Two Bison players not present at practice before A-Sun tourney; status unknown

Bison basketball players Damarius Smith and Marvin Williams were not present at Monday’s practice just two days before the opening round of the Atlantic Sun tournament.

Smith, a redshirt freshman, and Williams, also a freshman, did not participate in Monday’s practice and are not expected to join the team in Macon, Ga., for the Atlantic Sun tournament.

A source close to the team says “it will be a very interesting 24 hours for the Lipscomb basketball team.”

Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson said that it was mainly a “disciplinary issue” with Smith. Sanderson did not elaborate on Williams’ status but said he has missed the last four games because he has been “banged up” with a knee injury.

This is not the first time Smith has been held out of playing. Earlier this season against Belmont, Smith dressed and warmed up with the team but did not enter the game.

“It was just a discipline issue,” Sanderson said of Smith’s status in the Belmont game. “We handled it internally, and we moved forward.”

“We’re just trying to learn and do what’s right,” he said. “Sometimes being young is difficult, and we are just trying to learn from day to day and do the right thing.”

Smith averaged 5.2 points per game this season. The most notable points came when he hit the game-winning three in overtime versus Stetson on Jan. 16.

Williams had an up-and-down year dealing with injuries and maturing as a player, but just over two weeks ago the Memphis, native scored a season-high 16 points in a 99-91 win over Stetson on Feb. 11.

Smith and Williams averaged 22.2 and 12.2 minutes per game, respectively.

GP – GS
Min
Avg
FG – FGA
Pct
3FG-FGA
Pct
FT – FTA
Pct
Off
Def
Tot
Avg
A
Pts
Avg
Smith
29-19
644
22.2
59 – 130
0.454
3 – 13*
0.231
29 – 58
0.5
31
38
69
2.4
46
150
5.2
Williams
24-00
293
12.1
42-100
0.42
0-1
0
15-24
0.625
29
46
75
3.1
32
99
4.1

As of 2 p.m. on Monday, both players were still on the team’s roster on LipscombSports.com. A team spokesman did not have any comment about the players’ status going forward into the remainder of the season or going into next year.

The decision to hold the two out seemingly took effect during the Bison’s win over Kennesaw State on Saturday. Smith walked into the locker room at halftime in his jersey, but when the team returned for the second half, he was not dressed to play.

Both players were present for the Kennesaw game, but neither of the two were dressed to play during the second half. However, Williams did not dress for the entire game.

With Smith, Williams and Jordan Burgason out, Lipscomb’s bench will have only four players on it on Wednesday when the Bison take on Mercer in the Atlantic Sun tournament.

Burgason was dismissed from the team on Jan. 10. At the time, Burgason was the number three 3-point shooter in the nation.

The Bison enter the first round of the conference tournament as the No. 7 seed and will play Mercer on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on A-Sun TV and 102.5 The Game.

Check back with Lumination later for more from this developing story.

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