Spotlight On... K-State's Rodney McGruder

Rodney McGruder should feel disrespected entering the 2011-2012 season as his name was omitted from the preseason All Big 12 team and even the honorable mention list.

How one gets voted in by the coaches at seasons end last year and then left off by the coaches the following season is somewhat interesting.

K-State fans should hope that McGruder takes this as a personal slap in the face since he is coming off a sophomore season where he started all 34 games and was named 3rd team All Big 12 by the leagues coaches. He was a model of consistency for Frank Martin and K-State as he was the only Wildcat to start every single game last season.

His stat line was not overly monstrous as he averaged 11.1 points per game along with a team leading 5.9 rebounds per game but he did average over 40% from behind the three point arc.

These stats though sound more impressive now that Frank Martin revealed that he was playing last year with severe tendonitis in his knee. It is expected that he is now healthy and ready to go this year.

An area it has been reported that Martin would like McGruder to work on is his ability to break defenders down off the dribble. In his first two years at K-State, McGruder has been more of a catch and shoot player and not at his best when having to try and make a play taking his defender off the bounce.

If he can made defenders respect his ability to get to the bucket off the dribble that should only open things up for his outside game as the season progresses.

One would suspect that with Jacob Pullen now departed that McGruder's stat line should only increase as he appears to now be a team leader along with fellow upperclassman Jamar Samuels.

In somewhat disturbing news there was word that McGruder considered leaving K-State after assistant coach Dalonte Hill departed for Maryland but in the end he will be back to presumably finish out his final two seasons as a Wildcat.

If McGruder would have left the program, K-State would have been in a world of hurt for this season and in the publics eye as the amount of players transferring out of the program would be disturbing.

In my opinion if K-State is to be successful this year it will be mostly on McGruders back as he will have to pick up the scoring slack with Pullen now out of the program.

We'll see at the end of the season how smart the Big 12 coaches were or weren't when they did not select him in the preseason.

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