Oct. 14, 2010
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Senior Jacob Pullen became the first K-State player in the Big 12 era to be named the league's Preseason Player of the Year, as the conference office announced its preseason accolades on Thursday.
In addition to the preseason Player of the Year announcement, the league also announced Missouri junior Ricardo Ratliffe as Newcomer of the Year and Kansas rookie Josh Selby as Freshman of the Year.
Pullen, the lone first team All-Big 12 selection returning from 2009-10, was also selected unanimously to the preseason all-conference squad, along with Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn. The two were joined on the team by K-State senior Curtis Kelly, Colorado senior Cory Higgins and Kansas junior Marcus Morris. It marks not only the first time two Wildcats have been named to the preseason all-conference squad, but just the second time that a Wildcat student-athlete (Manny Dies, 1998-99) has been selected to the preseason team. In addition to Pullen and Kelly, junior Jamar Samuels was one of 11 players to receive honorable mention recognition.
Players honored in the preseason voting were selected by the league head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.
Pullen has been named a preseason All-American by a number of outlets, including to the first team by Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News, to the second team by Dick Vitale and to the third team by Athlon Sports. He was also recently selected a preseason Top 50 candidate for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation's top player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
A year ago, Pullen led the Wildcats in scoring at 19.3 points per game, while setting school single-season marks for 3-point field goals (110) and steals (67). He has a chance at becoming the school's all-time leader in a number of categories, including scoring, 3-point field goals, steals, assists and free throws.
Kelly led the team in field goal percentage, rebounding and blocked shot as a junior, while averaging 11.5 points per game. He was one of three players to set the school's single-season record for games played (37) and started (37), while also setting the single-season mark with 74 blocked shots. Samuels was the winner of the Big 12 Sixth Man Award, averaging 11 points on 53.9 percent shooting as a sophomore.
K-State will officially tip off the start of basketball season on Friday by hosting "Madness in Manhattan" at Bramlage Coliseum. The event, which is open to the general public, starts at 7 p.m. CT with doors to the arena opening at 6:30 p.m. CT. Segments of the event will be broadcast on ESPNU as part of its Midnight Madness coverage from 8 p.m. to midnight CT.