There will be a day that at least the jerseys – the No. 0 of Jacob Pullen and the No. 12 of Mike Evans – will be introduced in the rafters of Bramlage Coliseum.
Evans’ jersey was retired in 2006, and in the years to come, Pullen’s uniform number will join the most elite roll call of Ernie Barrett, Dick Knostman, Jack Parr, Bob Boozer, Willie Murrell, Lon Kruger, Chuckie Williams, Rolando Blackman and Mitch Richmond.
“I don’t know much about him, but I’m happy for him. If he can do it, more power to him,” said Evans several days prior to Pullen breaking his all-time scoring record at K-State this past Saturday in the NCAA Tournament.
“It probably would have been (Michael) Beasley had he stayed in school. Tell Jacob that I’m happy for him.”
A member of K-State’s All-Century team, Evans scored 2,115 points in 117 games from the 1974-75 season through the 1977-78 campaign. His playing days were before career steals and assists were kept, and yes, prior to the 3-point line.
“I think that makes it all the more amazing that it (the scoring record) stood for this long,” said Evans, a native of Goldsboro High School in North Carolina, who arrived at K-State after a year at Laurinburg Institute Prep School. “I don’t have any hard feelings at all that the rules are different these days. It’s just a different game today.”
Former coach Jack Hartman once said of Evans, “Mike was a great, great shooter … one of the best we’ve ever had. If we had the 3-point shot, he would have a record that would never be broken.”
Evans, who is now coaching the Halifax Rainmen in the Premier Basketball League, demonstrated early that he was going to be a scorer hitting 14-of-18 from the field in his debut game as a Wildcat freshman when he netted 30 points against Montana State.
Evans averaged 17.0, 17.9, 18.3 and 19.1 for a career scoring average of 18.1 in his years when K-State won a total of 82 games, which included a Big 8 Championship in 1977.
The Wildcats went to two NCAA tourneys and one NIT winning a total of three NCAA games. K-State also defeated Kansas six times during the Evans years.
By comparison, Pullen’s four years at K-State included averages of 9.7, 13.9, 19.3 and 20.2 for a career average of 15.8. In his four seasons, the Wildcats won 95 games, with three NCAA appearances and one in the NIT. With Pullen, K-State won six postseason games, and twice defeated Kansas.
Twice Evans won Big 8 Player of the Year honors, joining only Lon Kruger as a two-time recipient, was first-team all-Big 8 three times, joining only Bob Boozer and Rolando Blackman, and was a third-team All-American in his senior season.
The 6-foot-1 guard was taken by the Denver Nuggets as the 21st selection in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft. He would have a nine-year career with four teams – San Antonio, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Denver – scoring 4,531 points in a 591-game NBA career.
Twice Evans ranked third in the NBA in 3-pointers made, and in 1983-84 his .360 percent accuracy ranked second high.
Pullen, who does not appear on most NBA draft boards, earned at least honorable mention All-American honors twice, plus was a first-team All Big 12 performer and two-time member of the Big 12’s Defensive team. Pullen stands as the only player in K-State history to score at least 1,800 points, with 300 rebounds, 200 steals and 400 assists.
For fans of Evans, he accomplished his number of 2,115 points in just 117 games, while Pullen played 135 games for his 2,132 points. BUT, in those games Evans shot the ball 1,800 times (15.4 per game), to Pullen’s 1,600 career shots (11.8 per game).
While Evans was a career 49 percent marksman, Pullen shot at a 41 percent clip for his career.
When Pullen hit the 117-game mark, his career point total was 1,732, or 383 shy of Evans.
Cracking a laugh, Evans said of the difference in number of games, “Keep pointing that out.”