Wally Ellenson

Wally Ellenson leaves Minnesota basketball program to focus on track and field

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After appearing in nine games this season, Minnesota sophomore guard Wally Ellenson has elected to leave the basketball program, the school announced on Tuesday afternoon. Ellenson made this decision in an effort to fully commit to the Golden Gophers’ track and field team.

“We respect Wally’s decision, and wish him, Coach Steve Plasencia and the Gophers track and field team nothing but the best this season,” Minnesota first-year head coach Richard Pitino said in a statement.

The 6-foot-6 Ellenson is a talented high jumper, placing eighth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning first-team All-American honors. In August, he won the gold medal in the high jump at the Pan-American Games, clearing 7-feet, 1-inch.

He was averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game for Minnesota. That was a slight bump in playing time after averaging 2.0 points in 5.3 minutes per game for Tubby Smith during the 2012-2013 season.

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.