Our Iowa State men’s basketball player preview this week is the new beast in the middle, Jameel McKay.
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McKay comes to Iowa State from Indian Hills Community College by way of Marquette University. During his two years at IHCC he averaged 16.2 ppg and 8.9 rpg while leading the team to a 59-8 record. He was ranked as the third-best JUCO player when he transferred to Marquette, where he did not play a game before transferring one more time to become a Cyclone.
Because of NCAA transfer rules, McKay will be eligible to play his first game on Dec. 20 against Drake.
When he is able to take the court, McKay will become the enforcer that Iowa State has not had in years. At 6-foot-9 and with a wingspan of 86 inches, he stands to swat many a shot into the stands of Hilton Coliseum. For reference, McKay’s wingspan is two inches longer than shot-blocking great Kelvin Cato and only three inches shorter than the NBA’s block leader Anthony Davis. Both of those players stand taller than McKay, so the fact that he eclipses one and almost the other in terms of arm length has fans salivating over his debut.
Big things are expected from McKay, and there is every reason to believe he’ll fulfill them as the man who will wear number 1 for the cardinal and gold.
It’s hard to say if McKay is a starter once he becomes eligible; Dustin Hogue will man the center position like last year to begin the season and is coming off his massive game against UConn during the NCAA tournament. He also plays great defense for only standing 6-foot-6 and rebounds exceedingly well thanks to his energy level.
Honestly I could see both of them starting after some time has passed with McKay at the 5, Hogue at the 4, and Georges Niang moved over to the 3 position on the wing.
He’ll be hard-pressed once he starts as he’ll be the man most responsible for containing Kansas’ Cliff Alexander and Texas’ Myles Turner, both top-five recruits joining the Big 12 this year.
Big things are expected from McKay, and there is every reason to believe he’ll fulfill them as the man who will wear number 1 for the cardinal and gold. Join us for more previews as count down to the opening exhibition game against Viterbo on November 7th.