Posted by Eric Angevine
Sure, Jacob Pullen was a bit off-base when he compared his redemption story to that of Michael Vick.
However, his self-motivational tactics seem to have worked. Pullen came back and scored 24 points in a rout of Savannah State on Monday. More encouraging, he dished the ball five times and turned it over just once. Sure, he did it against one of the worst teams in DI, but a look back to December 6 shows that he managed six TOs against Alcorn State of the SWAC, which is a comparable level of competition.
Pullen has historically been at his best when he has something to prove. His three battles with fellow Chicagoan and former KU point guard Sherron Collins last season were entertaining displays of one-upsmanship. Nothing this season has brought about the same focus.
The Wildcats got spotty contributions from guards Nick Russell, Will Spradling and Juevol Miles while Pullen sat. If you don't think he noticed, made a gut check and resolved to remedy the situation when he got back on the court, you haven't watched the senior play.
This is Pullen's last go-round in the Big 12, and the season kicks off at Oklahoma State on Saturday. After that, it's Colorado and Texas Tech at home before the tough stuff starts with a trip to Columbia, Missouri to face Mike Anderson's speedy Tigers. If the senior can maintain his focus through the yawn-inducing portion of the schedule, he may finally be in the right headspace to deliver on the promise implicit in K-State's preseason top-5 ranking.
Jacob Pullen should be playing mad. Mad at himself. Mad at anyone who comes into the Octagon looking to knock him off course. Mad at the haters who will wave signs and chant reminders of his indiscretion when he's on the road. Mad at the impending end of his college career.
Angry Jacob Pullen will forestall that final game as long as he can. Those of us who watch the games will share in the fun.