Eric McClellan


Gonzaga’s Eric McClellan, Mark Few celebrate win over Iowa in style

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Getting to the second weekend isn’t an achievement to be taken lightly, regardless of how often a team may make a Sweet 16 appearance. In the case of No. 2 Gonzaga, Sunday’s win over No. 7 Iowa means that the Bulldogs are headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009.

And in this video recorded by junior forward Kyle Wiltjer, it’s clear that Gonzaga’s thrilled to be making the trip to Houston. Eric McClellan does a backflip, followed by head coach Mark Few doing what looks to be an attempted handstand that winds up being a cartwheel.

The Ten Most Important Midseason Additions

Markus Kennedy
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Markus Kennedy, SMU: He’s not a transfer — Kennedy missed the first semester as a result of academic issues — but if he gets the grades he needs, Kennedy will be joining the Mustang lineup on Saturday against Michigan. He will be the best big man in the AAC, but will it be too late to turn the conference into more than just a one-bid league?

Jameel McKay, Iowa State: McKay will be eligible this week for the Cyclones. He’s a shotblocking presence and a front court athlete unlike anything that Fred Hoiberg has had in Ames, but on a team that’s built on spacing and having shooters at every position on the floor, how much of an impact will he really have?

Luke Fischer, Marquette: The former Indiana big man will be eligible for Marquette tonight against Arizona State, which is important for the Golden Eagles. They are in dire need of front court help.

Alex Murphy, Florida: Murphy never could find a spot in the Duke lineup, which is why he transferred out of the program last winter. Florida is dealing with all kinds of health and depth issues, and Murphy’s addition will help that. They take on Wake Forest in Gainesville on Saturday.

Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman, Temple: Temple is just 6-4 on the season, but their back court depth will get quite a boost with the addition of Morgan (UMass) and Coleman (Clemson).

Trayvon Reed, Auburn: Reed began his Auburn career on Sunday, picking up four fouls in eight minutes. The 7-foot-1 top 100 recruit is talented and promising, but he’s still very much a prospect at this point. His impact this season will be minimal.

Eric McClellan, Gonzaga: McClellan will be eligible to play for the Zags on January 8th, and while adding a player that averaged 14.3 points in the SEC sounds, on paper, like a big addition, but there aren’t many minutes to be add in that perimeter. Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and Byron Wesley will get their 25-30 minutes, and Kyle Dranginis and Silas Melson will be the first two off the bench.

Savon Goodman, Arizona State: Goodman flamed out at UNLV after he was arrested for breaking into a friend’s apartment and stealing shoes, money and video games. He’ll be eligible at Arizona State beginning tonight. He’ll add perimeter depth, but it likely won’t be a difference-maker for the Sun Devils.

George Marshall, South Dakota State: Marshall played a season and a half at Wisconsin before Trae Jackson took over the starting point guard roll. He’ll be eligible at SDSU on Thursday and should step into the starting point guard role for a team that is 6-3 overall and could win the Summit League.

Cam Biedscheid, Jacksonville State?: There’s a question mark there for a reason. Biedscheid has been all over the place, leaving Notre Dame midway through the 2012-2013 season before getting shipped out at Missouri. He was supposed to be headed to Iona, but that never materialized. The latest? A report saying he’s headed to Jacksonville State and will try to get eligible for this season. Biedscheid is a former four-star recruit and will be one of the best players in the Ohio Valley if he ever ends up playing there.

Gonzaga expected to add former Vanderbilt guard Eric McClellan

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Gonzaga, which added one talented transfer this past spring with USC graduate Byron Wesley deciding to use his final year of eligibility at the West Coast Conference school, has reportedly added another. According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, former Vanderbilt guard Eric McClellan has decided to join Mark Few’s program.

The hope is that McClellan, who averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in 12 contests last season, will be able to take the court at the end of the fall semester. But there are some issues to consider, most importantly McClellan’s need to take care of his remaining coursework. If that occurs, according to the report there’s a chance that Gonzaga could look into applying for a waiver that would grant McClellan immediate eligibility.

McClellan was originally suspended for the remainder of the 2013-14 season due to a violation of athletic department policy, with the school leaving the door open for a return this summer. However that changed two days after the original announcement, as Vanderbilt made the decision to dismiss McClellan from the program.

The addition of McClellan would be a positive one for Gonzaga, but it should be noted that the Bulldogs have plenty of depth in the backcourt. Starters Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. are back, as is junior Kyle Dranginis, and incoming freshmen Bryan Alberts, Silas Melson and Josh Perkins join Wesley as the newcomers joining the backcourt.

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.

Vanderbilt guard Eric McClellan suspended for remainder of season

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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.