Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.
“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”
The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.
Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.
Former UNLV forward Demetris Morant will transfer to Florida-Gulf Coast. The news was reported by multiple outlets and FGCU players confirmed the news on twitter.
Morant is originally from Miami but made stops in Tallahassee, Tucson and Las Vegas in high school before arriving at UNLV. He redshirted in 2012-2013 and played limited minutes in 2013-2014 before leaving the school.
Morant’s father, who still lives in Florida, recently suffered a stroke, which is why he decided to return to Florida and enroll at FGCU. He will be applying for a waiver to be eligible immediately.
The 6-foot-9 Morant is extremely athletic and was rated as a top 150 recruit in the country in the Class of 2012.
Early Tuesday morning it was reported by multiple outlets that UNLV forward Demetris Morant, who played in 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013-14, has decided to transfer. According to the reports Morant aims to transfer to a school closer to his father, who suffered a stroke, in Florida.
And according to Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, there’s apparently a leader in the race for Morant’s commitment.
Morant will seek a waiver from the NCAA in hopes of being granted eligibility for the 2014-15 basketball season. He is most likely transferring to Florida Gulf Coast.
“Demetris has been granted his release and he will be transferring,” coach Dave Rice said. “His dad has been very ill. We will support a hardship waiver 100 percent. He’s a great kid, and he’s done a great job for us academically.”
Morant (0.6 ppg, 0.5 rpg) played an average of 3.8 minutes per game last season, with starters Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith and reserve Christian Wood being the leaders in minutes amongst UNLV’s front court players. UNLV did lose Birch, Smith and Carlos Lopez-Sosa at the end of the season, but with talented players such as Goodluck Okonoboh and Dwayne Morgan joining the program significant playing time would have been tough for Morant to earn.
However minutes weren’t the reason for Morant’s decision to transfer, but rather the health of his father.
For UNLV the departure means that they’ll be without another body in the front court, placing more pressure on the players who will be a part of the rotation in 2014-15. UNLV has depth on the perimeter, even if they were to lose another player at some point in the near future, but that isn’t the case inside. The question now is whether or not Rice and his staff can address the issue with a late recruit, be it a freshman or a transfer.
UNLV has recruited some athletes in its past, and that trend should continue with 6-8 swingman Demetris Morant. More evidence came on Saturday.
According to Tristan Aird of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Morant won the Nevada 4A State high jump at 6 feet, 10 inches.
Morant is a two-star prospect out of Bishop Gorman (Nev.), having played alongside top-rated prospect Shabazz Muhammad in high school.
Need proof of his hops? Check out his AAU dunk here.
Morant is part of a strong recruiting class for UNLV in 2012, led by newly signed Findlay Prep (Nev.) big man Anthony Bennett. In addition, the Rebels have signed Katin Reinhardt of Mater Dei (Calif.), DaQuan Cook of Baltimore, and Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch, who will be eligible in the second semester.
The Rebels finished 26-9 last season, losing in the Round of 64 to Colorado. They will be returning forward Mike Moser, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last season.
Photo courtesy of OregonLive.com.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_