As if the task wasn’t daunting enough, Iowa State will now take the floor in Iowa City minus its No. 2 scorer and without much time for adjustment.
That was ultimately Fred Hoiberg’s decision Thursday after senior transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones was arrested at 3 a.m and charged with hosting a drug house (marijuana), nuisance party regulations and a noise violation. A Story County judge ultimately ruled there was no probable cause for the drug house charge, but the other two charges — both simple misdemeanors — remain in effect.
After conversation with numerous people — including athletic department officials and Dejean-Jones — Hoiberg made the decision to suspend the guard for Friday’s game against in-state rival Iowa.
“It’s not a code of conduct issue with Iowa State University, it’s a decision I’ve come to based on the numerous conversations I’ve had,” Hoiberg told a large media crowd. “This ultimately is my decision.”
The hectic, back-and-forth day began when police were called to Dejean-Jones’ apartment in the early hours of Thursday morning on a noise complaint. Police had been called to Dejean-Jones’ apartment “at least five times” this semester according to Ames Police Commander Geoff Huff and had at one point met with Dejean-Jones, Iowa State coaches and residents to address the situation.
Upon the arrival of police, Dejean-Jones answered the door and police noticed the smell of burnt marijuana, according to records. Police obtained a search warrant and inside found a small gathering of 3-4 people along with a small amount marijuana. Dejean-Jones was arrested for allowing the use of marijuana in his apartment.
Dejean-Jones was released later in the day Thursday, and the hosting a drug house charge — a serious misdemeanor — was later dropped.
“We talk to all of our guys a lot about all of the different responsibilities there are to being an athlete at a major university,” Hoiberg said. “So that’s the conclusion we’ve come to [is to suspend him].”
Iowa State will now head east without a player who has averaged 17.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his debut season for the Cyclones.
Matt Thomas is a strong candidate to replace Dejean-Jones in the lineup, and the Cyclones could also opt for big man Daniel Edozie. Hoiberg said the team played with multiple possibilities Thursday, but the decision on who will fill the lineup void will ultimately be a gametime one.
“It’s unfortunate, but we have a game to get ready for,” forward Georges Niang said. “We’ve got a lot of good guys 1-10, so it is what it is. We’re just focusing on Iowa. Right now we’ll still have five players on the floor, they’ll still have five players on the floor. It doesn’t really change what we’re going to do.”