There was plenty of news for the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels on Monday as they received word from the NCAA that senior guard Kevin Olekaibe has been cleared to play this season while the status of junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones also became clearer after a hamstring injury last week.
According to a report from ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman, Olekaibe will be cleared to play this season for UNLV after transferring from Fresno State to be closer to his ailing father, who — according to Goodman’s story — is in hospice and can’t speak or move the lower half of his body after suffering multiple strokes.
The 6-foot-2 Olekaibe averaged 17.8 points per game as a sophomore before seeing those totals dip to a career-low 8.3 points per game in his junior season. Olekaibe will be a walk-on at UNLV this season and should bolster the Runnin’ Rebels depth at guard.
UNLV might use that depth immediately as they still await the status of junior wing Bryce Dejean-Jones. After pulling up limp and exiting in the first half of the Runnin’ Rebels loss to Division II Dixie State, Dejean-Jones will miss the Rebels exhibition this week and his status remains unclear for UNLV’s season opener this Friday against Portland State, head coach Dave Rice told Goodman.
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.
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.