Andrew Wiggins

Bill Self altered his game plan vs. Texas Tech to impress Andrew Wiggins

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Last week, we posted a picture of the cover of the new Sports Illustrated, which featured all-world freshman Andrew Wiggins.

It was a big deal, as Wiggins was the cover boy during what is arguably the busiest time of the year for sports fans.

The article itself, which is now available to read online, was written by Luke Winn and was a terrific read about the three once-in-a-generation talents that have come through Lawrence: Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning and now Wiggins.

There are plenty of juicy details in the book about the recruitment of Chamberlain and Manning, which makes it quite evident that even in the 1950’s, athletes had enough value to a community to see their pockets gets line. Chamberlain at one point helped wave cars into an alumni parking lot during football games, where he would pocket hundreds of dollars in “tips”.

The best anecdote, however, comes from Bill Self. He was able to land a visit from Wiggins on the day that the Jayhawks hosted Texas Tech, and he tailored his game-plan to impress the recruit:

The Wigginses sat behind KU’s bench for a 79–42 blowout of Texas Tech, and it was no coincidence that the game plan was heavy on ball screens and lobs, with point guard Elijah Johnson throwing six alley-oops in the first half. Says Self, “We did the things that gave us the best chance to win and were along the lines of what the family would like to see.”

To some, that may seem ridiculous. Wouldn’t it be more important for the recruit to see you win than to risk a loss playing the style he wants to see? Keep in mind: Kansas was playing Texas Tech at the Phog. They could have let me out there to handle the point and it probably would have worked out OK.

What’s neat, however, is that you’re getting a glimpse of just how hard these coaches go after the recruits they’re targetting.

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.