HED:Pulliam proves he's got game, too
By Mike Talbert
MEMPHIS Jackson State and forward Trent Pulliam showed a side of the Tigers that wasn't expected, certainly not by No. 1 Kansas.
Pulliam, who is a 13.5 point scorer, led the Jackson State attack by hitting eight 3-pointers and leading all scorers with 28 points. The team hit 12 3-pointers in the 78-64 loss to No. 1 Kansas in the NCAA Southeast Regional at Memphis.
Jackson State coach Andy Stoglin was second guessing himself after the game.
"Trent is the best rebounder on the team, and he does so much for the team inside I have to play him there. But I turned him loose in the second half. I wish I had turned him loose for the whole game," Stoglin said.
Kansas coach Roy Williams said, "I was a little amazed that they were so successful from the 3-point line. Their statistics show Trent Pulliam is a 26 percent 3-point shooter."
His roommate, Decarto Draper ,said that stat doesn't tell the story, because Pulliam doesn't get a chance to shoot 3s like he can.
"He has streaks like that in practice sometimes. When he gets going right he is hard to stop," Draper said.
Thursday Pulliam was 8-of-15 outside the arc, somtimes way outside, and 5-of-5 in the final three minutes. Several were beyond NBA range.
"Kansas plays real good team defense, and we could get no penetration. They were backing off and giving me that shot. I don't think they thought I could make it," said Pulliam, a Houston High School graduate.
All-American forward Raef LaFrentz, who guarded Pulliam and had to spend the afternoon running inside and outside to also handle rebounding, said he wasn't backing off anybody.
"That was a tough assignment. He is a heck of a player. I tried to shuffle my feet and front him as well as I could," La Frentz said.
Sometimes he had a hand in Pulliam's face. Swish.
Stoglin said that Pulliam, who had 20 of his points in the second half, showed what the coach has been saying, that Pulliam is capable of being one of the top offensive players around if he can concentrate on just one position.
"I am glad he had a big game. It showed everyone just how good he is," Stoglin said.