College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 3, 2011
Jacob Pullen returned to the Kansas State lineup after a three-game suspension and lit up little Savannah State for 24 points on Monday night, leading the Wildcats to a 92-61 rout and their 12th victory against three losses.
The 17th-ranked Wildcats felt Pullen's absence in the first game he missed, a 63-59 loss to UNLV, but rebounded with easy wins over the University of Missouri Kansas City Kangaroos and North Florida.
Pullen, seemingly no worse off for the time he missed, nailed 9-of-11 shots, including 4-of-6 three-pointers, grabbed 3 rebounds and handed off 5 assists.
Pullen and teammate Curtis Kelly were suspended for recieving free clothing from a local store. Kelly is still suspended and not eligible to return until January 15.
A 6'8" senior, Kelly was averaging 10.3 points and 4 rebounds per contest, numbers that the Wildcats hope to replace with other players, but they were happy to have Pullen, their leading scorer, back in time for the start of Big 12 play, which begins - for the Wildcats - on January 8 at Oklahoma State. Kansas State hosts Colorado on the 12th and Texas Tech on the 15th, when Kelly is expected to return.
NOTABLE: Dick Vitale has been a vocal supporter of "the Johnnies," St. John's Red Storm, and that faith was validated with a 61-58 victory over #13 Georgetown Monday night. The Red Storm's Dwight Hardy led the way with 20 points. St. John's is 3-0 against Big East foes and 10-3 overall.
The Big East has seven teams in the most recent AP poll, as unbeaten Cincinnati replaced Louisville near the bottom of the Top 25, at #22. The Cardinals fell out after dropping a 78-63 decision to Kentucky on New Year's Eve.