It was exactly two weeks ago that I wrote about the Big 12 naming Rodney McGruder their Player of the Week. Yesterday he was honored in similar fashion making it deja vu all over again.
He started things off on Tuesday with a 26 point effort on 12-17 shooting against Texas Southern. It was just the second time this season that McGruder broke the 20 point plateau and set a new season high in the process. He was nowhere near as effective against #8 Florida on Saturday night as he scored 13 points on 4-12 from the floor but he did pull down six rebounds. More importantly the Wildcats won the game and put an exclamation point by his name on the week’s ledger for conference consideration.
Despite capturing conference Player of the Week honors for the second time this month, and third time in his career, McGruder has been unable to build upon his contributions last year. Scoring 13.3 points per game he still leads K-State in scoring but is tied for 10th in the Big 12. Four times in eleven games he’s failed to score ten points and has shot 50% or better just four times.
Compared to last season, his scoring average is down by 2.5 ppg and his FG% has dropped from 46.3% to 41.4%. Since hitting threes at a 41.9% clip as a freshman, he’s regressed every season since and is down to an abysmal 21.2% from beyond the arc this year.
He’s still an effective player despite his inconsistency, but the Wildcats need him to not only return to his 2011-2012 form, but improve upon it. For K-State to be a consistent threat against the better teams in the Big 12 nothing less than that will suffice.