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Medical issue forces FGCU freshman guard to redshirt

Aug 29, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT

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With seniors Brett Comer, Bernard Thompson and Jamail back, FGCU has the best perimeter trio in the Atlantic Sun heading into the 2014-15 season. However there is the need for some additional depth, something freshmen Zach Johnson and Christian Terrell were expected to provide along with Auburn transfer Brian Greene Jr. However while Terrell remains on track to help the Eagles as they look to return to the NCAA tournament after falling short of their goal last season, the same can’t be said for Johnson.

Thursday evening the school announced that Johnson, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Miami, will have to redshirt for medical reasons. The school did not disclose what the medical issue is, citing federal privacy laws in the release.

“I’m saddened to learn that Zach won’t be able to play this year. He and his family have been unbelievable during this whole process, and Zach and his mother, Irose, have been, and will continue to be, an extremely important part of our program,” FGCU head coach Joe Dooley said in the release.

“I wish Zach and his family nothing but the best during this difficult time. Though he’s only been with us for short time, Zach has been a tremendous competitor who has made everyone better, and he’s done it with a smile and terrific personality. We hope that he’s able to get back on the court, but in the meantime he will continue to be a valued member of our program.”

With Johnson unable to play the Eagles will have three newcomers looking to earn minutes this season. In addition to Terrell, FGCU adds UNLV transfer Demetris Morant and fellow sophomore Eric Moeller, who attended the College of Central Florida last season. Morant will be eligible to play immediately, as the request for a waiver was granted by the NCAA.

The Eagles, who finished the 2013-14 season with a 22-13 record and won a share of the Atlantic Sun regular season title, return four of their top six scorers from a season ago. The two losses were forwards Chase Fieler (13.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg), who was also the team’s leading rebounder, and guard Eric McKnight (6.9, 5.1).