AMES, Iowa (AP) — There were times this season when senior Jameel McKay looked like Iowa State's best player.
Now suspended in addition to being injured, the center has become a liability for the 13th-ranked Cyclones.
McKay didn't travel with ISU (16-6, 5-4 Big 12) for Saturday's game at Oklahoma State (11-11, 2-7), and the team confirmed Friday he had been suspended indefinitely. He had been playing through tendinitis in his left knee for weeks, and it's not a coincidence that he has been struggling. McKay is averaging 12.4 points a game, but he failed to score more than nine in each of the past six.
"We need Jameel to be at the top of his game for us to max out," coach Steve Prohm said prior to the suspension.
Though McKay's knee issue is likely to improve soon, the suspension has come at a time when the Cyclones are fighting to keep pace in the conference.
Iowa State won four straight Big 12 games to jump back into the race before losing at No. 8 Texas A&M and to West Virginia at home. The Cyclones have occasionally lost focus and been quiet on the boards.
Few have written off Iowa State, given that they've already beaten Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas. But the Cyclones know they can't lean on McKay's struggles as an excuse with so much of the season left.