SEC Vanderbilt Mississippi Basketball

Kedren Johnson suspended for the year at Vanderbilt

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Today hasn’t been kind to Kevin Stallings.

On the same day that it was made public that sophomore-to-be Kevin Bright would head back to his native Germany to play professionally, the Vanderbilt coach also had bad news about Kedren Johnson come to light.

Vanderbilt announced Monday it has suspended Johnson for the season. As of 3:30 p.m., Johnson had already been removed from the 2013-14 roster on the athletic department’s website.

The Tennessean previously reported that Johnson is no longer enrolled at the school.

Johnson, a senior-to-be, told the publication that his situation is in relation to student conduct and he referred to it as a “suspension”. He also added that it “is not forever.”

The decision, at least temporarily, leaves Vanderbilt with nine scholarship players.

The team’s leading scorer — and its workhorse from last season — Johnson averaged 13.5 points and 3.6 assists for the Commodores. The Lewisburg, Tenn. native led the team in a number of major statistical categories, including scoring, assists, minutes (31.7 per game), steals (34) and free throw percentage (72.3 percent). He is the third starter they’ve lost this offseason.

Has there been a major program that has fallen quicker and harder from grace than Vandy? Two seasons ago, the ‘Dores knocked off a Kentucky team destined for a national championship in the SEC Tournament title game. Now they’ve lost every member of their 2012 recruiting class and the team’s top returning player won’t be on the team in 2013-14.

Stallings has two recruits coming in for this season in power forward Luke Korney and four-star power forward Damian Jones. He’s going to need every bit of them.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.