College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 3, 2010
How deep into the March NCAA tournament will Kansas State go this year? The Wildcats have been to the final four four times, but not since 1964, when they lost to UCLA 90-84 in the semi-finals. Last season, they didn't even receive an invitation and lost in the second round to San Diego State.
Prospects seem better this season, though the Wildcats are chasing two powerhouses within their own confernece: Texas and Kansas. But, after topping South Dakota, 91-69, on Sunday, the #12 Wildcats are 13-1 and appear ready to take on all comers in the Big 12.
Led By junior guard Jacob Pullen, the Wildcats have become an offensive machine, routinely scoring in the 80s or 90s. In Sunday's win, Pullen topped the scoring parade with 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting, including 6 of 10 bombs from 3-point land. Pullen has tallied in double figures in every game this season and leads the team in scoring and steals.
Kansas State begins conference play on January 9 at Missouri, which should provide a glimpse of their ability because the Mizzou are also contenders, at 11-3. Their true tests will come later in the month when they host Texas (Jan. 18) and Kansas (Jan. 30).