McGruder named preseason All-Big 12

By The Mercury

Kansas State senior Rodney McGruder was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 team released by the conference office on Thursday morning.

McGruder, who was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection in 2011-12, was one of three unanimous picks by the league’s head coaches, joining Kansas’ Jeff Withey and Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash. 

The final two spots on the team went to Baylor’s Pierre Jackson and Texas’ Myck Kabongo. 

Jackson was voted as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, while Oklahoma forward Amath M’Baye and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart were the Preseason Newcomer and Freshman of the Year, respectively. 

Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

McGruder is the first player named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team since Jacob Pullen was named to the squad, along with garnering Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year honors in 2010-11. It marks just the third time that a Wildcat student-athlete (Manny Dies in 1998-99, Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11) has been selected to the preseason team.

One of only three returning Big 12 players to have ranked in the Top 20 in both scoring and rebounding in 2011-12, McGruder led the Wildcats in 11 categories as a junior. He lead in scoring (15.8 ppg.), double-figure scoring (28), field goals (188), 3-point field goals (50) and free throws (97).  He already ranks 21st in school history with 1,029 points. 

The Wildcats begin team practice next Friday.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams will hold a public scrimmage for fans on Saturday, Oct. 27 prior to the football game with Texas Tech. A full-list of details will be announced at a later date once a football game time is set.

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