Eric McClellan was an impact transfer for Vanderbilt basketball - for exactly a dozen games. The scoring point guard, who was dismissed from the program after violating the school's academic policy last winter, has now found a new home with the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
McClellan originally came to Vanderbilt from Tulsa and made an immediate impact after sitting out his sophomore season due to NCAA transfer rules. He scored 18 points in his debut and then added 29 and 22 in games against major conference opponents Butler and Texas, giving the 'Dores a much-needed scoring punch in the midst of a rebuilding season. He was leading the team with 14.3 points per game when the 2013-2014 schedule flipped over to SEC play.
Unfortunately for the Commodores, he'd never suit up against a conference opponent. He was suspended from the team in the beginning of January for an unspecified violation of the school's academic policy. McClellan pledged to clean up his act and return to the team for summer practices, but he would never get the chance. He was dismissed from the program altogether three days later. Though the exact details behind the escalation of his punishment were never disclosed, they may have been related to the uncovering of an earlier incident where the point guard was charged with misdemeanor theft in September 2013.
McClellan has stayed off the media radar since January, and he'll bring scoring talent and legitimate size (6'4", 190 lbs) to the Bulldog backcourt. He sat out the spring semester after being dismissed from Kevin Stallings's team which will make him eligible to play for the Bulldogs in December if he can get his classwork in order. He's also applied for a transfer waiver from the NCAA which would allow him to play in November, but it's unclear what kind of hardships he'd reference in order to convince the governing body to suspend the rules for him.
The slashing guard will bring immediate value to Washington's finest basketball program as long as he can keep his nose clean. He had quickly developed into an important contributor for the Commodores and he'll still have 2.5 years of eligibility left to contribute to Mark Few's program. If he can limit his turnovers and expand his scoring to become an efficient shooter from long range, he could be an All-West Coast Conference athlete in the future.