Vanderbilt dismisses junior guard Eric McClellan from program

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On Wednesday it was announced that Vanderbilt guard Eric McClellan was suspended for the remainder of the season due to a violation of university athletic policy, with the thinking being that he would be able to do enough to earn reinstatement during the summer. However in a statement released by the school, McClellan was officially dismissed from the program on Friday morning.

In making the decision, the school cited new information that came to light on Wednesday evening after the original punishment was announced.

Eric McClellan was dismissed from the Vanderbilt basketball team today by Coach Kevin Stallings. McClellan will not be a part of the program in the future, based upon newly discovered information that came to light Wednesday evening.

McClellan averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in 12 games this season, his first for the program after transferring in from Tulsa. With McClellan now no longer in the Commodores’ plans and Kyle Fuller out of eligibility at the conclusion of this season, the guards in Vanderbilt’s 2014 recruiting class (Wade Baldwin, Matthew Fisher-Davis and Riley LaChance) will have the opportunity to earn playing time upon their arrival on campus.

Having McClellan would have provided a buffer of sorts, an experienced voice to help tutor those young prospects. With that no longer being the case, that trio will likely be asked to do more alongside Dai-Jon Parker and Kedren Johnson, with the latter expected to return after being suspended for the entire 2013-14 season.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.