Syracuse received a major blow Saturday when the school announced that Queens native James Southerland is out until “further notice” and won’t play today against Villanova.
“Due to an eligibility matter, Senior James Southerland will not participate in competition until further notice,” the school said in a release. “Given University policy and federal student privacy laws, we are unable to provide any further details at this time.”
A product of Queens Cardozo High School, the 6-foot-8 senior is Syracuse’s second-leading scorer, averaging 13. 6 points to go with 5.2 rebounds. He had averaged 15 points in his last two games, wins over Providence and USF.
A year ago, the Orange lost sophomore big man Fab Melo to academic issues just before the NCAA Tournament and they lost to Ohio State in the Elite Eight when they had hoped to reach another Final Four.
It remains unclear what exactly the issue is with Southerland, but this makes two years in a row Syracuse has lost a key player.
Photo: Syracuse Athletics
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.