As if getting locked down by a disappointing Florida team wasn't hard enough, Kansas State suffered through a double-whammy this week when the NCAA announced that pre-season All-American guard Jacob Pullen and senior forward Curtis Kelly have been suspended for receiving impermissible benefits from a department store. The Wildcats went on to lose last night to UNLV, shooting 40% from the floor and turning the ball over 22 times without two of their starters. Pullen, the Wildcats' leading scorer, will be headed to the bench for two more games, while Kelly, the second-leading scorer, will join him for an indefinite suspension. Kelly has appeared in just 8 games this season, beginning the year in coach Frank Martin's doghouse and now this suspension.
The pre-season Big 12 favorites have looked so-so out of the gate, thrashing Virginia Tech and Gonzaga, (who have both since fallen out of the rankings), but losing to Duke in Kansas City, Florida in Florida and now UNLV in Kansas City. Their resume is post-season worthy, but K-State aren't the dominating force we thought they would be. Pullen is shooting just 31% from behind the arc and the rest of his numbers are down across the board. Wally Judge will be counted on for minutes in the frontcourt, but thus far, he has not lived up to his lofty expectations. Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder will be the stop gaps until Pullen and Kelly return.