Nijel Pack Among Best Shooters In K-State Basketball History
The K-State basketball team has won two in a row, and a big reason is sophomore Nijel Pack. Pack hit the game-winning three-pointer while scoring 22 points against Oklahoma State and followed that up with a 20-point game in a victory against TCU on Saturday. He shot 53.8% from three-point range in the two games and was selected Big 12 player of the week for the second time this season.
As we watched K-State beat TCU on Saturday, a friend of mine asked me a fill-in-the-blank question: “Nijel Pack is the best shooter to play for Kansas State since ______?”
It was an interesting question that got me to think quite a bit. K-State has had some great shooters in the past, but Pack is the best that K-State fans have seen in quite some time. A handful of names crossed my mind. Jacob Pullen? Rodney McGruder? Cartier Martin? Ski Jones? Steve Henson? Mitch Richmond? My first instinct was to say Jacob Pullen, but of course, I had to look up some statistics to verify my opinion. It also gave me a great topic for this week’s article.
When I was looking at the numbers, I found that Nijel Pack is pacing to appear prominently in some key categories in the K-State record books. Take a look.
The K-State record for most points by a sophomore is Curtis Redding with 514 in 1977-78. Pack has 340. With eight games left in the season, Pack would have to average 21.75 points per game the rest of the way to catch Redding. It’s a tall task, but I would not put it past him to do it.
The K-State record for highest scoring average by a sophomore is Bob Boozer, with 19.6 points per game, set in 1956-57. Pack is averaging 17.0, not far behind him.
Jacob Pullen holds the K-State record for career three-point field goals made with 299. Pack currently has 126. He has eight games left this season and at least two more seasons to catch Pullen. If Pack averages three three-pointers made per game, plays in the remaining eight games this season, and two more seasons of 30 games, he will smash Pullen’s record. Don’t laugh. Pack is averaging 3.30 three-pointers a game this season., so this is not a stretch.
Nijel Pack’s career three-point field goal percentage is .420. That ranks 3rd all-time at K-State behind Steve Henson (44.7%) and Will Scott (51.3%). Henson and Scott shot from 19 feet and 9 inches, and Pack is shooting from 22 feet and 1.75 inches.
The K-State record for most three-point field goals made by a sophomore is Ski Jones with 78. Pack currently has 66. I think it’s safe to say he will get 13 more in eight games and break that record.
Pack is also prominent on the current Big 12 leaderboards. He is third in the league in scoring (17 points per game), sixth in field goal percentage (.460), 14th in assists (2.35 per game), third in three-point field goal percentage (.434, with the most attempts), and first in three-point field goals per game (3.30).
What does all of this tell me? If Nijel Pack continues this pace, he will go down as one of the best shooters and scorers in K-State history. K-State not only has a super sophomore on the football team in Deuce Vaughn that is on his way to shattering a lot of K-State records, but they also have a super sophomore on the basketball team that is well on his way to shattering some records of his own. Enjoy watching these two, K-State fans. Both are very special in their own right.