K-State Proud of Continued Athletic and Academic Achievements

All-American Jacob Pullen will earn his K-State degree in May

March 17, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Heading into this weekend's NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Championships, Kansas State can stake claim to an achievement that just 13 other schools in the nation and only one other in the Big 12 have also accomplished this academic year -- the Wildcats are among an elite group whose football team played in a bowl and both basketball teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

K-State also places an emphasis on academic achievement in all of its athletics teams, including its basketball programs, and continues to make tremendous progress with the support of a tremendous campus environment and commitment to success of our support staff in the Academic Learning Center. That academic commitment is evidenced by K-State’s string of four straight years with the No. 1 all-sports graduation rate in the Big 12.

Fans may have read a story in this morning's USA Today regarding men’s basketball APR scores and a proposal by the U.S. Secretary of Education that basketball teams with an APR below 925 be barred from participating in the NCAA Tournament.
 
The progress and emphasis Coach Martin and his staff have placed on academic achievement at Kansas State is well-documented. Under his leadership the past four years, the men’s basketball APR scores have increased dramatically as evidenced by its current multi-year rate of 937 for 2009-10 and current and previous one-year scores of 959 and 958. Curtis Kelly has already completed his undergraduate degree and fellow senior Jacob Pullen will graduate in May, while all but one senior to play under Martin's tutelage has graduated. The data used in the USA Today story was not current and reflects a four-year average though the 2008-2009 year.

Speaking of academic excellence, K-State has four seniors on this year’s men's and women's teams. As mentioned, Curtis has already earned his degree and the other three, Shalin Spani, Kelsey Hill and Jacob, are all scheduled to graduate on-time in May.
 
And, heading into Sunday's NCAA matchup with Purdue, Coach Patterson and the women's team are coming off one of the most memorable seasons in recent history. Despite being picked ninth in the preseason Big 12 poll in 2010-11, the Wildcats finished tied for third place in the Big 12 standings and reached the 20-win mark in a season for the eighth time under Coach Patterson. K-State also ranked 24th nationally in attendance this season, while becoming just the 13th program in NCAA Women's basketball history to reach 800 wins and Patterson recording her 300th win as head coach during the Big 12 Championship.
 
The K-State men tip off NCAA Second Round play tonight on TruTV at 8:57 p.m. CDT against Utah State, while the women square off against Purdue at 1:35 p.m. CT Sunday on ESPN2.