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2014 forward Justin Tillman pulling high-major offers

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Justin Tillman is on the back end of the Rivals’ 150 for the 2014 class, but with the way he’s played at the Under Armour Summer Jam presented by NY2LA Sports, he might be on his way up the rankings.

The 6’7″ forward from Pershing High School in Detroit is currently rated as the No. 148 prospect in the class and with the way he rebounds, college coaches are taking notice.

Tillman told NBC Sports that Iowa, Iowa State, Xavier, Kent State, Bowling Green, Rhode Island and Oakland have offered him scholarships while in-state schools Michigan and Michigan State as well as Marquette and Georgetown are showing interest.

Although a long-armed 6’7″ rebounding machine, Tillman is a tad undersized, so he feels like he’s more of a combo forward at the next level. That still doesn’t stop his primary focus of rebounding and defense.

“I’d say I’m a 3/4,” Tillman said. “My father always told me to focus on defense instead of offense so that’s what I try to do.”

One of the interesting things Tillman is looking for in a school is something rarely mentioned by high school recruits: classroom size.

“(I’d like to attend) a school with small classroom sizes and (play for) a fast-paced team that runs the court,” Tillman said.

Currently Tillman said Iowa, Xavier and Michigan are standing out in his recruitment. Although the local Wolverines have yet to offer a scholarship, NBC Sports was at one of Tillman’s games with R.E.A.C.H. Legends and Michigan head coach John Beilein was in attendance.

“They play fact-paced, they play aggressive and it’s close to home,” Tillman said of the Wolverines.

Iowa has also been aggressively pursuing Tillman since offering him a scholarship last week — although he’s still doing research about his newest high-major offer.

“I’ve seen Iowa play on TV but I don’t really know much about them,” Tillman admitted.

But could Xavier be the team to beat for Tillman? The Muskateers have been recruiting Tillman for far longer than the other high-major schools involved and Tillman cited his strong relationship with head coach Chris Mack and assistant coach Travis Steele as a big factor in his recruitment.

“I’m really close with Coach Steele and Coach Mack and I have a good relationship with Xavier,” Tillman said.
Whichever school lands Tillman — and many are spending their week at the Summer Jam checking his progress — it’s likely he’ll rebound and defend at a high level.

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.