Love Jacob Pullen’s game. Love the defense, the shooting range, the drive and the intangibles. It’s all why the Kansas State senior’s among the national player of the year candidates.
But mostly? I love the beard.
Then … Pullen trimmed it this summer. He’s a brave man, that Pullen. Samson was never the same after his locks were shorn. Why mess with a good thing?
Well, there’s good news for K-State and Wildcats fans. Pullen’s rounding his game into shape for the season. Same for the beard. From the Kansas City Star:
Your beard was so popular last year, but you trimmed it for a while this summer and it’s short now. Were you surprised the way Manhattan melt down when you were seen around town without facial hair?
It’s growing back, so the town is going to be OK. It’s amazing. That’s why when people ask me if I ever get tired of signing autographs or taking pictures with fans I always say, ‘No.’ The morning you take it for granted is the morning you could wake up and it could all be gone. …
Did you shave the beard all the way off?
No, I just trimmed it a little bit. I got tired of it and needed a change. But it will be back. This is the beginnings of it. As the season goes deeper, it grows longer. As the games get tougher, it gets tougher. I feel like if I didn’t have it, people would be wasting signs and people would be mad at me. So I just feel like I can do it one more year for the fans.
So here’s Pullen’s plan for the season: Win the Big 12, reach the Final Four, cut down the nets and jump to the NBA clean shaven.