Rodney McGruder: NBA prospects

Collegian File Photo Former K-State forward Rodney McGruder is one of this year's NBA Draft prospects. McGruder was one of K-State's star players, averaging 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his senior season.

With the NBA Draft starting on Thursday, players are currently working out to show off their talents for the scouts in hopes of fulfilling their dreams of playing in the NBA. One of those players, K-State’s own Rodney McGruder, has a chance to hear his name called in the draft. This rundown of McGruder’s strengths and weaknesses will show how he matches up with other prospects.

Despite standing at only 6 feet 4 inches tall, McGruder is an above-average rebounder for a guy of his size. He is not going to blow anyone away with a 40-inch vertical, but he has a knack for the ball and is always in the right position.

On the offensive end, he plays the game like it is supposed to be played. His ability to move without the ball and his very good mid-range game is reminiscent of former All-Star Rip Hamilton. Throughout his career at K-State, McGruder demonstrated an ability to make his presence felt in all facets of the game, most notably against Oklahoma State on Jan. 5 when he scored 26 points in the second half for a 73-67 victory over the Cowboys.

With his relative lack of size, it is going to be difficult for McGruder to compete at the shooting guard position. He is a good athlete, but at his size, he needs to be an elite-level athlete.

McGruder can struggle against pressure defense, and, like so many college prospects, his ball handling could use some work.

He will also have to show that he can get the three ball on a consistent basis from the NBA 3-point line. His percentages significantly declined throughout his college career, which is very surprising for someone who improved overall as a player like he did.

Comparison: Kim English, shooting guard, Detroit Pistons
While English stands two inches taller than McGruder, the former Missouri guard’s play is very similar. Last season, English saw his name called 44th overall and saw the court in 41 games.

McGruder is not the type of player who comes in right away and becomes a star in the NBA. However, in the right system, McGruder could develop into a role player with his ability to rebound and hit the mid-range shot.

Mark Kern is a May 2013 graduate. Please send comments to