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BREAKING NEWS/GAMETHREAD: Men’s Basketball vs. Vanderbilt, 8pm, ESPNU

Hours before conference play, Craig Victor is released from the team

NCAA Basketball: Charleston at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been keeping track of the basketball team since the beginning of the season, you’ll remember Craig Victor missed the first few games and exhibition due to a “violation of team rules.” This afternoon, about four hours before tipping off the conference opener against Vanderbilt, he was let go from the team for the same reason. Per

“We are obviously disappointed that we had to take this action,” Coach Jones said. “It’s a privilege and an honor to wear the LSU uniform. When you commit to being part of our basketball program, there are expectations and standards that we demand from our players. Those expectations go beyond the basketball court.”

This isn’t the place for speculations, so we’ll end our comments on the situation itself at that. This is a huge blow for the Tigers, as Victor averaged 10.5 PPG and 25.3 minutes per game. More importantly, this further thins out an already shallow forward corps. Duop Reath and Aaron Epps were the two forwards starting when Victor didn’t, and that leaves the bench with Elbert Robinson III, Wayde Sims, Brian Bridgewater, and walk ons. Losing Victor will force LSU into changing their identity on both sides of the ball, and hopefully the coaches and players will adapt to the loss.

Onto tonight’s action, Vanderbilt brings a 6-6 (0-2 road) record into the PMAC Thursday night. They are averaging 71.0 PPG as a team, and allow 68.4 PPG. Last year, the Tigers only played Vanderbilt once, a 90-82 victory in Nashville. Keep an eye on junior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis, who’s averaging 15.8 PPG, as well as junior forward Jeff Roberson, averaging 10.8 PPG and 7.4 RPG.

Tonight’s SEC opener will tip off at 8pm, and will be televised on ESPNU. Follow along on Twitter @marq113, or join the discussion in the comments below. Discussion regarding Victor’s release is encouraged, but please refrain from making wild speculations and tarnishing his name and character when there are no real facts available at this moment.