Vols return to SEC absent Pearl, McRae

Vols return to SEC absent Pearl, McRae

January 24th, 2011 by Patrick Smith in Sports

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee freshman guard Jordan McRae has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team conduct rules, coach Bruce Pearl announced after Saturday's loss to Connecticut.

"Jordan has exhibited some behavior recently that is unacceptable and a distraction to the team," Pearl said in a release. "We'll deal with this issue in-house, and my hope is that Jordan will use this as a learning and maturation opportunity."

McRae traveled with the team Connecticut but was not on the bench for Saturday's game, which the Vols (12-7, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) lost 72-61. Renaldo Woolridge (ankle) also did not dress but was on the bench.

The wiry 6-foot-6, 173-pound McRae played in five of UT's first seven games of the season, but has only played twice in January while working almost exclusively on the scout team.

The former four-star prospect out of Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Ga., is averaging two points and 0.9 rebounds in 51 minutes of nine games this season.

"Jordan has coaches and teammates who all love and support him," Pearl said. "We all want him to be an important member of the Tennessee basketball family. But that is a privilege, and he knows what's expected of him."

The Vols took Sunday off from practice and will return to the floor today in preparations for Wednesday's home game against LSU (10-9, 2-2). Pearl resumes his eight-game SEC suspension for three more games after Wednesday, a stretch that includes trips to Ole Miss and Auburn and a home game against SEC West leader Alabama.

Pearl's first SEC game back from suspension is Feb. 8 at Kentucky.

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