The Eagles have added yet another big bird, as JUCO forward Brady Ernst officially joined the FGCU men’s basketball program, signing his National Letter of Intent and giving the Eagles yet another quality big man for the foreseeable future.
A native of Clinton, Iowa, Ernst attended Iowa State out of high school, playing in six games as a freshman in 2015-16 for the Cyclones before transferring to Indian Hills Community College.
According to FGCU head coach Joe Dooley, the Eagles are getting a multi-faceted player.
Looking to solidify its long-range shooting, the FGCU men’s basketball team also added guard Dinero Mercurius, as the rising redshirt junior has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Eagles and will have two seasons of eligibility beginning immediately.
Mercurius started his career at USF, playing in 29 games as a freshman with the Bulls in 2014-15 before transferring to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, redshirting and spending last season as a redshirt sophomore at Daytona State College.
The 6-4 guard shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range last year for the Falcons – one of the country’s top junior college teams which was nationally-ranked throughout much of 2016-17.
“Dinero is an experienced, perimeter guard who is extremely versatile and will be a great addition to our program,” Dooley said.
Ernst comes to FGCU as Clinton High School’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder with more than 1,100 points and nearly 900 rebounds, averaging 13.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for his entire four-year prep career.
In his only year at IHCC, one of the top JUCO basketball programs in the country, Ernst averaged 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on 63.7-percent shooting from the floor.
“I’m really excited to continue the legacy Dunk City has already made for itself,” he said.
“FGCU was a good fit for me because I felt really comfortable with Coach Dooley and the rest of the coaching staff. I think the style of play also will be a good fit with how I like to play.”
The newest Eagle will be eligible to see the court immediately, and joins recent additions in Michigan transfer Ricky Doyle, VCU transfer Michael Gilmore, and incoming freshman Brian Thomas in the forward rotation, as well as returning big men in senior Antravious Simmons and sophomore RaySean Scott, Jr.
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