McGruder Nabs Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week Honors
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Senior Rodney McGruder earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the fourth time in seven weeks on Monday after helping Kansas State run its winning streak to eight games last week.
McGruder’s four Big 12 Player of the Week awards break his tie with Michael Beasley (three, 2007-08) for the most by a Wildcat in a single-season, while McGruder’s five overall weekly awards are the most-ever by a K-State player in the Big 12 era. He first won the weekly honor as a junior on Dec. 26, 2011 then this season on Dec. 10 and 24, 2012 and again on Jan. 7.
McGruder posted back-to-back 20-point outings for the first time this season, as he averaged a team-best 20.5 points on 55.6 percent shooting (15-of-27), including 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from 3-point range, with 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 36 minutes per game in wins over TCU (67-54) and Oklahoma (69-60). He has now scored in double figures in eight consecutive games with an average of 19.5 points per game.
McGruder opened the week with a 21-point effort in a road win at TCU on Jan. 16, as he knocked down 9-of-15 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, with five rebounds, three assists and one steal in 32 minutes of action. He followed with his fifth 20-point outings of the season in a win over Oklahoma on Saturday, as he went 6-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc, with three assists and one steal in playing all 40 minutes. It was his 17th and 18th 20-point games of his career with the Wildcats posting an impressive 16-2 mark in those contests.
K-State’s eight-game winning streak is the longest since the Wildcats won 10 in a row from Nov. 21, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010, while the 15-2 start to the season ties eight other squads for the best start in school history. The team is 4-0 in Big 12 play for just the second time in the Big 12 era and the first time since the 2007-08 squad won its first five league games. The 15-2 start by a first-year head coach Bruce Weber ties for the best in school history with College Football Hall of Famer Zora Clevenger, who posted a 15-2 mark in 1916-17.
McGruder is just seven points shy of 1,300 career points and 12 points short of cracking the school’s Top 10 scoring list. He is the only Wildcat in double figures at 15.5 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting with 5.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.5 minutes per game. He has a team-leading 13 double-figure scoring games (five 20-point outings), all of which have come in the last 15 games.
The 16th-ranked Wildcats (15-2, 4-0 Big 12) will renew the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Tuesday night, as they welcome No. 4/4 Kansas (16-1, 4-0 Big 12) to an expected sellout crowd at Bramlage Coliseum. The game will tip at 7 p.m. CT on the Big 12 Network. It will mark just the 16th time that the teams will play when both are ranked, including the fifth time in the last eight meetings.