Jacob Pullen Heading to Italy
The former K-State star signs with Italian league team.
by Jon Jaques / @JJaques25
Do they fear beards in Italy as much as they did in the Big 12 over the past four seasons?
We’ll soon find out. Jacob Pullen, one of college basketball’s most dangerous scorers over the past four seasons and the on-floor leader of the recent Kansas State basketball revival, has signed a contract to play for Pallacanestro Biella, or “Angelico Biella”, in the Italian League for next season.
The All-American guard’s credentials are NBA worthy (2,132 points in his career + 20.2 ppg average in his senior season + proven winner). According to the GMs and scouts that passed on him in June’s NBA Draft, his tweener body is not (the former Wildcat’s draft stock probably wasn’t helped by K-State’s relatively disappointing season)
Pullen is not the first former college star to sign an international contract unusually early this summer, and it’s no mystery why. Jon Scheyer (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Ben Hansborough (Bayern Munich), and now Pullen are getting their pen to paper on these deals months before they would in past seasons because of the finally official NBA lockout. According to every expert on the planet, this thing will be nasty and could drag on long into the season … it seems former college players looking for jobs have received the message.
Normally players of this caliber would have signed with an NBA summer league roster immediately after the draft, been invited to a team training camp in the fall based on how the summer league went, and if things go well, play their way into a roster spot. Worst case, after all of that, you go hoop in Europe.
But players aren’t waiting around this summer since the normal progression for rookie free-agent entrance into the NBA has been shattered by the lockout … the summer league was cancelled and the fall training camps are heading down the same path.
Pullen will get his NBA shot eventually. Now, like pretty much everyone else, he is doing all he can do and playing the waiting game.
Jon Jaques is a former starter for the Cornell Big Red and former forward for Israel’s Ironi Ashkelon club.