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Vanderbilt’s Leading Scorer Suspended For Year

mrsec-breaking-newsVanderbilt guard Kedren Johnson has been suspended from school for one year, he announced in a statement Monday afternoon.

Johnson started all 33 games last year for the Commodores and led the team in scoring, averaging 13.5 points a game. Johnson said in his statement that his suspension is over a mistake he made due to “some very poor judgement.”

“It hurts me when I realize the consequences of my action, which happened near the end of the last school year,” Johnson wrote. “It was a violation of the good conduct expected of all Vanderbilt students. I take full responsibility and now must begin working to regain the trust and respect of my school, the student body, our fans and especially my coaches and friends on the team. I understand this will take time.”

Johnson’s suspension comes the same day guard Kevin Bright announced his decision to leave Vanderbilt to sign a professional contract in Germany. Bright, who averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds as a freshman last season, is from Mannheim, Germany.

“About a week ago, Kevin went home to attend to his mother, who was ill,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “Subsequently, he decided that the best thing for he and his family was to sign a professional contract so he could be near her. While the timing of this is very unfortunate, we understand Kevin’s desire to be present for his family in this time of need.”

These are two serious blows to a Vanderbilt team that was expected to challenge for an NCAA tournament bid this season. The Commodores had already seen two freshmen - A.J. Astroth and Sheldon Jeter – transfer earlier in the spring.

That leaves Vanderbilt with nine scholarship players on this year’s team.

Vanderbilt, which finished last season with a 16-17 record, hasn’t missed the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons under Stallings since 2003. That streak could very well come to an end this season.

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Boxscore Breakdown: Vanderbilt 64 – Kentucky 48

2013_sec_men_s_basketball_tournament_logoIn a game Kentucky really needed to win, the Wildcats fell short, way short.  Vanderbilt, which led by 15 points at half, stretched the lead to as much as 21 points in the second half, won the game in convincing fashion.

The Commodores were led by three players with double figures – Kai-Jon Parker with 12, Kevin Bright with 11, and Kyle Fuller added 10.

Archie Goodwin led Kentucky with 12 points and Kyle Wiltjer chipped in with 10.

- Vanderbilt shot 50% from the floor (23-46), 80% from the charity stripe (8-10) and 52% from three-point range (9-17)

- Kentucky shot 35% from the floor (18-51), 50% from the free-throw line (8-16) and 28% from three-point range (4-14)

- Only 12 turnovers in the game – five for Vanderbilt and seven for Kentucky

Vanderbilt awaits the winner of the Ole Miss-Missouri game while Kentucky, like Tennessee, will have to wait until Sunday night to see if it makes the NCAA Tournament.

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