Fri Jun 24 04:45pm EDT
As one of college basketball's most animated coaches, Frank Martin certainly hasn't deviated from that persona online in his six weeks since creating a personal Twitter feed.
Friday morning provided proof of that.
In four seasons at Kansas State, guard Jacob Pullen was his program's most consistent piece and emerged as its most dangerous as a junior and senior. Despite working out for several NBA teams in recent weeks and spending the last two months living and training in Las Vegas at the Impact Academy in preparation for the NBA draft, his was not one of the 60 names called on Thursday night in New Jersey.
Martin shared his opinion in an 8-tweet stream of conscience when the sun came up (shown below, from newest to oldest).
Pullen came to Kansas State in 2007 as a bit of an afterthought in a deep recruiting class that was headlined by Michael Beasley, but turned out to be a reliable four-year starter, a superior leader, an excellent scorer and solid all-around performer.
He saved his best for last, too.
K-State entered the 2010-11 season with tons of hype behind it and a Top-5 national ranking, but at the end of January, found itself at 14-8 overall and just 2-5 in the Big 12, with a return to the NCAA tournament far from guaranteed and plenty of internal drama simmering. He then quit trying to impress scouts as a point guard, played more off of the ball and turned K-State's season on a dime. Pullen averaged 23.5 points per game in the season's final 12 contests (KSU went 9-3) and got the Wildcats to the brink of their second consecutive Sweet Sixteen berth.
Martin argued in his favor largely with facts, but unfortunately, one of them likely turned out to be a major drawback for Pullen on draft night — His height.
At just 6-foot, a shaky résumé as a pure point guard in college combined with a lack of top-end athleticism left him behind as the ultimate tweener in the eyes of NBA scouts. Whether right or wrong, that's the way it is these days.
Likely making that much more frustrating for Martin is seeing loads of international prospects with more potential than proven substance get tapped in the two-round draft ahead of more established four-year college standouts. Twelve were taken on Thursday, making up 20 percent of the draft's final field.
Still, there's no reason to believe that Pullen can't grind his way onto an NBA floor at some point down the road. Given his body of work, he'll likely get either a shot in an NBA training camp (if there's ever a 2011-12 season to prepare for) or a steady-paying gig overseas. He can shoot from anywhere, score in a variety of ways and defend, which gives him a good foundation to start from as a professional. Pullen certainly could work his way up the ladder much like another undersized former player of Martin's — newly-minted NBA champion J.J. Barea.
Don't try to convince Martin otherwise.