NOTEBOOK: McKay’s status in doubt for Saturday

AMES — How bad is Iowa State big man Jameel McKay’s left knee?

 Bad enough, apparently, to prevent him from playing in the final 10 minutes of his No. 14 team’s rollicking 85-72 win over No. 4 Kansas Monday at Hilton Coliseum.

 “It’s just a little irritation,” said McKay, who scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot in 27 minutes. “But I mean it is what it is. It’s just something I’ve got to get over. I don’t know how. I’ve got to start thinking about myself, personally, so I don’t know how much more I’ve got in me. It’s just a struggle right now. My knee ain’t right.”

 What does that mean going forward? McKay was somewhat cryptic in his response to that type of question.

 “I’m going to keep going,” McKay said. “Well just see how far this goes.”

 McKay called the lingering injury frustrating, but was pleased his teammates were able to outscore the Jayhawks 30-15 down the stretch to beat them for the fourth time in the past five meetings. 

 “It’s no doubt that this is a good team with our without me, in my eyes,” McKay said. “I expected them to win. They actually took the lead once I got out, so good for them. Hopefully they can keep that momentum up.”

 McKay’s averaging 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds this season. Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said he wasn’t sure what McKay’s status would be for Saturday’s 1 p.m. Big 12/SEC Challenge game at No. 5 Texas A&M.

 “I don’t really know until I talk to him and (athletic trainer) Vic (Miller),” Prohm said.

 ETC.: In Bill Self’s 13-plus seasons at Kansas he had never dropped four of five games in a series to any team — until Monday. The Cyclones are 4-1 against the Jayhawks in recent meetings, including two straight wins in the Big 12 Tournament. … Georges Niang moved into fourth all-time on ISU’s scoring chart, passing Victor Alexander. Niang’s scored 1,895 points. Alexander scored 1,892 before embarking on a lengthy NBA career. … Abdel Nader shined on both ends of the floor, scoring 17 points and poking away four steals. He passed 1,000 career points Monday and now sits at 1,013. … The Cyclones improved to 14-0 in games in which they hold opponents under 80 points. … ISU has shot 50 percent or better in five of its eight Big 12 games this season. The Cyclones shot 64 percent in the second half Monday while outscoring Kansas 49-29.


Rob Gray


Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.