I keep waiting for Kansas State to hit a low point this season.
But after the Wildcats lost to Colorado at home — on the heels of a 14 point road loss to an Oklahoma State team that proceeded to get drubbed by Texas A&M — it looks like Frank Martin’s group has yet to hit rock bottom.
The Wildcats have gone from a preseason top five team to one that will likely fall out of the rankings come Monday as they have kicked off Big XII play with back-to-back losses. Not surprisingly, frustrations are starting to boil over, as Jacob Pullen made obvious to Kellis Robinnet of the KC Star:
“This is my last go-around,” Pullen said. “I’m not going to the NIT. I won’t play basketball in the NIT. I’m saying that now. If we lose, and we have to go to the NIT, I will not play.”
“We’ve just got to grow up,” Pullen said. “That’s the biggest thing. The Big 12 is 16 games. We lost our first two. Nothing says we can’t win the rest.”
This isn’t the first time that Pullen has reacted publicly to his team’s struggles, either. And, for the record, I say there is zero chance that Pullen sits out an NIT game. There is no way Frank Martin allows that to happen.
Matt Norlander had a thorough take down of the Wildcats earlier today, so I won’t rehash what he had to say. But I will throw out another theory as to why Kansas State cannot seem to right the ship.
We all knew about Jacob Pullen coming into the season, and we also knew that he did not have a ton of back court help. We still ranked them in the top five on account of their front court. They are big, they are athletic, and there are a lot of them.
But two months into the season, I think now is the time to start questioning whether that group of large and athletic young men are all that good. Why? Take a look at this stat — Kansas State’s leading rebounder isn’t Jamar Samuels. It isn’t Curtis Kelly. It isn’t Freddy Asprilla, Wally Judge, or Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, either.
Its Rodney McGruder.
That’s a 6’4″ shooting guard who also happens to be the Wildcat’s best three point shooter at 41.4%, not to mention the fact that he has taken more total threes than anyone on the team and is only shooting 0.18 fewer threes per game than Jacob Pullen.
Just some food for thought.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.