BC Eagles Dismiss Two, Including Shot Blocker Sean Williams

By David Scott - January 17, 2007

UPDATED 11:55 p.m. 1/17/07:

The following statement was released by the Boston College Athletic Department in the 7 p.m. hour on Wednesday night:

Boston College Media Relations
January 17, 2007

Williams, McLain Dismissed from BC Basketball Team

Boston College Basketball Coach Al Skinner has announced that junior center Sean Williams and junior forward Akida McLain have been dismissed permanently from the team due to a violation of team rules.

Williams had played in and started 15 games for the Eagles this season, averaging 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. McLain had played in two games, starting one, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. McLain missed six games due to an ankle injury this season before returning to play two minutes against Miami this past Tuesday.

Neither Skinner nor Athletics Director Gene DeFilippo will comment further at this time.

Currently undefeated in ACC play at 5-0 and 13-4 overall, the Eagles have relied on the defensive presence of Williams, who will be 21 in September, throughout his playing time this year (which began late after an early-season suspension that ended with a dozen block debut at Providence). The potential NBA first rounder had 75 blocks through 15 games (5.0 bpg) and was improving his NBA stock (as the nation's third-leading shotblocker) with almost each outing - despite some "character issues" which have dogged him. McClain, who turns 21 in two months, who also suspended for a portion of this early season, has had trouble bouncing back, but did give Skinner a body off the bench.

. . . Foxsports.com's and the Boston Herald's Jeff Goodman was able to speak with John Lucas, the ex-NBA coach, who had worked Williams out over the summer in Houston.

. . . Some deep background reading on both Williams and McLain might help in emphasizing this wasn't a one-time happening. And both players BEGAN the season in the dog house, as well. Al Skinner clearly has had enough with the duo, and you can only imagine what causes a coach to sever ties with the nation's 3rd best shot-blocker, a game changer of the highest order. For the Eagles, McLain won't be missed terribly on the court; Williams can not be replaced.

. . .The BC burden will now rest squarely on seniors Jared Dudley's shoulders and up-and-down Sean Marshall, who will need to be more consistent with a more shallow bench for the Eagles. The departures also leave some opportunity for the gritty freshman, Shamari Spears, who is ACC-undersized, but aggressive and sometimes ferocious.

. . . It will be interesting to see if the truth or details of the matter comes out in either of Boston's major papers, where college sports usually don't get headlines except for March Madness and when BC football has a big game with Notre Dame. As one reporter working the story told Hang Time, "they sure are tight-lipped over at BC."

That silence could be called something else: "circling the wagons."

. . . BC plays at Clemson on Saturday at noon and then hosts Florida State on Tuesday the 23rd at 7 p.m. (on NESN locally in the Boston market).

Posted by David Scott at 07:51 PM on January 17, 2007

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