McKay chooses to run with the Cyclones

Jameel McKay wants to run, gun and score a lot of points. That is exactly why he is leaving Marquette for Iowa State at the end of this semester.

Fred Hoiberg notched a major part of his 2014 recruiting class on Monday night when McKay, a 6-foot-8 small forward who attended Indian Hills Community College last season, committed to the Cyclones. 

“It was really important that I go to a school that fits my style this time because coming out of Indian Hills, we were up-tempo,” McKay told “We gave up a lot of points but we also scored a lot of points. It was very important for me to play for a team that will put up points and allow me to play my game.”

And in McKay’s mind, Iowa State gives him a better chance to play that style of ball than Marquette, the school he originally committed to one June 2 of 2012. McKay decided to leave Marquette shortly after practices began this fall.

“It was more about playing style,” McKay said. “It was nothing more and nothing less. It was not the right fit for me.”

McKay, a former JUCO All-American who averaged 17.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last season at Indian Hills, said that he plans on finishing up classes at Marquette this semester and will move to Ames shortly after Christmas. McKay said that in a recent home visit, Hoiberg told him about how he would fit into Iowa State’s system.

“I’m just a mismatch problem for opponents. He will play me to my strengths,” McKay said. “He will allow me to play my game inside and out, sort of like Georges (Niang) and Royce (White), somewhere between there. A lot of isolations that will allow me to create.” 

Iowa State currently does not have an open scholarship for McKay, who will have to pay his own way in this spring semester. According to NCAA transfer rules, McKay will have to sit out a year, making him eligible to play for the Cyclones on Dec. 20 of 2014.

In addition to style of play, McKay mentioned familiarity as a big reason for his commitment to the Cyclones. Being that Iowa State was a part of his initial recruitment, McKay has attended numerous games inside of Hilton Coliseum. He is also the former JUCO teammate of current Cyclone Dustin Hogue.

“Dustin is my boy,” McKay said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him go out and help the team this year. Then next year I’m looking forward to having us both on the floor.”

Lastly, McKay is a fan of Iowa State’s looming roster for the 2014-15 season. DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim are set to graduate after this season but everybody else should be back in the fall of 2014. Iowa State will also add Northern Illinois transfer Abdel Nader (sitting out this season due to transfer rules) and 2014 point guard commit Clayton Custer to the mix. 

“Winning is very important to me,” McKay said. “I feel like I can win there, especially with Coach Hoiberg coaching us. I figure we can be as good as any team in the country.”

Iowa State assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih was McKay’s primary recruiter for Hoiberg’s program. 

McKay is planning on taking an unofficial visit to Iowa State this Sunday when the Cyclones tip off their 2013-14 campaign against UNC-Wilmington. He plans on taking his official visit to Ames on the weekend of Nov. 17, when Iowa State will host Michigan.