Tag: Steve Prohm

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

No. 13 Iowa State suspends Jameel McKay indefinitely

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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.

No. 14 West Virginia rebounds, wins at No. 13 Iowa State

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Saturday afternoon No. 14 West Virginia put forth its worst showing of the season, losing 88-71 at Florida in a game that wasn’t all that close, and things seemed to be headed in that direction Tuesday night at No. 13 Iowa State. The Cyclones led by 15 just over ten minutes into the first half, and with point guard Monte Morris having little trouble dealing with the West Virginia press Steve Prohm’s team appeared poised to strengthen its grip on the game.

But the Mountaineers got going, with Devin Williams dominating the boards and Jaysean Paige providing some much-needed scoring off the bench, ultimately winning 81-76 at Hilton Coliseum.

Williams was outstanding in the paint for West Virginia, which once again played without the suspended Jonathan Holton, racking up 17 points and 18 rebounds (six offensive). As a team the Mountaineers rebounded 48.6 percent of their available missed shots, converting 17 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. Those extra opportunities helped West Virginia make up for its lack of perimeter shooting against a team that shot 11-for-22 from three.

Offensive rebounding is a key area for Bob Huggins’ team given their shooting issues, and against an Iowa State team that lacks depth especially in the post, they were able to take advantage.

The other key for West Virginia was the play of Paige, who has emerged as one of the top sixth men in the country. After averaging 5.6 points in just over 13 minutes of action per game as a freshman, Paige has emerged as the Mountaineers’ leading scorer (13.6 ppg before Tuesday’s game). Against Iowa State he gave the Mountaineers a much-needed spark offensively, scoring a game-high 23 points with ten coming in the first half to help trim that 15-point deficit to four by halftime.

With the graduation of Juwan Staten, West Virginia was in need of someone stepping forward into the role of shot maker. They’re balanced offensively when it comes to the averages, with four players averaging double figures and Holton not far off at 9.7 ppg. But as the season’s progressed it’s become clear that Paige is the players best equipped to take (and make) key shots at key points in games.

Picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 preseason poll, West Virginia hits the halfway point tied with No. 1 Oklahoma atop the conference standings. Just a couple days after getting out-toughed at Florida, West Virginia offered up a much better response to early adversity at Iowa State, and they remain atop the Big 12 as a result.

Cousins comes up big as No. 3 Oklahoma remains undefeated

Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins, left, goes up to shoot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
Associated Press
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While it was tempting for some to look ahead to Monday’s meeting between Oklahoma and Kansas, the third-ranked Sooners had some important business to take care of before going to Lawrence with No. 11 Iowa State in town. And after looking off-balance offensively in the first half the Sooners performed much better in the second half, taking better shots and getting some timely scoring from guard Isaiah Cousins.

Cousins scored all 15 of his points in the second half, including two huge three-pointers down the stretch, to help lead No. 3 Oklahoma to an 87-83 win over the Cyclones. Lon Kruger’s team remains one of three remaining undefeated teams in college basketball, and their game at Kansas should be a matchup of the nation’s two highest-ranked teams.

The difference for Oklahoma was the caliber of perimeter looks they got against the Iowa State defense. In the first half many of those looks were rushed, as Oklahoma played with an impatience they hadn’t shown much of in prior games. Instead of using their dribble penetration and passing to create quality looks the Sooners took the first available shot on many occasions, resulting in their shooting 3-for-16 from three in the first half. That changed in the second half, with Oklahoma calming down and making eight of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Oklahoma did leave some points on the board in the form of missed layups but they still averaged nearly 1.4 points per possession in the second half, and they did this with Buddy Hield (22 points) scoring eight points on 2-for-9 shooting.

There were definitely positives for Iowa State to take from the game, including Georges Niang scoring a game-high 29 points and Deonte Burton adding 19 and five rebounds off the bench. Niang’s a Big 12 and national Player of the Year candidate; what he brings to the court is well-known by now. But Burton’s going to be a key player for an Iowa State team that is looking to get by with a seven-man rotation.

Burton scored both inside and out against Oklahoma, and his ability to defend multiple positions makes him a player capable of filling multiple roles for Steve Prohm’s team. That versatility is one way Iowa State can account for their shallow bench, and it will have to be that way if they’re to contend both in the Big 12 and nationally as the season wears on.

For as well as Burton played in the second half Cousins was slightly better, rebounding from a 2-for-11 night in Oklahoma’s win over Harvard Christmas night. Oklahoma’s guards collectively rate among the best in the country, and when one’s struggling the others can step forward. With Hield’s shot being off in the second half Cousins got going, ensuring that the Sooners would make the trip to Kansas without a blemish on their record.