (JUCO)/Missouri/DeSmet HS) to bolster what will be one of FGCU’s deepest teams in program history.
FGCU finished the year with a 22-13 record, including a 14-4 A-Sun mark. The Eagles narrowly lost at eventual NIT semifinalist Florida State, and FGCU’s 22 wins marked the second-straight 20-win season and were the second-most in the Division-I era (2007-08).
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