Pullen Named Finalist for John R. Wooden Award

Senior Jacob Pullen was named one of 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award on Monday.

March 14, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Jacob Pullen was named one of 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award on Monday, which is given to the nation’s best men’s basketball player by The Los Angeles Athletic Club.


Pullen is the second Wildcat to become a finalist for the Wooden Award in the last four seasons, following Michael Beasley, who was the runner-up for the trophy in 2008.  He is one of four Big 12 players on the final ballot, which includes Colorado’s Alec Burks, Kansas’ Marcus Morris and Texas’ Jordan Hamilton.  The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which includes the announcement of the men’s and women’s winners as well as the All-American teams, will take place April 8 in The Los Angeles Athletic Club.


Pullen has been named an All-American by two media outlets this season, including the third team by Yahoo! Sports and the fourth team by FOXSports.com.  One of only two unanimous selections to the coaches’ all-conference team, he is the first Wildcat to earn All-Big 12 first team honors twice in a career and the first overall to repeat since Norris Coleman made it on the All-Big Eight team in 1986 and 1987.  He also earned first team accolades from several other media outlets, including the Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Waco Tribune and Yahoo! Sports.  He was also selected to the six-man Coaches’ All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season.  In addition, he was chosen the Big 12 Player of the Year (or MVP) by the Kansas City Star and Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by Yahoo! Sports.


Just the school’s second 2,000-point scorer, Pullen has led the team in 11 categories this season, including scoring (19.5 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (27), 20-point games (15), free throws (155), assists (108), steals (48) and minutes played (32.5).  He has connected on 41.6 percent (172-of-413) from the field, including 37 percent (67-of-181) from 3-point range, to go with a 77.5 percent clip (155-of-200) 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 (132), double-digit scoring games (103), 3-point field goals (292), 3-point field goals attempted (815) and steals (209).


Pullen and the rest of the Wildcats (22-10) will open play in the NCAA Southeast Regional on Thursday when they take on Western Athletic Conference champion Utah State (30-3) at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.  The contest will be televised in its entirety on TruTV beginning at 8:57 p.m. CST.  K-State is making its 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including its third in the last four seasons.