Ed Cooley

Providence suspends freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock for rest of the season

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The Providence Friars were dealt a blow for the Big East portion of the schedule as the school announced on Monday that freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock have been suspended for the remainder of the season due to a violation of the school’s Code of Conduct.

Austin and Bullock were suspended indefinitely from game action on November 6th and will now be held out longer after Providence took matters into further consideration.

Providence released a statement on the matter that said, “Freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock will not compete in games for the College’s Men’s Basketball Team for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season. The two student-athletes will be able to practice with the team.”

Both Austin and Bullock now have the option to transfer to another school and be eligible after first semester next season, or stay at Providence and retain four years of eligibility.

The loss of the 6-foot-6 Austin and 6-foot-7 Bullock hurts the depth of Providence going into Big East play and head coach Ed Cooley already lost sophomore point guard Kris Dunn for the season as well.

Austin, a Philadelphia native, was regarded as a four-star prospect and the No. 45 prospect in the 2013 national class according to Rivals, while Bullock was a three-star prospect and No. 148 prospect in the same class.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons.¬†Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.