(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)
Sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo was suspended 23 games at the start of the season due to a violation of NCAA rules and the Texas Longhorns struggled in his absence.
Freshman Javan Felix was asked to shoulder more of the load than anticipated before the season began, and ultimately Texas finished the year with a 16-18 record.
The offseason became even more important for the Longhorns’ perimeter returnees Friday, as the school announced that Kabongo will enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Kabongo will forego his final two seasons of eligibility, ending his Texas career after just 45 games.
Kabongo played in just 11 games this season but his return came far too late for a program that sorely needed its leader given the young roster. Kabongo averaged 14.6 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game this season, and despite the lack of action the Toronto native was named team MVP.
Head coach Rick Barnes now has to replace his top two scorers, as Sheldon McClellan announced his intentions to transfer a couple weeks ago. Guard Julien Lewis (11.3 ppg) is expected to return, and all three incoming recruits are perimeter players.
Point guards Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy-Harris and shooting guard DeMarcus Croaker are all talented enough to compete for minutes, and frankly Texas will need that to be the case if they’re to avoid finishing below .500 for the second consecutive season.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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.
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.