Early departing players new problem for VU

VeeMan takes a look at Vanderbilt's new problem of basketball players departing early. He breaks the trend down for us and compares the Commodores troubles with the other SEC schools.

Until recently, VANDERBILT has seldom lost players before their eligibility expired. However, under Kevin Stallings, the situation has changed. Six players have departed early in the three years since he became coach. These six, and the reasons for their early departures, are as follows: 

Michael LeBlanc: lost scholarship

DeAndre Moore: transferred

Rick Jones: lost scholarship

Sam Lekwauwa: decided to stop playing basketball

Billy Richmond: lost scholarship

Brendan Plavich: transferred 

Naturally, the question has arisen as to why this is happening. Is it a situation peculiar to Stallings, or is it part of a general trend? With these questions in mind, I decided to do a survey of all twelve SEC teams and determine how many players each of them has lost early over the past three years. Here are the results. Players who committed but never played are not included, which makes Georgia's list a lot shorter than it otherwise would be. 


Michael Bradley: transferred

Ryan Hogan: transferred

Desmond Allison: transferred

Nate Knight: transferred

Todd Tackett: left school

Marvin Stone: transferred

Adam Chiles: lost scholarship

Rashaad Carruth: lost scholarship

Corey Sears: transferred


Harris Walker: lost scholarship

Terrence Woods: lost scholarship

Marcus Haislip: NBA draft


Calvin Clemmons: transferred

Damien Kinloch: transferred

Travis Kraft: transferred

Trevor Harvey: lost scholarship

Greg Taylor: transferred


Teddy Dupay: lost scholarship

Mike Miller: NBA draft

Donnell Harvey: NBA draft

Orien Greene: transferred


D.A. Layne: NBA draft, but not drafted

Moses White: lost scholarship

Shawn Fields: lost scholarship

Ryan Lewis: lost scholarship

Tony Cole: lost scholarship


Omar-Seli Mance: transferred

Daryl Cooper: transferred

Marquis Ledoux: transferred

Jamaal Wolfe: transferred

Stromile Swift: NBA draft


Neil Ashby: transferred

Schea Cotton: NBA draft, but not drafted

Sam Haginas: left school

Gerald Wallace: NBA draft

Rod Grizzard: NBA draft


Jason Gilbert: transferred

Chris Jeffries: transferred

Jason Jennings: transferred

Joe Johnson: NBA draft

J.J. Sullinger: transferred


David Hamilton: transferred

Jamison Brewer: NBA draft

Mack McGadney: lost scholarship

Abdou Diame: lost scholarship

Lincoln Glass: lost scholarship


Darrian Brown: lost scholarship


Joe Marshall: lost scholarship

Trey Sanders: lost scholarship

Robert Jackson: transferred

Tyrus Boswell: lost scholarship 

It is no surprise to find that Kentucky leads the way with nine players lost. The situation there has become turbulent to say the least. No wonder fans called last year's team "team turmoil!" Over-recruiting is one factor causing dissatisfaction at Kentucky. 

The situation at Georgia is worse than it looks. With a police case pending, it is already doubtful that Steve Thomas, a starter on last year's team, will complete his eligibility. Practically all of Jim Harrick's freshman recruits in the past two years have failed to gain initial eligibility. 

Except for his first year, when he lost four players of marginal capability, John Brady at LSU has done a very good job of holding onto his men. This may be because he has had a reduced number of scholarships and the few players he has had have been playing. 

Rod Barnes at Mississippi is the most successful coach in the SEC at keeping his players. Interestingly, the former UT coach, Jerry Green, kept his players, even though (or because) he had the reputation of being permissive. Buzz Peterson quickly lost two of the players he inherited from Green and now another one will go the NBA. 

Billy Donovan of Florida has had some serious losses, mainly to the NBA, but continues to draw in the talent. He was able to keep Udonis Haslem for all four years and now will do the same with Brett Nelson. 

South Carolina has lost five players, but none of them were major contributors. At Alabama, Mark Gottfried has lost three players to the NBA, the most of any SEC coach in the last three years. Cliff Ellis of Auburn was keeping his players consistently until last year, when things came apart for him. At Mississippi State, Rick Stansbury has had only one major loss (Robert Jackson), and has managed to retain Mario Austin for at least three years. Arkansas had had several losses despite Nolan Richardson's style of using all of his players. 

Vanderbilt seems to have lost players for several reasons. In two cases (Michael LeBlanc, Rick Jones), coach-player interactions evidently weren't a factor. However, it is lik

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