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Calipari denies knowing about the free throw switch

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Last Saturday, Kentucky fell to Louisville on the road 80-77. Following the Wildcats loss, it was discovered that Kentucky got a little creative at the free throw line.

Towards the end of the first half, Nerlens Noel got fouled by Russ Smith, trailing 35-27. However, Noel, a 52 percent free throw shooter on the year didn’t take the shots, fellow freshman Alex Poythress did. Poythress is 64 percent from the line this season.

Head coach John Calipari has been criticized for the free throw fraud and on Monday addressed the incident, claiming he had no knowledge of the free throw switch.

“If I thought the wrong guy was on the line, I’d get him off the line,” Calipari told the media on Monday, also stating he has corrected officials in the past.

Calipari went on to joke about the free throw conspiracy, telling reporters that he was not on the grassy knoll, referencing the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

He also disputed the idea he had Noel and Poythress switch at the free throw line, due to Poythress’ struggle from the charity stripe. The freshman forward was 2-of-6 on Saturday, while Noel missed his only attempt.

“Why would I put Alex at the line?” said Calipari. “He couldn’t make any shots. I would have had more confidence in Nerlens.”

The Big Lead was the first to catch the free throw switch on Sunday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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.