Jacob Pullen downplays reported injury

While working out for the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, former Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen fell to the ground in pain and grabbed his right knee, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

What does that mean? At this point it’s hard to say. The extent of Pullen’s injury is not yet known. It could be serious. It could be a bruise.

But for what it’s worth, Pullen took to his Twitter account this afternoon and indicated he was upbeat heading into Thursday’s NBA Draft.

In two separate tweets, he wrote:

– “Don’t believe the hype everything u read and [sic] ain’t right.”

– “I fall a lot and get back up and keep doing my job so this is nothing new no worries.”

Attempts to reach Pullen for further comment have not been successful. Pullen has worked out for 12 NBA teams since graduating from K-State. He is projected as a possible second round pick, but has said he could see himself going higher.

A few summer K-State basketball notes

I spoke with Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin for about 20 minutes earlier today. During that conversation we covered a number of topics, ranging from the similarities he sees between Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea and Wildcats freshman Angel Rodriguez (read all about it in tomorrow’s paper), what he is expecting out of his newest recruits, the promotions on his coaching staff and plenty in between.

I’m planning on passing along all of those tidbits throughout the week right here. Allow me to kick things off now with a few notes.

Feeling Better

Martin is much healthier today than he was last month when he began undergoing treatment for blood clots found in his leg.

“I feel great,” Martin said. “I’m on blood thinners. There are times during the day that makes you feel weird, but I’m good. My doctors are comfortable with my blood and they’re comfortable with the clot. In the back of my mind, I’m always worried. Blood clots are nothing to mess with. So I’m not free and clear. I’m always going to have a concern in the back of my mind, but physically I’m good.”
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Jacob Pullen, Curtis Kelly look back

Before mingling with Kansas State fans and accepting awards at the basketball team’s annual banquet earlier this week, departing seniors Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly spoke with the media about all sorts of different topics.

Both are pursuing professional hoops careers and both have signed with agents. Both are looking forward to moving on to the next level, but said they will also miss college life.

They reminisced on their careers with the Wildcats, and the season that was. They seemed to talk the longest about that lost topic.

Here is what they had to say:

“It was a great run,” Pullen said. “It was a difficult year, but at the same time it was a memorable year. We went though a lot together and we lost some players.

“We really had to find our identity. My other three years being here we found our identity a lot earlier than this year’s team did, but at the same time when we found it I felt like we were one of the best teams in the country.

“When we got hot, we were hard to beat. At the same time, some things happened, we didn’t make plays and it ended very fast and abruptly. So it was a great run. My teammates are great. They call me old now because I’m leaving.”
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Jacob Pullen’s initial X-ray test is negative

Jacob Pullen woke up today in pain and with a swollen wrist, but that appears to be the extent of his injury.

Pullen’s father, Jerome, said by phone this afternoon that his son had a X-Ray test Tuesday morning and that the results of that examination revealed no broken bones.

“They didn’t see anything that looked like a break,” Jerome Pullen said. “He was in a little bit of pain, but when I talked to him this morning he said, ‘It doesn’t look like it’s anything. They can’t see anything right now.’”

Jacob Pullen injured his right wrist late Monday night during a 75-70 victory over seventh-ranked Texas. He logged 36 minutes of playing time, and continued to score while predominantly using his off hand in the game’s closing moments.

K-State is now confirming that Jacob Pullen has been cleared to play Saturday’s game against Iowa State. The school is classifying his injury as a bruise. He is not expected to miss any practice time.
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Postgame: Texas A&M 64, K-State 56

On the day Curtis Kelly finally came through with a big game for Kansas State, Rodney McGruder disappeared.

That wasn’t the only reason why the Wildcats fell to Texas A&M 64-56 on Saturday at Reed Arena, but it certainly was a factor.

Kelly looked like the senior forward everyone was hyping in the preseason. He scored 15 points on eight shots, snared 11 rebounds and blocked six shots. He was a true force inside. Had he been eligible and played like that a few more times this season, K-State may not be in its current predicament.

Add his day on to 21 points from Jacob Pullen and a decent afternoon from McGruder, who has been the Wildcats’ most consistent player all year, and K-State is likely feeling good about a win today. But the sophomore guard was not himself.
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Postgame: UNLV 63, K-State 59

UNLV

Kansas State was unable to defeat UNLV without its best two players in the lineup Tuesday at the Sprint Center.

The loss came in front of a raucous sellout crowd, and the shorthanded Wildcats played the Rebels tough before falling 63-59. But it was a painful night for K-State all the same.

“We’re not about losing here,” said an angry Frank Martin. “We’re not about playing hard and coming up close and moral victories. That’s not what we built our program about. We lost, so it wasn’t good enough.”

Martavious Irving and Jamar Samuels later said they also found few positives in the loss. Samuels made a good point about the Wildcats being strong enough to beat Virginia Tech earlier this season with Kelly out of the lineup and Pullen only playing 14 minutes. He thought they should have done the same here.

K-State is certainly a team that should know how to play with members of its roster unavailable. Of the Wildcats’ 16 players, only six (Rodney McGruder, Victor Ojeleye, Nick Russell, Freddy Asprilla, Jordan Henriquez-Roberts and Will Spradling) have seen action in every game this season.

The other 10 have missed anywhere from one game to nine for various reasons. Here is a rundown:
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Old Jacob Pullen quote now really awkward

One comment I’ve seen from a number of Kansas State fans tonight in the wake of Jacob Pullen’s three-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits, which is a secondary NCAA violation: “He should have known better.”

Yes, the senior guard should have. He admitted as much two weeks ago.

Following a win at Loyola Chicago on Dec. 11, a reporter asked Pullen if he planned on attending a NBA game later that evening between the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. His old pal, and former K-State standout, Michael Beasley was in town. A trip to the United Center would give them some time to talk face-to-face.

But, citing family demands and a fear of questions about how he might end up with tickets to the game, Pullen said he would likely stay home.

“I’m not sure if he can leave me tickets, so I think I have to go buy tickets,” Pullen said. “Because if I say he’ll leave me tickets the NCAA will be knocking on my door in the morning.”

Then he turned to K-State sports information director Tom Gilbert, and smiled.

“See Tom, I’m learning, man,” Pullen said. “I know I can’t take tickets like that.”

At the time, that comment produced laughter. Today, it causes a different reaction.

Jacob Pullen following Steve Henson’s path

henson Jacob Pullen and Steve Henson are separated by more than 20 years in age, but they hold at least two things in common: They will both be at the Sprint Center tonight, and both are record-setting Kansas State basketball players.

Henson, now an assistant coach with UNLV, played at K-State from 1986-90, and is the Wildcats’ career leader in steals with 190. Not that long ago, he also held the Wildcats’ record for made three-pointers with 240.

But Pullen, a senior guard, passed him earlier this season against Emporia State and has now made 246 outside shots. It’s only a matter of time before he also overtakes Henson in steals. He currently has 182 to his name.
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Postgame: Florida 57, K-State 44

There are many reasons why Kansas State has played less-than-impressive basketball lately, but it’s pretty obvious what the biggest of those reasons is this morning.

The Wildcats aren’t getting enough out of their frontcourt.

During an excruciating 57-44 loss to Florida at BankAtlantic Center on Saturday, starting forwards Freddy Asprilla and Curtis Kelly contributed a measly five points and five rebounds — combined. Jamar Samuels, outside of a few nice shots early and a decent defensive effort, could provide only five points and five rebounds off the bench.

As the game went on, K-State coach Frank Martin was desperate for a spark and sent Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, Wally Judge and Victor Ojeleye onto the court. None of them were effective against the Gators.

Much like their disappointing effort against Loyola Chicago, the Wildcats were outrebounded by Florida and unable to score second-chance points. Seriously, they ended the game with a whopping three. Though that stat does look better than the zero fast-break points they scored.

Martin brought in former banger Luis Colon to help the team and introduce a new level of physical contact to practices earlier in the week, and was at a loss trying to explain why that didn’t properly prepare his big men for Saturday’s game.

“I’ve got no idea,” Martin said. “As long as Rodney McGruder continues to rebound the basketball and our bigs don’t, I don’t know what to tell you. Read More »

Postgame: K-State 68, Loyola 60

When Kansas State’s 68-60 victory over Loyola Chicago turned out to be tougher than expected, the Wildcats needed one of their reserves to step up and make a few big plays.

Martavious Irving came off the bench and did exactly that.

The sophomore guard hit two big three-pointers, went four for four from the free-throw line and scored 12 points while committing zero turnovers.

When asked about his performance, Irving said he was simply trying to, “play my role and make some shots.”

K-State coach Frank Martin is glad he did.

“Credit Martavious,” Martin said, “who wasn’t shooting the ball real well and on his own — on top of everything that we do — he’s come into that gym day and night and shot free throw after free throw after free throw. Credit him for going to the line and making those free throws. I wish more guys on our team would take that kind of pride.”
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