MANHATTAN, Kan. — In his most impressive performance of the young season, Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder showed a glimmer of the ability that made him an early candidate for the Naismith and Wooden awards.
He scored 22 points Sunday as the Wildcats defeated South Carolina-Upstate 72-53.
The total was the largest for McGruder this season, his first under new Kansas State coach Bruce Weber. After leading the Wildcats in scoring last year, McGruder had not cracked double digits in three of the previous six games.
Against the Spartans, he looked more like the scoring machine the Wildcats need for him to be, shooting at a 50 percent clip.
“They were rhythm shots,” McGruder said. “It wasn’t like I was forcing those shots. It was shots throughout the offense, and I was open.”
Thomas Gipson added 11 points for the Wildcats (6-1), who led 36-20 at halftime and scored the first seven points of the second half.