Last July it was announced that Vanderbilt guard Kedren Johnson was suspended for the entire 2013-14 school year, with the guard citing a mistake made off the court as the reason for the school’s decision.
“As we get closer to starting the new school year, I feel it is my responsibility to inform everyone of some disappointing news,” Johnson said in the release. “I have been suspended as a student from Vanderbilt University for one year for a mistake I made, the result of using some very poor judgement. That also means I will not be on the basketball team this upcoming season.”
The disciplinary action left the door open for a return in 2014-15, but according to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com Johnson will not be back this season to play for Kevin Stallings. The school confirmed this later Friday while also announcing that senior guard Dai-Jon Parker will be moving on as well.
“It is a privilege to be a Vanderbilt basketball player and with that privilege comes a high level of responsibility, both on and off the playing floor,” Stallings said in the release. “Unfortunately, the standards that were clearly set forth in both cases were not met and led to this decision.
“I did agree, however, to wait to announce both decisions until after they had determined where they would be continuing their college careers,” Stallings continued. “Fortunately, our staff has been preparing for this possibility since last fall and feel that we have brought in six very talented perimeter players to lead us going forward. We certainly wish Dai-Jon and Kedren the best as they move forward with their lives.”
Of note in Parrish’s story is the mention of Memphis as a possible destination for Johnson, which would give the Tigers an experienced guard to add to a group that is replacing four seniors from last season’s NCAA tournament team.
As for Vanderbilt, Johnson moving on leaves them without an upperclassman on the perimeter. Of Vanderbilt’s five incoming freshmen four are perimeter players, point guards Riley LaChance and Shelton Mitchell, shooting guard Wade Baldwin IV and guard/forward Matthew Fisher-Davis. Nolan Cressler, who transferred in from Cornell, will have to sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules.
That quartet doesn’t lack for talent, especially Baldwin, but their lack of experience could mean plenty of growing pains for the Commodores in 2014-15.