Vanderbilt will be without leading scorer Eric McClellan for tonight's SEC opener against Alabama. The sophomore point guard did not travel with the team, and his status as a Commodore may be up in the air. From the university, via the Tennessean:
Vanderbilt sophomore guard Eric McClellan did not make the trip to Tuscaloosa with the team, and the timetable for his return is unknown at this time. Vanderbilt coaches and staff will not be able to elaborate.
This is terrible news for a rebuilding team that had already lost five players from its 2012-2013 squad over the course of the year. If McClellan does not return to the program, he'll join a list that includes Kevin Bright, A.J. Astroth, Sheldon Jeter, Kedren Johnson, and Josh Henderson. Only Henderson (injury) and Johnson (undisclosed suspension) are expected to suit up again for the Commodores in the future.
McClellan's absence could be related to a disciplinary action or personal reasons, but we won't know anything until either the player or the university makes an official statement. Losing him will have a significant effect on Kevin Stallings's already depleted team. Kyle Fuller and Dai-Jon Parker are now the only scholarship guards who will see the court in Tuscaloosa tonight. In all, the 'Dores will have seven scholarship players available to start their SEC schedule.
McClellan, who leads the team with 14.3 points per game, will be missed. Vanderbilt fans will have to hope that he'll return to the Commodores before their schedule heats up with a rivalry game matchup with Kentucky this weekend.