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Kansas State's Pullen ill, misses Wednesday practice

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 7:36 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, March 26, 2012, at 12:23 p.m.

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TUCSON -- Jacob Pullen is sick and did not practice with Kansas State today.

The senior guard, who leads the Wildcats in scoring with 19.5 points per game, came down ill this morning and spent the afternoon in his room at the team hotel.

K-State officials were reluctant to release details about his illness, but said they expected him to recover in time to play against Utah State tomorrow in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas State associate athletic director Casey Scott said Pullen had been suffering from flu-like symptoms and a high fever since arriving in Tucson, but that fever has since been broken and is feeling better.

Scott said Pullen requested to participate in practices Wednesday, but K-State coach Frank Martin thought he would be better off resting at the hotel. He is fully expected to play tomorrow.

Jamar Samuels said Pullen was being well taken care of in the meantime.

"He'll be all right. He's drinking a lot of Gatorade and water," Samuels said. "His mom is here, so she'll baby him a little bit so he can get better. He'll be there tomorrow."

Practicing without Pullen was strange for the team, but nothing it couldn't overcome. Freshman Will Spradling spent extra time as the first-team's point guard to make up for Pullen's absence, and every guard on the roster had to stay on the court longer than usual.

Beyond that, Pullen missing practice had no long-term impact.

"We've practiced with him all season and played with him all season," Spradling said. "Not having him for one practice isn't going to hurt."

Victor Ojeleye agreed.

"It's just a precautionary measure. He's not feeling well, and coaches don't want us to catch anything he's got. We don't play today, and he's sick. So there's no use making him practice if he doesn't feel up to it. He's resting, and he'll be better tomorrow," Ojeleye said.

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