Big 10

For ex-Wolverine Ricky Doyle, it’s ‘great to be home’ at Florida Gulf Coast

May 19, 2016

ANN ARBOR — Ricky Doyle is officially home.

After the Michigan transfer announced his decision to transfer to Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, FGCU formally announced Doyle’s addition in a press release on Thursday, stating the 6-foot-10 center has signed a scholarship with the school.

A native of Cape Coral, Florida, Doyle is a product of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, located just 18 miles from the FGCU campus.

At Bishop Verot, where Doyle made his transfer announcement on Tuesday, he earned FABC Class 4A first team All-State honors as a sophomore 2012 and as a senior in 2014. He was injured for much of his junior year in 2013.

Having played at Michigan as a freshman and sophomore, Doyle will have two years of NCAA eligibility at FGCU. After being required to sit out next season, per NCAA rules, he’ll return to the court in 2017-18 as a redshirt junior.

“It feels great to be home,” Doyle said in Thursday’s press release. “I’m looking forward to representing Southwest Florida as best I can. Sitting out for a year will be difficult, but my goal is to help make my new teammates as good as they can be and then get on the court and make a direct impact in 2017-18.”

Doyle was granted a release from his scholarship at Michigan in late March after averaging 3.8 points and 2.0 rebounds as a sophomore. During the Big Ten tournament, he revealed that he had been plagued by physical issues related to a battle with sleep apnea, asthma and depression.

In two years at U-M, Doyle played 67 of a possible 68 games, making 30 starts and averaging 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds.

“We’re excited that Ricky decided to come back home,” FGCU head coach Joe Dooley said in the release. “The Southwest Florida community will have the opportunity to watch one of their own, and we’re expecting Ricky to be a valuable asset to our program. We’re looking forward to working with him over the next few years to help take his game and our program to the next level.”

In March 2013, Doyle picked Michigan over Miami to become the second member of U-M’s 2014 recruitng class. He had averaged 21.7 points and 6.9 rebounds as a junior at Bishop Verot that year.

Doyle picked Michigan thinking he’d likely redshirt his freshman, but after some roster attrition, instead found himself as the program’s starting center midway through the 2014-15 season. He finished with 19 starts and averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

“I think everyone in Southwest Florida is excited to have Ricky home,” Matt Herting, Doyle’s head coach at Bishop Verot, said. “It’s really special when you can have a player, and a person, of his caliber return to the people that care the most about him. I’m glad that after a lot of thought he chose to come to FGCU. Dooley’s type of play is a tough, hard-nosed, bang-into-the-basket style, and I think it will be a better fit for Ricky’s skill set.”

FGCU posted a fourth straight 20-win season (21-14) in 2015-16 and made its second NCAA Tournament appearance in four years.

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