Greg Whittington

Is Georgetown better off without Greg Whittington? Yes and no

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Dan Hanner did some excellent work this week breaking down the splits of teams that have dealt with injuries to key players this season.

I suggest you dig through his work, because it’s quite informative. But I’m going to highlight the most interesting splits that Hanner found. Here is our look at Georgetown.

Georgetown started Big 12 play 0-2, got drubbed by 28 points at home by Pitt and then saw starter Greg Whitting get ruled academically ineligible.

Doomsday, right?

Well, not exactly. Since Whittington has been out, Georgetown’s offense has gotten significantly better — 1.100 PPP, adjusted, which would slide them in somewhere around No. 30 nationally — while maintaining one of the stingiest defenses in the country, and that’s without a 74-52 win over Seton Hall factored in.

The Hoyas are now 5-1 without their second-leading scorer. So was Whittington really that much of a detriment?

No.

John Thompson III has made two change to the way that he uses his team, and it’s one that may have happened even if Whittington was still eligible. For starters, the offense has stopped going through Mikael Hopkins as much. Instead, JT III is putting the ball in Otto Porter’s hands more often and allowing Nate Lubick to play a more significant role at the high-post in Georgetown’s Princeton-esque offensive attack.

JT III has also committed to playing a deeper rotation and a smaller lineup. With Whittington in the mix, Georgetown would routinely have four players on the floor that were 6-foot-8 or taller. Whittington was the off-guard, which was a position he can play but probably isn’t ideally suited for. Without Whittington, Georgetown is using smaller lineups. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Jabril Trawick are seeing more playing time, and are sharing the floor with Markel Starks for more minutes. JT III has also devoted a spot in his rotation to the uber-athletic Aaron Bowen, who’s ridiculous, reverse tip-in was the game-winner against Louisville.

The irony here is that Whittington is actually a perfect fit for this group. He’s long, he’s athletic, he can defend and he can make threes.

But he was being used out of position, and it bogged down the Georgetown offense. His suspension was beneficial in that it forced the Hoyas to change things up, but it certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing if he became available for the Hoyas before the season ended.

To see our take on Duke, click here.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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.