(Courtesy of Pensacola State…)
Antoine Myers loved the idea of learning from one of the game’s best point guards of all time, making his commitment to Isiah Thomas’ Florida International program an easy decision.
A week after Myers’ pledge to the Panthers, however, plans to play for the NBA Hall of Famer were ended when FIU dismissed Thomas.
“It was difficult,” Myers said. “I had my mind set on going to one place and then for all that stuff to happen, to reopen my recruitment and try to like another school, it was kind of hard.”
While Myers was upset with Thomas’ dismissal, several mid-major programs were ecstatic that the 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard was back on the market. After narrowing his list to Troy and Stephen F. Austin, Myers decided on the Trojans this week.
“I just felt as though the coaching staff at Troy, there was just something about them that I really liked,” Myers said. “I really can't explain it -- it's just the connection talking to them on the phone, being there with them from the days I was visiting. Just that feeling I had was right about the coaches.”
Myers, who averaged 10 points and was a first-team all-conference selection at Pensacola (Fla.) State College, never heard from new FIU coach Richard Pitino. Myers said he understood that recruiting “is a business,” and he didn’t necessarily expect the Panthers to continue their pursuit of him. While he was disappointed that he wouldn’t get a chance to play for Thomas, Myers was pleased to find out that Troy had a similar offensive philosophy to FIU.
“It’s basically going to be the same,” Myers said. “The offense is going to be the same, too -- a lot of up-tempo, run-and-gun, pressuring, the same type of things. I'm going to be their lead point guard.”
Myers’ goals with the Trojans, who finished 10-18 during the 2011-12 season, won’t differ from what he wanted to accomplish with the Panthers. The former Foresters star hopes to play big minutes, lead his team to the postseason and earn a degree.
“I'm excited about it because it just opens up new opportunities for me,” Myers said. “I thank God for everything, I put him first and pray to him. The FIU situation, I guess it wasn't meant to be. So I guess [it was good] opening it up to see if I'm going to be in a better place."