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Freshman out for season; walk-on leaves program

Freshman out for season; walk-on leaves program

The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team is expected to have one of its deepest squads ever this season, with perhaps the most talented lineup that has ever called Alico Arena home.

The Eagles roster did get thinner this week when two players who were expected to be on the floor this season revealed that they will not.

Walk-on Kevin Boyle announced that he wouldn’t be returning to the team, opting instead to focus on his academics and a passion that he lost touch with in recent years — writing stand-up comedy. Boyle averaged 5.3 minutes a game last season, often providing critical minutes when suspensions and foul trouble plagued the Eagles.

“I’d like to thank Kevin for all his contributions to FGCU basketball, but it’s more important for him to focus on academics at this time of his life,” said head coach Joe Dooley. “After meeting with him we both agreed that Kevin had other priorities and passions outside of basketball he needed and wanted to focus on, and that it would be best for him and the program to pursue those.”

In addition to Boyle’s departure, FGCU also learned that freshman Zach Johnson will sit out this season and take a medical redshirt year. The specifics of the injury haven’t been released, but not having the 6-foot-2 four-star recruit is a big blow for the Eagles.

“I’m saddened to learn that Zach won’t be able to play this year,” Dooley said. “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. 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.”

The Eagles are fortunate that these casualties struck at a time when they are positioned to overcome them with a plethora of new players becoming eligible and arriving on campus.

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