Mon Jun 21 11:07am EDT
As Kansas State senior-to-be Jacob Pullen struggled to decide a couple months ago whether to enter the NBA draft, the high-scoring combo guard received some sage advice from an unlikely source.
Ex-college teammate Michael Beasley, the former No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, told Pullen to enjoy his final year of college.
"We talked and he said if he could re-do everything, he'd have stayed all four years," Pullen told the Topeka Capital-Journal.
"He said to think about it and not just worry about the money. Think about the experiences you want to be part of, because once you make that decision it's your life. It's a job. It's not fun anymore."
Since Beasley left Kansas State after averaging 26.2 points a game during a spectacular freshman season, his NBA career with the Miami Heat has been marred by inconsistency and personal trouble. The NBA fined Beasley $50,000 for being in a room where marijuana was found at the league's rookie symposium in 2008. And Beasley entered a Houston rehab center to address possible substance and psychological issues last summer.
Had Beasley remained at Kansas State even an extra year or two, the Wildcats might have celebrated a Final Four berth if not a national title. With Beasley's ex-teammates Pullen and Dennis Clemente leading the charge, Kansas State advanced to the Elite Eight last March and came within a bucket or two of ending Butler's historic run and earning a Final Four berth.
At least, Kansas State can be thankful Pullen's back for another year. The 6-foot guard might have been able to parlay a strong junior season into being a late second-round pick, but taking over at point guard with Clemente gone should provide Pullen the chance to improve his stock.