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Houston forward ‘Chicken’ Knowles eligible to play immediately

Nov 13, 2013, 9:43 AM EST

Houston Athletics Houston Athletics

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.