December 24, 2012
A pair of Sunflower State guards earned the final Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Player and Rookie of the Week before the Christmas holiday, as Rodney McGruder (K-State) and Ben McLemore (Kansas) were honored. It is the second accolade in three weeks for McGruder, while McLemore is recognized for the first time in his career.
PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State, G, Sr., 6-4, 205, Washington, D.C./Arlington Country Day [Fla.]
McGruder led K-State to a pair of wins last week, including a 67-61 victory over No. 8 Florida. The senior guard opened the week with a season-high 26 points in a 78-69 win over Texas Southern, connecting on 12-of-17 field goals. He then had 13 points and six rebounds against the Gators, including a 5-of-6 performance from the free throw line in the waning minutes. It marked the Wildcats first regular season, non-conference win over a top 10 team since beating No. 8 Minnesota in 1981. McGruder averaged 19.5 points on 55.2 percent shooting (16-of-29) in the two games with 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Ben McLemore, Kansas, G, Fr., 6-5, 195, St. Louis, Mo./Christian Life Center [Texas]
McLemore averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 rebounds as the Jayhawks defeated Richmond (87-59) and won at No. 7 Ohio State (74-66). The freshman guard started with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting versus the Spiders to go along with seven rebounds. He answered that with a team-high 22 points and six rebounds in KU's win in Columbus. He shot 50 percent (13-of-26) for the week, including 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point range. McLemore leads Kansas and all Big 12 freshmen in scoring with 16.5 points per game, including four 20-point performances.