MANHATTAN, Kan. -- There was a moment last spring when Kansas State junior center Jordan Henriquez watched Rodney McGruder emerge.
Shortly into the offseason, Henriquez and McGruder worked out together in open-gym sessions. The Wildcats were a brief time removed from a 23-11 season that ended with a loss to Wisconsin in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The campaign had continued the program's recent success -- Kansas State earned its fifth straight 20-plus victory season and appeared in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years -- but the loss of senior guard Jacob Pullen and his team-high 20.2 points per game meant the departure of a leader.
Henriquez watched McGruder on the court in the practice sessions. The lanky 6-foot-4, 205-pound Washington, D.C., native sprinted the floor with confidence during three-on-three and five-on-five drills. As McGruder spoke with teammates, Henriquez noticed the rising junior guard become more vocal than past years.
Then and ...