CSKA Moscow addressed its hole at the center position by signing Michael Eric for the remainder of the season. Eric (2.10 meters, 32 years old) will mark his third consecutive EuroLeague campaign after averaging 5.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 28 games last season for TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz. He debuted in the competition the season before with Darussafaka Istanbul. Eric arrives from Turk Telekom Ankara, for which he averaged 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds in 19 Turkish League games this season.
Eric's signing comes after CSKA lost its two former All-EuroLeague frontcourt players, center Nikola Milutinov to a long-term shoulder injury and power forward Toko Shengalia for several games due to a knee injury. Additionally, forward Will Clyburn, the last Final Four MVP, has missed the last eight games with an ankle injury.
Eric began his professional basketball career with Canton of the D-League at the start of the 2012-13 season. He also played for Frisco and Texas of the D-League, Panelefsiniakos Eleusina and AEK Athens of Greece, Enel Brindisi of Italy and Bilbao Basket of Spain before joining Darussafaka in 2017 and helped the club win the 7DAYS EuroCup in his first season there.
"After we were all shocked by the injury of Nikolai Milutinov," Coach Itoudis said. "We assessed all the possibilities together with the president and my assistants and came to the conclusion that Michael Eric will suit our team, because he has the experience of playing in the EuroLeague, has dimensions and a great desire. He understands where he comes, knows whose place he will take. We also took into account the opinions of players who previously played with Michael - Toko, Darrun and Will. He is full of motivation, I hope he will be healthy and will help the team in what we want to achieve. We definitely want to restart the team when the injured come back and our newcomer arrives."