MANHATTAN, Kan. - It's "team" play that has elevated Kansas State to a Top 10 national ranking and a second-place spot in the Big 12 Conference, but without question, it has been Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente leading to way.

Kansas State is 26 games into the season with a whopping 22 wins to show for their work. While the Wildcats are all about team, few would argue the fact that Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente (or is it Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen?) who have led K-State to this season that is headed for the history books.

In those 26 games, Pullen has led the team in scoring 14 times, and Clemente seven times. In those 26 games, Pullen has topped 20 points 10 times, with one 30-pointer, and Clemente has hit for at least 20 eight times, with one 30-pointer.

In those 26 games, seven times have K-State's two guards combined for at least 40 points with one of those – against UNLV – being a 50-point game when Pullen and Clemente scored 28 and 22, respectively.

In Big 12 games only, Clemente (18.3) and Pullen (16.6) have the highest combined 1-2 scoring average (34.9) of any team in the league. vAnd ironically, for the total season no team has a better starting backcourt combo in handing out assists -- Clemente's 4.08 (9th high in Big 12) and Pullen's 3.73 (11th high in Big 12) – than the Wildcat duo that is averaging 7.81 per game.

All of that, yet Clemente says, "This team is our hero. Us staying together is why we're winning.

It's a team without a hero because the team is the hero. We've got a rotation of 10 players. It sounds crazy to have that many good players, but our key is taking someone good out and putting somebody good in."

Proof to what Clemente is saying are the scoring averages of 11.7 points per game for Jamar Samuels, and 11.5 per game for Curtis Kelly, who has made 70 percent of his shots in the last four games.

Pullen (18.5) and Clemente (16.1) are combining for 34.6 points per game this season.

In K-State history, that ranks only behind the 1974-75 season of Chuckie Williams (22.1) and Mike Evans (17.0) at 39.1 points per game, and the 1975-76 season of Williams (20.9) and Evans (17.9) at 38.8 points per game.

For a career, Williams (21.5) and Evans (17.4) averaged 38.9 points for a career, which was before the 3-point shot, while Clemente (15.5) and Pullen (13.7) are at 29.2 points per game.

Third high is the tandem of Jean Derouille (16.5) and Jeff Wires (9.4) in 1989-2001 at 25.9 points per game.

Junior Pullen currently has 1,271 career points to rank No. 10 in K-State history. Next in line at No. 9 is Ed Nealy with 1,304 points. Also within reach this season are No. 8 Mitch Richmond (1,327) and No. 7 Chuckie Williams (1,364).

A year ago, Pullen had 75 3-pointers in 34 games. This year through 26 games, the Chicagoan has 73 treys. The two totals rank No. 7 and No. 8 for a single season in K-State history.

Among all-time transfer players, Clemente's 898 points rank only behind No. 1 Mitch Richmond (1,327), No. 2 Willie Murrell (1,112) and No. 3 Jeremiah Massey (929).

Clemente played his first two seasons at Miami of Florida.

Here's a list of K-State's all-time winningest teams.
25 – 1950-51, 25-4; 1958-59, 25-2; 1987-88, 25-9
24 – 1976-77, 24-7; 1980-81, 24-9
23— 1972-73, 23-5; 1981-82, 23-8; 2006-07, 23-12
22 – 1947-48, 22-6; 1957-58, 22-5; 1960-61, 22-5; 1961-62, 22-3; 1963-64, 22-7, 1979-80, 22-9; 2008-09, 22-12; 2009-10, 22-4

Purple Pride Top Stories