Pullen, McGruder Named to Coaches' All-Big 12 Teams

Senior Jacob Pullen was one of two players to earn unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 first team.

March 6, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Jacob Pullen became the school’s first two-time All-Big 12 first team selection, while sophomore Rodney McGruder was chosen to the third team, as the league office announced its annual coaches’ postseason awards on Sunday.


Pullen, along with Colorado’s Alec Burks, were the league’s only unanimous selections to the all-conference team, while he was the lone repeat choice on the first team from last season.  He is the first Wildcat to repeat first team honors since Norris Coleman made it on the All-Big Eight team in 1986 and 1987.  He is just the 17th player in school history to earn first team honors more than once in a career dating back to Missouri Valley Conference play in 1915.  Pullen also earned first team accolades from several other media outlets, including the Kansas City Star and Yahoo! Sports.  He was also selected to the six-man Coaches’ All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season.  He was chosen the Defensive Player of the Year by Yahoo! Sports.


Just the school’s second 2,000-point scorer, Pullen led the team in 11 categories, including scoring (19.6 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (26), 20-point games (15), free throws (152), assists (101), steals (46) and minutes played (32.3).  He connected on 42.1 percent (166-of-394) from the field, including 37.6 percent (64-of-170) from 3-point range, to go with a 77.2 percent clip (152-of-197) from the free throw line.  He was even better in Big 12 play, averaging a league-best 21.4 points on 41.6 percent (99-of-238) from the field, including 40.2 percent (39-of-97) from 3-point range, with 3.4 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 34.2 minutes per game.  He ranks in Top 5 of 17 career school records, including marks for games played (131), double-digit scoring games (102), 3-point field goals (289), 3-point field goals attempted (804) and steals (207).


McGruder, who led the team in 3-point field goals, earned all-league honors for the first time in his career after his selection to the third team.  The only player to start all 31 games, he averaged 11.4 points on 45.1 percent shooting (124-of-275), including 41.5 percent (66-of-159) from 3-point range, to go with a team-best 6.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 30.5 minutes per game.  He scored in double figures in 21 games, including three 20-point games.  He was also named to the third team by the Kansas City Star and Yahoo! Sports.


League champion Kansas earned the Player (Marcus Morris) and Coach (Bill Self) of the Year honors, while Texas’ Dogus Balbay and Tristan Thompson were named the Defensive Player and Freshman of the Year winners.  Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliffe was the Newcomer of the Year and Baylor’s Quincy Acy and Colorado’s Levi Knutson tied for the league’s Sixth Man Award.


K-State ended the regular season with a 22-9 overall record and a 10-6 mark in Big 12 play, which includes a tie for third place in the league standings and the No. 4 seed in next week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center.  The Wildcats are one of only two teams to earn a bye in the league tournament for five consecutive seasons.  They will play the winner of the contest between No. 5 seed Colorado (19-12) and No. 12 seed Iowa State (16-15) on Thursday at 2 p.m. CT.