Gonzaga's Erroll Of Defense
Feb. 13, 2006
Adam Morrison is the most famous player on this year's Gonzaga University men's basketball team. J.P. Batista is certainly the most recognizable player. However, the honor of McCarthey Athletic Center fan favorite rests solely on the shoulders of senior guard Erroll Knight.
Riddled by injuries to start his final campaign in a Bulldog uniform, the 6-7 swingman has overcome two setbacks this season starting with a Nov. 8 surgery to remove cartiledge from his left knee. Following the Bulldogs trip to the Maui Invitational, an infection was discovered in the knee which required a second surgery on Nov. 28. But Knight has accepted the hand he has been dealt in what many thought would be his breakout season in Spokane.
"My knee still hurts every day," stated Knight following a recent Bulldogs game. "It's something I have to deal with for the rest of season. I'm just working hard on my rehab and it's getting better every day."
The day many Gonzaga faithful waited for finally arrived on Dec. 17 when Knight checked into the game for a few minutes of action against the University of Virginia. Knight received possibly the loudest ovation the McCarthey Athletic Center has seen in its short existence. The Seattle native thrived off the crowd's emotion, picking up a steal that led to a Batista basket during the Bulldogs 80-69 win.
That steal and type of emotion are exactly what Gonzaga fans have come to expect from Knight, who ranks among the most athletic players in the West Coast Conference. Last season he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, joining Mike Nilson and Mark Spink as previous Gonzaga recipients.
However, despite all his athletic ability and defensive accomplishments, it may well be an offensive play for which Knight is forever remembered. Trailing by two-points with :08 remaining, Knight drained a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Bulldogs a 64-63 win at the University of San Diego earlier this year.
The ever animated Knight was swarmed by his teammates and was given the highest praise by head coach Mark Few.
"That shot couldn't have happened to a better person," Few said in his weekly press conference. "With everything that Erroll has been through, you could see the excitement of that moment on our entire team."
Knight was also humbled when speaking about his heroics during Gonzaga's media day.
"Every basketball player has a dream to win a game on a last second shot," Knight said. "Against San Diego my dream came true. It felt good to be the hero."
Knight finished the game with a season-high 10 points, but it was not his best offensive game in a Bulldogs uniform, just the most memorable. Knight's career-high at Gonzaga came during the 2004 season with 18 points against George Washington University during the championship game of the BB&T Classic. Last year he tossed in 14 points on three occasions, including during the Bulldogs second round NCAA Tournament game against Texas Tech University.
Whether remembered for his stellar defensive intensity, high flying dunks or game winning shot at USD; one thing is for certain. Erroll Knight will definitely be remembered among the players in Bulldog basketball lore.
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