Paris Lee

Illinois State freshman Paris Lee ready for expanded role

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Second-year Illinois State head coach Dan Muller has an uphill battle this season as his Redbirds squad welcomes eight new players and returns no starters from last season’s team.

This week, with the dismissal of senior guard Bryant Allen, the Redbirds are really lacking in experience as Allen was dismissed after being charged with possession of marijuana and delivery, driving on a suspended license and disregarding a stop sign.

The Redbirds will now likely look to Chicagoland product Paris Lee to fill Allen’s spot this season. Lee — a 5’11 guard from basketball powerhouse Proviso East — told the Bloomington Pantagraph that he’s ready to step in and take Allen’s place as he prepares for the IBCA All-Star Game on Saturday.

“It was real sad,” Lee told the Pantagraph. “I looked up to Bryant just like a brother because we’re both lefties. He was like a mentor figure to me. That kind of got me down. I told him I’m going to play this season out for him.”

“I’m going to show them I can pass and play real good defense and show them that I can win,” Lee also said.

If anyone can contribute on both ends of the floor immediately for Illinois State at guard it might be Lee. Lee, along with SMU recruit Sterling Brown — the younger brother of Shannon Brown — helped lead Proviso East to the 2012 state championship game and the 2013 state semifinals.

In both years, Proviso East lost to Simeon and Jabari Parker during Simeon’s quest to four consecutive Illinois state championships but Lee’s play as an on-the-ball defender and guard that can handle both spots opened eyes.

Scott also writes for NY2LA Sports and can be followed on Twitter @sphillipshoops

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.