Senior Rodney McGruder earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the third time in five weeks on Monday after helping Kansas State run its winning streak to five games last week.
The three Big 12 Player of the Week awards tie Michael Beasley (2007-08) for the most by a Wildcat in a single-season, while McGruder's four overall weekly awards are the most-ever by a K-State player in the Big 12 era. He won the first time as a junior on Dec. 26, 2011 then again on Dec. 10 and 24 of this year.
McGruder averaged a team-best 21.5 points on 48.6 percent shooting (17-of-35), including 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point range, with 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in 36.5 minutes per game in win over South Dakota (70-50) and No. 22/21 Oklahoma State (73-67).
McGruder opened the week with a near double-double in the win over South Dakota on New Year's Eve. He posted 15 points on 6-of-16 field goals, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, with a team-high nine rebounds, three assists and two steals in 36 minutes of action. He scored a game-high 28 points, including 26 in the second half, in the win over No. 22/21 Oklahoma State on Saturday on 11-of-19 field goals, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, with five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 37 minutes of action. It was his 16th career 20-point game, including the third this season. The Wildcats are 14-2 in games where McGruder has 20 or more points.
McGruder's 26 second-half points are the most by a Wildcat since Denis Clemente had 32 in a win at Texas on Jan. 31, 2009. He went 10-of-13 from the field in the second half, including 5-of-5 from beyond the arc, with two rebounds and two steals in playing all 20 minutes. He had more field goals (10) than the Cowboys (nine) in the half.
The win over Oklahoma State snapped a four-game losing streak in Big 12 openers for the Wildcats and was the first since an 84-82 win at Oklahoma on Jan. 12, 2008. It was the first home win in a Big 12 opener since a 68-44 victory over Texas Tech on Jan. 11, 2002.
One of just six Wildcats with 1,200 points and 500 rebounds in a career, McGruder is the only Wildcat in double figures at 14.7 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting with 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 30.6 minutes per game. He has a team-leading 10 double-figure scoring games (three 20-point outings), all of which have come in the last 12 games.