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Two Auburn players taking indefinite leave of absence

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Auburn has added four new recruits in a little over a week, but the men’s basketball program lost two players on Friday as head coach Bruce Pearl announced that center Ronald Delph and forward Alex Thompson have taken an, “indefinite leave of absence.”

Delph, a 7-foot-1 freshman, sat out the 2013-14 season while Thompson, a 6-foot-8 sophomore and former walk-on, was awarded a scholarship last season and appeared in 21 games for Auburn.

Thompson averaged one point and 1.5 rebounds per game in 7.8 minutes last season.

The loss of Delph and Thompson isn’t a significant one for Auburn but it’s interesting for a few reasons. For one, Pearl is continuing to immediately overhaul the current Auburn roster by opening up scholarships for more talented players.

Benas Griciunas transferred to Charlotte and Dion Wade left for Miami (Ohio) earlier this offseason.

The departure of Delph and Thompson also opens up two scholarships for Auburn for the upcoming season. The Tigers were at 13 scholarships but now have some wiggle room to bring in 7-foot-1 center Trayvon Reed at mid-season or also maybe add an impact mid-season transfer that could become available.

Pearl has to be pleased either way that he’s recruiting so well so far as he landed Class of 2015 top 100 prospects Danjel Purifoy and Horace Spencer recently while also landing junior college guard T.J. Dunans.

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)
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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.