FRANK, JAKE BEST OF BUDDIES

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly weren't present due to classes, but Wednesday was K-State's annual basketball media day. Here are some of the highlights as the No. 3 ranked, and Big 12 favorite Wildcats met with the Kansas-based media

JAKE AND FRANK:

Asked about his early relationship with Jacob Pullen, coach Frank Martin credited Pullen's parents for preparing him for the rigors of Big 12 basketball, and the discipline of a Martin-coached program.

"Jake and I have never disagreed," Martin said. Of the early relationship, he explained that it was a phase of "… two people who are learning from one another. You do not raise a child in a day; you do not make a basketball player in a week. It is a process. This is why he is, and has become, the person and player that he is today."

MINOR SCAR:

K-State freshman Wally Judge was wearing a Band-Aid under his left eye with the explanation, "Jamar bit me!"

And, it was the truth. "It was a drive to the middle and I had him beat, but somehow he snagged me with the bottom row of his teeth. It shows how competitive these practices are." Stitches, Wally? "No, it wasn't that deep. It was just a warrior scar."

MAJOR SCAR:

Wally Judge, a Wildcat sophomore, was cut far more severely in July when he had spinal surgery in Kansas City.

Judge said, "It was due to a birth defect. I got bumped in the McDonalds's (All American) Game and after that is when they found it, but they didn't think it was that serious."

Playing through and off-and-on painful freshman season when he averaged 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds after coming in as a McDonald's all-American, the pain became more severe this spring during individual practices.

As Judge explained it, "I went up for a dunk and my legs just gave out when I landed. It happened twice in a row where I came down and my legs felt like noodles, so I went to the trainer to get it checked out and they found out my spinal column was narrow and it was affecting some of my nerves."

Team trainer Brandon Yoder explained that Judge had spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column, which can put pressure on the spinal nerves.

"They went through the front of his neck and took a bone graph to give the spinal cord more room to move around," said Yoder. "It was obvious that down the road this would continue to bother him. Our number one priority is a player's safety and health." Doctors went as far to tell Judge that had he been a football player, his career would have been over.

What Judge says hurt him the most was "… missing some valuable time. The off-season is the best time to try to get better. That's when you push yourself to your limit, so I hated missing that time. But I'm now back now and stronger than ever before."

He says there has been no irritation of the nerves, which last winter created a loss of muscle mass. Now, his attitude is one of "… it happened, it's over and now it's time to get better and build on it. It's not going to affect my competitive nature."

NEW 'CAT:

K-State coach Frank Martin announced that Devon Peterson has been added to the Wildcat team as a walk-on.

A 6-foot-3 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., Peterson is a junior with two years to play after transferring from Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Peterson, who had committed to K-State two years ago but was not academically eligible, helped Lincoln High School to three New York City League championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007, plus was a state champion in his senior season when he was the tournament MVP. Another walk-on, Jarrod Kruger, has left the team.

HOOP TIME:

Exhibition games tip off next week. K-State defeated Newman of Wichita Tuesday evening but will now will host Washburn on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2:30.
The regular season opens on Nov. 12 against James Madison in Bramlage Coliseum.


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