Boston Scientific Close The Gap Crossroads Classic

Christmas Wish List: Indiana needs defensive boards, touches for Zeller

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Over the course of the next two weeks, College Basketball Talk will be detailing what some of the country’s best, most intriguing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams need. It’s the spirit of the holidays. We’re in a giving mood.

What do other teams have on their Christmas Wish Lists? Click here to find out.

Gotta have it list-topper: Rebounding

Based on the data that Kenpom compiles, Indiana doesn’t appear to have an issue on the defensive glass. They are 34th in the country in defensive rebounding percentage, as they grab 72.4% of all available defensive rebounds. The problem with that number? Look at who they’ve played. Georgetown is in the bottom-quarter of all teams when it comes to offensive rebounding. North Carolina is a good offensive rebounding team, but they were absolutely drubbed by the Hoosiers in all facets.

Every other team that Indiana has played this season is, well, not very good. Except Butler. Butler is 21st in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. They grabbed 19 offensive rebounds against the Hoosiers. The biggest scapegoat may have been Will Sheehey, who was matched up with Erik Fromm, a bench player that grabbed five offensive boards in 20 minutes. Indiana’s defense has been immensely better this year, but they are susceptible on the offensive glass.

Stocking stuffer:  Entry passes to Cody Zeller

I said it early on in the season: the nation’s Preseason Player of the Year would not put up the kind of numbers that many were expecting simply because the Hoosiers have too many weapons up and down their roster. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing that Zeller isn’t the first, second and third option offensively. It is a bad thing, however, that Indiana has such issues getting the ball to Zeller on the block. I took this picture during the Butler game. Zeller is wide-open. He didn’t get the ball on this possession. This was a common occurrence. That’s a problem.

Planning on re-gifting: Christian Watford consistency

Watford’s numbers on the season: 12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 45.7% 3PT, 125.9 ORTG.

Watford’s numbers against Georgetown, UNC and Butler: 7.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 37.5% 3PT (5-24 FG), 94.3 ORTG.That’s not exactly ideal.

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
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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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.