Western Carolina head menâ€™s basketball coach Larry Hunter announced Friday that former walkon Eric Wilson (Lincolnton, N.C./Lincolnton HS) will be put on full scholarship this semester.
The sophomore guard has started 13 of 16 games to date for the Catamounts and currently ranks sixth in the Southern Conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.400; 16-of-40).
Wilson, who only played in 17 games last season, averaged 8.2 minutes, 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in his rookie campaign.
This season, Wilson earned a role as a starter in the third game of the season versus Virginia Tech. He resumed that role, and has held on to since, two games later at Northern Iowa.
This season, Wilson averages 23.1 minutes player per game, 6.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest. He ranks third on the team in 3-pointers made (16) and third on the team with 23 assists.
â€œEric is a pleasure to coach and is a real steady force for us day in and day out,â€ Hunter said. â€œHe has a great attitude and work ethic. He is not timid on offense, he is strong with the ball and has the ability to guard players much bigger than him. Eric is very deserving to be rewarded.â€
In Westernâ€™s 110-51 win over Atlanta Christian, Wilson entering the game with 36 career points in 22 games, Wilson exploded for career highs in posting his first career double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
He sank 6-of-9 shots from the field, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Of his 10 rebounds, five were on the offensive. He added two assists and two steals in playing a career-high 30 minutes.
Wilson was at it again helping the Catamounts defeat Montreat. He scored 17 points, making a career-high 8-of-10 free throws.
Then, three days later, Wilson kept the strong play going in a win over UNC Asheville. He was one of five Catamounts in double figures and started what would be a record run of 3-pointers by WCU, hitting a trey to score the first basket of the game.
Wilson, who scored 11 points versus UNCA, was 3-of-6 beyond the arc as Western sank a school-record 14 3-pointers on the night.
Versus The Citadel, Wilson scored 15 points, which was his career best against a league opponent, making 5-of-6 shots from the field, 1-of-1 from 3-point range and 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. He also added seven rebounds, tying for game-high honors, with four assists.
Wilson and the Catamounts will return to action Jan. 9 (Monday) at Appalachian State at 9 pm. The game will be broadcast on the radio on WWCU (90.5 FM in Cullowhee) and WRGC (680 AM in Sylva) as well over the internet at www.wwcufm.com or www.wrgc.com.
In addition, the Western Carolina-Appalachian State men`s basketball game will be televised on Fox Sports Net South (check local listings for availability in your area).
by Special to the LTN