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Iowa State junior guard K.J. Bluford leaves program

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After averaging 17.8 points as a sophomore at Northeast Nebraska Community College, shooting guard K.J. Bluford had hopes of being a contributor for an Iowa State team that lost four of its top five scorers from a season ago. Unfortunately things didn’t work out that way for Bluford, whose desire for more playing time has resulted in his decision to leave the program.

Iowa State announced the news on Sunday afternoon.

“I appreciate the time and effort that K.J. gave to our program,” Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg said in the release. “He has elected to transfer to find a program that will allow him more playing time. I wish him the best in the future and will assist him in any way I can.”

Bluford averaged 2.7 points per game for Iowa State, with his highest scoring output being a six-point outing in a 110-51 win over Kansas City on November 25. Bluford scored five points in season-opening wins over UNCW and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, only to not see any action in Iowa State’s win over Michigan and minimal playing time against BYU.

In the six games after his 14-minute outing against Kansas City, Bluford played a total of five minutes with four coming in an Iowa State win over Auburn.

Given the lack of playing time that Bluford saw, this won’t be a crushing blow for the Cyclones. But if Iowa State were to be hit by a rash of injuries, then maybe there would be some concern regarding their backcourt depth.

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.