Pullen To Return For Senior Season
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Junior guard Jacob Pullen will return for his senior season in 2010-11 after exploring his professional opportunities, head coach Frank Martin announced on Sunday night.
Pullen had until Sunday to decide whether he would enter the 2010 NBA Draft as an underclassman. With his return in the 2010-11 season as well as those of fellow rising senior starters, Curtis Kelly and Dominique Sutton, K-State should once again challenge for the Big 12 title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. In all, the Wildcats will return 10 lettermen, including Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year Jamar Samuels, while they will welcome four newcomers (Freddy Asprilla, Juevol Myles, Shane Southwell and Will Spradling).
A multiple All-American his junior season, Pullen paced the Wildcats in eight categories, including scoring (19.3 ppg.), double-figure scoring (37), 20-point games (16), 3-point field goals (110), free throws (203) and steals (67). One of just four players in school history to top 700 points in a single season, he finished the past season in the Top 10 in seven single-season categories, including setting school records for double-digit scoring games (37) and 3-point field goals (110). He was named a third team All-American by The Sporting News, to the Lute Olson All-America team by CollegeInsider.com and an honorable mention pick by The Associated Press. He was also a consensus first team All-Big 12 selection, while he was selected to both the NCAA West Regional and Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship All-Tournament teams. He was also named to the league's six-man All-Defensive Team.
Pullen helped K-State to one of its greatest season ever in 2009-10, as he guided the squad to a school-record 29-8 overall record and their first trip to the Elite Eight in 22 years. The team concluded the year with their first Top 10 ranking since 1973 when the Wildcats finished No. 7 in both major polls. K-State finished in a tie for second place in Big 12 play with an 11-5 mark and was the runner-up at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The 29 wins shattered the previous school-record of 25 set by the 1950-51, 1958-59 and 1987-88 squads, while the 11 league victories and second-place finish were the highest of the Big 12 era and the highest since the 1987-88 season.
Pullen will enter his senior campaign ranking in Top 10 in 11 career categories, including seventh on the school's all-time scoring chart with 1,506 points. He is just the third player in school history to top 1,500 points (Bob Boozer and Mike Evans) in his first three seasons. He ranks in the Top 5 in seven other categories, including 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) and double-digit scoring (76).