Pac 12 Basketball Tournament - First Round

Presidential connections now abundant at Oregon State

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Being that Craig Robinson’s brother-in-law is President Barack Obama, it’s a safe assessment to call the Oregon State head man the “First Coach.”

Well, now Robinson has someone on staff that he can talk “White House” with.

Oregon State announced the addition of Joe Kennedy on Monday. Along with spending time on staff at Northwestern, he also spent time as a Special Assistant for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House from January 2009 to October 2010.

Kennedy has been hired as the Beavers’ Director of Player Personnel, coming to the program after spending three seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations at Northwestern, where he also played from 2003-07.

In his time in Washington D.C., Kennedy, who is the son of long-time college coach Pat, acted as a liaison for the Obama Administration to various sports organizations, from youth to professional. He also worked on Obama’s campaign staff from April 2007 until January 2009, when Obama took office.

“I am extremely excited and honored to work for one of the most respected coaches in all of basketball and join the OSU family,” Kennedy said in a release. “Our outstanding university and strong athletic department have a special opportunity to build a premier program in college basketball, and I am enthusiastic to contribute in any way possible.”

So it’s safe to now call Oregon State the “First Program,” right?

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.