Some of you that are new to the college hoops blogosphere may not remember this story, but I certainly do.
Three years ago, during the summer of 2011, the Louisville blog Card Chronicle discovered that there was an elite Class of 2012 recruit that went by the name Chicken Knowles. Louisville’s home arena, the KFC Yum! Center, is colloquially known as ‘The Bucket’.
Obviously, Louisville fans wanted to ‘Bring Chicken to The Bucket’.
It was a meme that lasted for months. It became popular enough that Card Chronicle made #BringChickenToTheBucket t-shirts and Knowles actually started to consider Louisville even though the school wasn’t recruiting him. The whole thing truly was hilarious and is recapped in full right here.
Why am I bringing this up now?
Knowles wound up heading to Houston to play his college ball, and tonight, the Cougars will pay a visit to … Louisville.
Two-and-a-half years after the campaign started, Chicken will finally be heading to the Bucket.
On Tuesday the Houston basketball program received the good news it has been waiting for, as the NCAA declared redshirt freshman Danrad “Chicken” Knowles eligible to play immediately. Knowles, who was a Top 100 prospect out of high school had to sit out last season for academic reasons.
“We are grateful that the NCAA has ruled quickly in Danrad’s case, and we are excited that he has been allowed to compete this season,” Houston head coach James Dickey said in the release. “I appreciate all the efforts of our administration and compliance department throughout this process. As excited as our coaches, players and fans will be with this news, no one will be more excited to hit the court than Danrad on Thursday night.”
While unable to join the program last season Knowles took classes at Houston, and he’s been working out with the team all fall. His clearance gives the Cougars another front court option, with senior TaShawn Thomas expected to lead the way. Knowles’ first opportunity to see game action will come on Thursday when the Cougars host UTSA.
Houston was picked by the coaches to finish seventh in the American Athletic Conference last month, but in Thomas and guard Danuel House the Cougars have two talented players capable of giving opponents headaches on a nightly basis.
Danrad “Chicken” Knowles was a four-star forward, ranked No. 54 overall in the Class of 2012 by Rivals. Last season, he was expected to be an impact freshman for the Houston Cougars, in program’s final season of Conference USA play, however he was ruled academically ineligible and was forced to miss the entire 2012-2013 season.
Houston, now a member of the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, begins the season on Friday, and the eligibility status of the 6-foot-9 forward is still in question, according Joseph Durante of the Houston Chronicle. Knowles will sit out Tuesday night’s exhibition game against the University of St. Thomas.
UH officials said they would have no further comment, citing federal student privacy laws. It remains unclear whether the university will hear from the NCAA before Friday’s season opener against Texas State.
James Dickey lost leading scorer Joseph Young, who transferred to Oregon, but does return a talented front court that includes junior TaShawn Thomas and sophomore Danuel House. The addition of Baylor transfer L.J. Rose, who was granted immediate eligibility in August, takes a little bit of the sting away from losing Young, as he teams up with Jherrod Stiggers in the back court.
Houston hosts Texas State on Friday for a 9 p.m. start.