Xavier Pollard

Maine loses top scorer Xavier Pollard to transfer

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For the third time since the season ended, a player has been granted his release from Maine. The latest transfer is leading scorer Xavier Pollard.

The junior guard announced his intent to finish his career elsewhere on Tuesday.

“After meeting with Xavier today, we agreed it would be in his best interest to look at transferring at this time,” Maine head coach Ted Woodward said in a statement on Tuesday. “We wish him the best of luck in his future academic and athletic endeavors.”

Pollard, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard, led the Black Bears with 14.7 points and was second on the team in rebounds at 4.7 boards per game in 2013-2014. He finished the season as an American East third team selection.

On March 27, Maine saw two players —  Dimitry Akanda-Coronel and Mitch Worcester — elected to leave the program. Akanda-Coronel was third on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game.

“We’ve got a student-athlete like Xavier who’s had some pretty good success on the court for us, has shown some good potential,” Creech said. “Now he wants to test himself to see if he can put himself in a position to play at a higher-level Division I school.”

While no specific schools have emerged as potential landing spots for Pollard, Jeff Depelteau, his former prep school coach at Suffield Academy (Conn.), told NBC Sports that Pollard is looking at schools in bigger conferences such as the CAA, MAAC and Atlantic 10.

Pollard will have one year of eligibility remaining after he sits out the 2014-2015 season.

Maine finished 6-23 (4-11 American East) this past season.

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.

AP POLL: Villanova climbs to No. 1 in the country.

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.

And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.

[NEW PODCAST]

[LATEST BRACKETOLOGY]

The biggest shock to me?

The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.

Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?

Here is the rest of the AP Poll:

1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)

DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas