Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon

Cook, Sulaimon shine in Duke’s first exhibition

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As we noted in our ACC preview, Duke needs a couple of guys to play well in the backcourt. One of them is presumptive point guard Quinn Cook. The other is freshman Rasheed Sulaimon. In today’s exhibition game against DII champion Western Washington, they got a chance to see how both players are progressing as the season draws near.

According to the Duke University Chronicle, Cook got off to a good start, playing 32 minutes and notching 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Six turnovers were cause for concern, especially given that they came against non-DI competition. Clearly, Cook is preparing himself to lead the Blue Devils this season, however.

Sulaimon got a big chance to show what he could do, playing several minutes that would have normally gone to the injured Seth Curry. He scored 20 points, had 3 assists and swiped two steals. The Chronicle’s BlueZone blog observed the game, and offered some details:

On the team’s first possession, he made a nice cut and layed the ball in, absorbing the contact. He finished the first half with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, making 2-of-3 from deep.

19:47 in the first half—On Duke’s first possession, Rasheed Sulaimon set the pace for the entire first half with a layup. Duke basketball head coach Krzyzewski praised Sulaimon’s read on the play, saying that he made a cut against the design of the play, but at the same time it was the same read on the defense.

The blog noted that the game was played at a fast pace, as the final 105-87 score would indicate. As such, guard play was clearly at a premium, but a perceived Duke advantage in the post was not quite as evident as expected. Mason Plumlee grabbed 11 rebounds in 33 minutes, but as a team, the Devils only outrebounded the DII Vikings 41-34. Hidden inside that number is an 18-14 deficit on the offensive boards.

Neither the good stuff or the bad stuff is a big deal right now. It just tells us what drills Mike Krzyzewski will be running on Monday. For Duke fans, it’s always good to see your team get the yips out in an early exhibition. For the rest of us, it just makes the upcoming season all that more tangible.

Can’t wait.

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.