Valparaiso freshman Alec Peters hails from storm-battered Washington, IL

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The devastating storms that struck the Midwest this weekend hit a little to close to home for Alec Peters.

A freshman that’s averaging 11 points and a team-high seven boards for Valparaiso this season is from Washington, IL, the town where the late-November tornadoes turned 500 houses into rubble and killed one person. A total of eight people perished as the storms moved through the midwest.

Peters was lucky. His family made it through the storm, alive and without significant property damage, but a number of his friends were not as fortunate.

Paul Oren of the Northwest Indiana Times has the story:

Peters was just finishing his post-game shower following Sunday’s 76-72 loss to Ohio when assistant coach Roger Powell told him the news.

“My emotions are still running high from the loss and Coach Powell comes up to me with this look and I know something is immediately wrong,” Peters said. “We got my mom on the phone and I found out my family is fine, but plenty of my friends were affected.

“I just broke down. I didn’t know what else to think or what to do.”

Peters spent the entire six-hour bus trip back from Athens on the phone trying to track down the whereabouts of friends and family. While he doesn’t know anyone who died in the tornado, each report of a different damaged house was like a punch to the gut.

It’s worth the click to read the story.

Peters returned to the team on Tuesday morning and will play in their next game against Evansville.

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.