Tag: Jameel McKay


Steve Prohm and Monte Morris comment on Jameel McKay’s cryptic tweets

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On Friday, Iowa State returned home following the team’s trip to Spain. The Cyclones finished 2-1 on the foreign tour with the lone loss coming to the Venezuelan National Team last Wednesday.

After the 82-77 loss, Iowa State center Jameel McKay sent out four tweets in a 15-minute span, voicing his frustration with the team’s performance. Travis Hines, of the Ames Tribune, had taken screenshots of the tweets, which are still up on McKay’s account, and on Friday, Hines asked Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm and point guard Monte Morris about their interpretations of the tweets. According to Hines, Prohm had not seen the tweets, but was expecting “great things” from McKay this season.

Morris seemed to have a better understanding of his roommates’ tweets.

“I think he just tweets sometimes for no reason,” Morris told the Ames Tribune.

To add context to the string of tweets, the mini-rant came after a disappointing outcome in Iowa State’s first game of the trip. The Cyclones had jumped out to a 20-2 lead, but the Venezuelan team would take control, thanks to 64 percent shooting in the second half. The Cyclones entered the contest shorthanded with only six scholarship players, nine in all. It was only made worse when Georges Niang, Hallice Cooke and Morris all fouled out. 

For the remainder of the trip, McKay’s tweets had a positive tone, even replying to a fan, “Thanks but Win is more important” after he congratulated McKay on a 25-point performance. While Prohm and Morris are right to downplay Wednesday’s tweets, it serves as a reminder of the significance each 140-character message can have.

The 6-foot-9 McKay averaged 16.0 points and 10.0 boards during the trip.

Offensive discipline will be key for No. 13 Iowa State next week – and beyond

Iowa State wins another Big 12 tourney crown (Getty Images)
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source: Getty Images
Iowa State wins another Big 12 tourney crown (Getty Images)

Saturday night No. 13 Iowa State won its second consecutive Big 12 tournament title, beating No. 9 Kansas 70-66, but for the second time in three games the Cyclones needed a second-half surge to earn the victory.

Thursday night, Iowa State turned in one of its poorer halves of the season in their quarterfinal matchup against Texas. The Cyclones struggled with ball and player movement on the offensive end of the floor for much of the first half, with a late run making the halftime deficit a more manageable nine points.

Of course the Cyclones managed to come back, winning by two on a Monté Morris jumper in the final seconds, but Fred Hoiberg’s team was “playing with fire” in falling behind by as much as they did. Iowa State had the same problem in the first half against the Jayhawks, as they were far too stagnant offensively and the lack of ball and player movement had a significant impact on their productivity.

The Cyclones shot 10-for-29 from the field (1-for-11 3PT), and they trailed by 14 despite scoring 16 points in the paint. That turned around in the second half, as Iowa State shot 16-for-31 from the field and scored 31 points in the paint. Given the number of shooters they have on the floor, there are times when Iowa State falls in love with the perimeter shot and essentially bails out the defense.

That didn’t occur in the second half Saturday, and the result was Iowa State being able to take advantage of a Kansas front court that is without Cliff Alexander and despite his playing Perry Ellis doesn’t look to be 100 percent either. Morris (11 points, six assists) and Niang (19 points, five rebounds) combined to score 20 points in the second half, and players such as Jameel McKay (11 points, eight points), Abdel Nader (13 points) and Bryce Dejean-Jones (seven points) stepped forward as well.

Add in the fact that they were able to limit the Jayhawks to 26.3 percent shooting, and the reasons for Iowa State’s comeback aren’t difficult to pinpoint.

There’s no denying that Iowa State can be a team capable of making a run to the Final Four, and that appeared to be the case last season before Niang broke his foot in their NCAA tournament opener. But their “ceiling” will be determined by how consistent this group is in its approach. When Iowa State is disciplined offensively and uses proper spacing to attack defenses, they are incredibly tough to stop. And when that doesn’t occur, Iowa State essentially defends itself with the opposition needing to do little more than remain in front of them.

Iowa State’s offensive approach in the second half of Saturday’s game resulted in their winning another Big 12 tournament title. And they’ll need to stick to the principles that make them so difficult to slow down for longer stretches if they’re to play deep into the NCAA tournament. They’re certainly capable; the only question is whether or not they choose to do so.

Three-point barrage leads to No. 19 Baylor’s first-ever win at Iowa State

Taurean Waller-Prince, Getty Images
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While Scott Drew’s 19th-ranked Baylor Bears entered Wednesday’s game at No. 12 Iowa State ranked eighth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage, shooting 43.2% from the field, they ranked among the league’s best in three-point shooting. Baylor was ranked second in the conference in three-point shooting, and it was their ability to shoot from beyond the arc that led to the Bears picking up their first-ever win at Iowa State.

Baylor shot 14-for-26 from beyond the arc, outscoring the Cyclones 42-18 from three, going on to win by the final score of 79-70. And the Bears were at their best from three during a second-half stretch in which they went on an 18-4 run that turned an eight-point deficit (62-54) into a six-point lead (72-66) with 4:43 remaining.

All 18 of Baylor’s points during that run were scored on three-pointers, and the Bears missed just one shot during the run (which was rebounded by Johnathan Motley and led to a three-pointer). In multiple games this season Iowa State’s excellence on the offensive end has helped them take over games, but on Wednesday it was Baylor’s offense that proved to be the deciding factor.

Taurean Prince scored 20 points off the bench to lead the way for Baylor, which finished the game with five double-digit scorers. And for a team that’s had issues with its overall shooting, Wednesday’s performance is a solid follow-up to the 48.2% they shot in the blowout win over Kansas State on Saturday. On seven different occasions in conference play Baylor has shot below 40 percent from the field, but this is a group capable of performing better in that area provided they exercise solid shot selection.

Baylor did a better job of that throughout Wednesday’s game, and it paid off in the end.

Defensively the Bears were able to keep Georges Niang in check, as he shot 4-for-12 from the field. Also of note was Iowa State’s cold perimeter shooting, as they shot 6-for-24 from three, and that falls in line with what the Cyclones have done in the majority of their losses this season.

Iowa State can get scoring from a number of players, and against Baylor Jameel McKay converted multiple opportunities around the basket on his way to 21 points, but the disparity in three-point shooting was too much to overcome. Kansas remains in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 with three games remaining as a result of this game, and Baylor adds another solid road win to its resume to go along with their win at West Virginia.