Explorers guard Peterson battles for a rebound with Wildcats forward Henriquez during the second round of their NCAA men's basketball tournament in Kansas City

La Salle grants D.J. Peterson release to transfer closer to home

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La Salle announced Monday afternoon that sophomore guard D.J. Peterson has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer to a program closer to his home.

Peterson, a native of Burnsville, Minn., averaged 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds this season. He spent a prep season at Lee Academy in Maine.

“I’ve enjoyed my time and the relationships I’ve made here at La Salle,” Peterson said. “However, I want to explore opportunities closer to home to continue my education and basketball career. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and fans for their support during my two years here.”

In Peterson, the Explorers lose a part-time starter — he started 18 games this season — who helped the team make the Sweet 16 as a 13-seed, winning three games to get there after coming out of the First Four in Dayton. The 6-5, 190-pounder played 25.6 minutes per game, fourth on the team, and shot 40 percent from three-point range as well.

There should be plenty of depth to cover for the loss, however. The Explorers only lose two players to graduation, one that was key. The team’s leading scorer in Roman Galloway, and Garvin Hunt, who played in 16 games with one start in 2012-13. The team also gets Georgia Southern transfer Cleon Roberts in 2014-15.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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