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Big East releases conference schedule

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The Big East, now led by new commissioner Mike Aresco, announced its conference schedule Wednesday.

“BIG EAST men’s basketball and unparalleled national media exposure have always been synonymous,” Aresco said in a statement. “The 2012-13 schedule is unmatched in the scope of national, regional and local telecasts.  Our coaches and student-athletes are committed to excellence at the highest level.  I know the upcoming season will be filled with outstanding and exciting play.”

For the conference, the season kicks off on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2012, with Cincinnati traveling to Pittsburgh at noon.

Marquette hosts Connecticut to follow up on New Year’s Day at 8 p.m.

Louisville, who will likely be among the favorites to win the conference with Peyton Siva, Chane Behanan, and Gorgui Dieng returning, begins its conference slate hosting Providence on Jan. 2.

This upcoming season marks the final for Pittsburgh and Syracuse in the Big East before they move to the ACC for the 2013-14 season.

On Feb. 2, the Orange travel to Pittsburgh for a noon tip-off. Syracuse looks to reload after losing Fab Melo, Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, and Scoop Jardine, while Pittsburgh welcomes two impact freshmen in James Robinson and Steven Adams.

To view the rest of the schedule released Wednesday, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

No. 13 Iowa State suspends Jameel McKay indefinitely

Iowa State forward Georges Niang, forward Jameel McKay, forward Abdel Nader and guard Deonte Burton celebrate after center Stuart Nezlek scored late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Coppin State, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 104-84 (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
AP Photo/Justin Hayworth
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Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.

Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.

McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.

The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.

News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.

UNLV dismisses guard Daquan Cook from team

Illinois v UNLV
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LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.

Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.

Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.

Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.