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January 10, 2014

McClellan dismissed

Sophomore guard Eric McClellan is no longer part of the Vanderbilt men's basketball team, head coach Kevin Stallings announced on Friday.

The team's leading scorer through its first 12 games, McClellan was suspended for the rest of the season on Wednesday, but new information led to his complete dismissal upon further review.

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

The Tennessean's Jeff Lockridge reported that the 20-year old Texas native has been charged with a misdemeanor for theft of under $500 stemming from an incident on August 23rd. McClellan was arrested on September 17th and is scheduled for a court hearing on February 12th, according to Davidson County Criminal Court records.

"I was informed (by McClellan) on Wednesday night that an incident occurred, and we are in the process of gathering as much information as we can," Stallings told the Tennessean.

According to a source to ESPN.com college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, the incident as well as McClellan's recent suspension due to a violation of university academic policy, led to his dismissal.

A transfer from the University of Tulsa, McClellan was in his first active year of playing for the Commodores after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. The 6-foot-4 prospect from Austin started the Commodores first 12 games, leading the team with 14.3 points per game. He also averaged 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists as the team's lead point guard.

His best games during his brief Commodore career came in heartbreaking losses to Butler and Texas.

McClellan scored 29 points against the Bulldogs in a 85-77 overtime loss in Indianapolis on November 19th. He had a chance to put the team ahead in the final seconds of regulation.

He scored 22 points while converting on 11-of-15 free throws in Vanderbilt's 70-64 loss to the Longhorns on December 2nd.

McClellan was not only the team's top scorer and point man, he was also the best for getting to the free throw line. Though he only shot 60.5-percent from the line, he attempted 21 more free throws than the next best Commodore due to his ability to force fouls with penetrating quickness.

McClellan's dismissal leaves Vanderbilt with just seven scholarship players for the rest of the season as the Commodores already lost Josh Henderson to a torn ACL and junior point guard Kedren Johnson was suspended from the team during the off-season.

Vanderbilt (8-5) will host No. 14 Kentucky (11-3) inside Memorial Gym on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. CT.





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