K-State Sports Extra: Pullen the Explorer

by Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Jacob Pullen said, "I explored enough to understand what I need to know and what I need to work on to be a lottery pick next year."

This past April, the Kansas State junior guard petitioned to a group of National Basketball Association general managers as to his status in the upcoming June draft.

"They said they wanted to see me with the ball in my hands. They know I can score with the best of them, and they know that I can defend," said the 6-foot-0 guard. "They just said they wanted to see me make decisions and make plays for my teammates. With the front-court we have coming back, I think that can happen."

Pullen said a collection of 15 GM's predicted that he would perhaps go in the second round of this year's draft had he come out early, but there was also a chance that he would go undrafted.

"The decision was easy for me. Honestly, I just wanted to know what they wanted and what they were seeing in me," Pullen said. "So many of these young guys coming out just want to see their name go across the bottom of the screen on ESPN and pretend that they are a good player. Several of those guys coming out have no chance."

Earning all-American honors this past year, Pullen led the Wildcats in eight categories, which included a 19.3 scoring average, 37 double-figure scoring games, 16 games of at least 20 points, plus was high in 3-point field goals, free throws and steals.

The Chicago native is just one of four players in K-State history to top 700 points in a single season, and, he has the opportunity to top Mike Evans' all-time Wildcat scoring mark with a similar season as his junior year.

Only Evans, Bob Boozer and Pullen have topped the 1,500-point mark in K-State history. He ranks in the Top 5 in seven other career categories, which includes first in 3-point field goals attempted (634), second in steals (161), third in 3-point field goals (225), assists (340) and free throws made (357) and fifth in minutes played (2,966).

On being a 2011 NBA lottery selection, Pullen, a first-team All-Big 12 performer and member of the All-Defensive Team, said, "I think that's realistic. With the team that we have, and the bigs that we have coming back, if I can show that I can get them the ball we can be a Big 12 champion and get to the Final Four. I think I can show that I can control the team and can earn my way into being a lottery pick."