Orange suspend James Southerland

Syracuse has benched senior forward James Southerland indefinitely for an unspecified eligibility matter, the Orange said in a statement Saturday morning.

Southerland ranks second for No. 7 Syracuse in scoring averaging with 13.6 points per game and is fourth in rebounding with a 5.2 average.

"Due to an eligibility matter, senior James Southerland will not participate in competition until further notice," the news release said. "Given university policy and federal student privacy laws, we are unable to provide any further details at this time."

Southerland sat on the bench in street clothes during Syracuse's 72-61 win over Villanova on Saturday.

The move is reminiscent of Fab Melo's suspension last season by Syracuse. Melo, a 7-foot center, left Syracuse after being suspended for the NCAA tournament for an unspecified eligibility issue. He had missed three games earlier in the regular season for an academic issue.

Melo was later drafted 22nd overall by the Boston Celtics and now plays for their D-League affiliate.