April 27, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Jacob Pullen captured three awards, including the Rolando Blackman Team Most Valuable Player trophy, to highlight festivities at the annual Kansas State men’s basketball banquet held Wednesday night on the floor of Bramlage Coliseum.
Pullen swept all three major awards for the second consecutive year, adding the Jack Hartman Defensive Player Award as well as the Tex Winter Outstanding Offensive Player Award to his MVP trophy. The school’s all-time leader in a number of categories, including scoring, 3-point field goals and games played, Pullen led the Wildcats in 14 categories in 2010-11 en route to earning first team All-Big 12 and third team All-America accolades. He shared the MVP award with Denis Clemente a season ago, while he won the Offensive and Defensive Player trophies outright in 2009-10. He is the second player to be a repeat winner in each category.
Junior Victor Ojeleye and freshman Will Spradling each won two awards on the night, while sophomore Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, senior Curtis Kelly, sophomore Rodney McGruder, freshman Alex Potuzak and junior Jamar Samuels each captured one apiece.
Ojeleye was named the winner of the Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player, which is named in honor of the longtime K-State athletic trainer, while he shared the Keith Amerson Academic Award for the second consecutive year with Potuzak. A team captain as a junior, Ojeleye saw action in 24 games and earned first team Academic All-Big 12 honors for the second season in a row. A walk-on from nearby Clyde, Kan., Potuzak appeared in 10 games as a true freshman and maintained a near perfect 4.0 GPA with a civil engineering major.
Spradling was chosen the recipient of the Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year as well as the Ernie Barrett Hustle Award. A true freshman from Overland Park, Kan., he was one of three players to play in all 34 contests, including six starts. The first freshman to play in all games in a season since Michael Beasley in 2007-08, Spradling finished second on the team in assists (63) and steals (28) and third in 3-point field goals (40). He also led the squad with 21 charges taken. The Newcomer of the Year award is given in honor of Harris, a talented freshman from East St. Louis, Ill., who tragically died in 1974, while the Hustle Award is named for former All-American Barrett.
Kelly and McGruder were announced as co-winners of the Mitch Richmond Mr. Basketball award. One of the top transfers in school history, Kelly ranked second on the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg.) and third in scoring (10.5 ppg.). He leaves K-State ranking third in career blocked shots (107) and fifth in field goal percentage (55.1). A third team All-Big 12 pick, McGruder placed second behind Pullen in scoring (11.1 ppg.) and double-digit scoring contests (23), while he tied for the shortest player in school history to lead the team in rebounding (5.9 rpg.). He was the only Wildcat to start all 34 games in 2010-11.
Samuels was named the second recipient of the “Never Broken” Award given by the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Riley. The team has had a relationship with the unit for the past four seasons, sharing experiences both on campus and on base. Samuels ranked third on the squad in rebounding (5.4 rpg.) and fourth in scoring (8.5 ppg.) and assists (1.5 apg.).
Henriquez-Roberts was selected the winner of the first Ed Nealy Most Improved Player Award, which goes to the player who makes the most improvement from one season to the next. One of only three players to play in all 34 games, Henriquez-Roberts averaged 3.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game as a sophomore after averaging 2.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game as a true freshman. He led the squad with 43 blocked shots. The award is named in honor of the two-time World Champion with the Chicago Bulls, who remains the only player in school history to compile 1,000 career points and rebounds.
K-State posted a 23-11 overall record in 2010-11, including a tie for third place in the Big 12 standings with a 10-6 mark, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons. It was the school’s unprecedented fifth consecutive 20-win season and fifth straight appearance in the postseason. The Wildcats finished in the Top 25 of both polls for the second year in a row, ranking 21st in the final Associated Press Poll, which was released prior to the NCAA Tournament, and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
The 95 wins under Frank Martin are the most for a head coach in his first four seasons and the most-ever in a four-year span in school history. The three NCAA Tournament appearances in a four-year span are the most since the squad went to four consecutive tournaments from 1986-90.
2010-11 Kansas State Basketball Team Awards:
Rolando Blackman Team Most Valuable Player: Jacob Pullen
Mitch Richmond Mr. Basketball Award: Rodney McGruder/Curtis Kelly
Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player Award: Victor Ojeleye
Tex Winter Outstanding Offensive Player Award: Jacob Pullen
Jack Hartman Defensive Player Award: Jacob Pullen
Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year: Will Spradling
The “Never Broken” Award: Jamar Samuels
Ernie Barrett Hustle Award: Will Spradling
Ed Nealy Most Improved Player Award: Jordan Henriquez-Roberts
Keith Amerson Academic Award: Victor Ojeleye/Alex Potuzak