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Vianney fits well with Wave

After a brief visit up north, Eric Vianney may have yet found the right spot for him once again down south.

Vianney, a former Picayune standout that came to the Maroon Tide as an exchange student from Cameroon, originally signed a basketball scholarship with Illinois State.

But Vianney transferred to Tulane after just one year away and this past season began to make a contribution with the Green Wave upon his return to the south.

“I just didn’t fit in up there,” Vianney, who in his only season at Picayune helped lead the Maroon Tide to the Class 4A South State title as a senior in 2004, said. “Tulane is a much better situation for me. I have regained some confidence in myself as a player.”

And that showed this season, the first in which he was eligible to play for the Green Wave after transferring.

Vianney was one of the key reserves for head coach Dave Dickerson. The 6-foot-2, redshirt sophomore guard saw action in 30 of the 32 Tulane games this season, and he started six.

Vianney averaged 16 minutes of action per game, and also averaged right at four points, two rebounds and two assists per contest.

“The season had its up and downs, but I felt good about the contributions I made to the team,” Vianney added. “I felt like this year I was just getting back into the flow of the game after sitting out last season. As a player, you just have to keep working hard and do what you have to do to help the team.”

Vianney recorded a career high 10 points four different times this season, in games against Auburn, Nicholls State and Gardner-Webb as well as a Conference USA tilt against Marshall.

His best game of the year came against Gardner-Webb, when he not only had that 10 points but he grabbed a career high seven rebounds as well.

Tulane finished the season at 17-15 on the year and fell to powerful Memphis in the C-USA quarterfinals.

“I felt like the season wasn’t that bad,” Vianney added. “We had a pretty good team and we started out pretty well, but we just didn’t make enough things happen late in the year.”

He spent one season at Illinois State where he played in 11 games during the 2005-06 campaign and averaged one point and one rebounds per game, while logging 39 minutes.

With two years on the court, especially the recent one in which he was able to show what he can do in Division I basketball, Vianney is looking forward and not back.

“I am already looking forward to next year,” he concluded. “I have some experience at this level now that I can use and hopefully just keep improving and getting better.”