In his first season of eligibility after sitting out the entire 2012-13 campaign per NCAA transfer rules, Vanderbilt guard Eric McClellan was a pivotal figure in Kevin Stallings’ rotation. Through 12 games McClellan averaged a team-high 14.2 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the Commodores, but he did not accompany the team to Tuscaloosa on Tuesday night for their SEC opener at Alabama.
On Wednesday it was reported by Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean that a “violation of university athletic policy” has ruled out McClellan for the remainder of the 2013-14 season. According to a statement released by the school, McClellan is expected to be reinstated this summer. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, McClellan’s suspension drops them down to just seven scholarship players.
“I want to apologize to my family, coaches, teammates, and the entire Vanderbilt community for my actions that have led to this suspension,” McClellan said in the statement according to The Tennessean. “I take full responsibility for what has happened. I look forward to returning to school this summer and of continuing my goal of earning a degree at Vanderbilt and playing basketball for this coaching staff and with these players.”
McClellan’s suspension leaves the Commodores with three double-digit scorers: senior forward Rod Odom (13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg), freshman forward Damian Jones (10.7, 4.6) and senior guard Kyle Fuller (10.0, 3.9, 3.7 apg). That triumvirate scored 51 of Vanderbilt’s 63 points in their 68-63 loss at Alabama on Tuesday night, but it was the turnover count (16, compared to eight for Alabama) that made the difference.
Vanderbilt (8-5, 0-1 SEC) plays three of its next four games at home but it is a difficult stretch, beginning with Kentucky on Saturday. The other two home games are against Missouri (January 16) and Ole Miss (January 22), with a game at LSU (January 18) in between.
Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.
According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.
The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.
Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.
The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?