Ahmad Starks

Oregon State junior guard Ahmad Starks to transfer

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According to multiple reports Oregon State junior guard Ahmad Starks has decided to transfer, citing a desire to be closer to his ailing grandmother in his native Chicago.

Starks’ grandmother, who raised Starks, currently suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia according to John Hunt of The Oregonian.

“My plan is to be somewhere in the state of Illinois, as close to home as possible,” Starks told The Oregonian. “It’s not a personal thing, with the coaching staff or anything like that. It’s just about me being close to home and to my grandma. I don’t know how much time she has left.”

According to the paper Starks cited Illinois and Bradley as two of the possible locations. As a junior Starks averaged 10.4 points, 2.3 assists and 1.4 turnovers per contest for an Oregon State team that struggled mightily in Pac-12 play.

The Beavers finished the season with a 14-18 record, going 4-14 in conference play. Starks struggled at times with the balance of running the team while also being asked to score, but the bigger issue for Craig Robinson’s team was their porous defense.

Opponents averaged 71.9 points per game and shot 45.2% from the field in Pac-12 play, numbers that ranked 12th and 11th in the conference. Oregon State also ranked 11th in the conference in defensive efficiency (conference games only).

With Starks’ need to transfer closer to home, head coach Craig Robinson has two starters to replace with the graduating Joe Burton being the other. Oregon State has two signees in the 2013 class in 6-3 shooting guard Hallice Cook and 7-1 center Cheikh N’Diaye.

On the perimeter the Beavers are down to Cook and returnees Roberto Nelson and Challe Barton at the guard spots. With a scholarship opening up, Oregon State may look to find a late addition to add depth.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.

AP POLL: Villanova climbs to No. 1 in the country.

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.

And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.

[NEW PODCAST]

[LATEST BRACKETOLOGY]

The biggest shock to me?

The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.

Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?

Here is the rest of the AP Poll:

1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)

DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas