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EVANS SALUTES PULLEN

Also See: Currie Honored by SportsBusiness Journal

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - There will be a day that at least the jerseys - the No. 0 of Jacob Pullen and the No. 12 of Mike Evans - will be introduced in the rafters of Bramlage Coliseum.

Evans' jersey was retired in 2006, and in the years to come, Pullen's uniform number will join the most elite roll call of Ernie Barrett, Dick Knostman, Jack Parr, Bob Boozer, Willie Murrell, Lon Kruger, Chuckie Williams, Rolando Blackman and Mitch Richmond.

"I don't know much about him, but I'm happy for him. If he can do it, more power to him," said Evans several days prior to Pullen breaking his all-time scoring record at K-State this past Saturday in the NCAA Tournament. "It probably would have been (Michael) Beasley had he stayed in school. Tell Jacob that I'm happy for him."

A member of K-State's All-Century team, Evans scored 2,115 points in 117 games from the 1974-75 season through the 1977-78 campaign. His playing days were before career steals and assists were kept, and yes, prior to the 3-point line.

"I think that makes it all the more amazing that it (the scoring record) stood for this long," said Evans, a native of Goldsboro High School in North Carolina, who arrived at K-State after a year at Laurinburg Institute Prep School. "I don't have any hard feelings at all that the rules are different these days. It's just a different game today."

Former coach Jack Hartman once said of Evans, "Mike was a great, great shooter ... one of the best we've ever had. If we had the 3-point shot, he would have a record that would never be broken."

Evans demonstrated early that he was going to be a scorer hitting 14-of-18 from the field in his debut game as a Wildcat freshman when he netted 30 points against Montana State.

COMPARING CAREERS: Evans averaged 17.0, 17.9, 18.3 and 19.1 for a career scoring average of 18.1 in his years when K-State won a total of 82 games, which included a Big Eight Championship in 1977. The Wildcats went to two NCAA tourneys and one NIT winning a total of three NCAA games. K-State also defeated Kansas six times during the Evans years.

By comparison, Pullen's four years at K-State included averages of 9.7, 13.9, 19.3 and 20.2 for a career average of 15.8. In his four seasons, the Wildcats won 95 games, with three NCAA appearances and one in the NIT. With Pullen, K-State won six postseason games, and twice defeated Kansas.

Twice Evans won Big Eight Player of the Year honors, joining only Lon Kruger as a two-time recipient, was first-team All-Big Eight three times, joining only Bob Boozer and Rolando Blackman, and was a third-team All-American in his senior season.

The 6-foot-1 guard was taken by the Denver Nuggets as the 21st selection in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft. He would have a nine-year career with four teams - San Antonio, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Denver - scoring 4,531 points in a 591-game NBA career.

Twice Evans ranked third in the NBA in 3-pointers made, and in 1983-84 his .360 percent accuracy ranked second.

Pullen, who does not appear on most NBA draft boards, earned at least honorable mention All-America honors twice, plus was a first-team All-Big 12 performer and two-time member of the Big 12's All-Defensive team. Pullen stands as the only player in K-State history to score at least 1,800 points, with 300 rebounds, 200 steals and 400 assists.

For fans of Evans, he accomplished his number of 2,115 points in just 117 games, while Pullen played 135 games for his 2,132 points. BUT, in those games Evans shot the ball 1,800 times (15.4 per game), to Pullen's 1,600 career shots (11.8 per game).

While Evans was a career 49 percent marksman, Pullen shot at a 41 percent clip for his career. When Pullen hit the 117-game mark, his career point total was 1,732, or 383 shy of Evans.

Cracking a laugh, Evans said of the difference in number of games, "Keep pointing that out."

EVANS TODAY: One has to go to the far, far northeast to find Evans today as he is serving as head coach in Nova Scotia of the Halifax Rainmen in the Premier Basketball League.

"I wasn't doing anything in the NBA, so this was a way to sharpen my skills as a coach," said Evans of his current league where eight- to 10-hour bus rides are the norm. "It's an opportunity to help young people achieve their dreams."

Evans compared the play to the lower level of the NBA D-League.

"It's a league for players out of college who still have a dream of getting to a higher level," said Evans who had a brief stint as interim coach of the Nuggets in 2001-02, and has served as an assistant with the franchises in Denver and Toronto. "We're a minor league for players looking to go to Europe, or even have a tryout in the NBA.

"This can be very rewarding when all of a sudden guys 'get it'," said the 55-year-old Evans. "When they hear your voice and then take it to the floor and the light goes on ... that makes it all worth it."

Of his new home, Evans said, "They call it the ocean playground of Canada. It snows, but then there are the warm winds off the Atlantic so the snow never sticks around very long. They are the nicest people you would ever want to meet and they've embraced the team."

The Rainmen are 8-9 with three games remaining, which has them in fifth place in the seven-team league, but only one-half game out of fourth and 1.5 out of third.

Evans says he definitely wants to get back into coaching in the NBA, but adds, "You can't sit around doing nothing waiting for that to happen."

COACH EVANS JR. - Mike Evans Jr. is serving as his dad's assistant coach in charge of player development after a playing career at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Community College where he played for current K-State assistant Brad Underwood, and then Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania through last season.

The younger Evans set Slippery Rock and conference records of eight 3-pointers in a single game, plus was a career twin-figure scorer.

Asked if his dad tells him of his heroics as a Wildcat, the 23-year-old Evans said, "No, he's real modest about it. He lets other people tell me how good he was."


We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com. For those who would like to share Sports Extra with a friend or family member, or change your current email address, click here.