It's tough when a head coach leaves any program after considerable time and success. It's especially difficult for the seniors who hoped to complete their playing careers under the same man who recruited and developed them. But Rodney McGruder will not enjoy his senior year under Frank Martin since the Kansas State basketball coach left for South Carolina.
While McGruder admits his frustration when the news came earlier this spring, he did say that leaving was never a possibility for him.
"I was upset," said McGruder. "Frank was a great coach, great guy. He cared for us. It hurts to see someone you care for leave. (But) I bleed purple too much now. I love the fans and appreciate everything they do. No matter what would have happened, I would have stuck around, I believe."
As for their final words, McGruder said that Martin did contact him personally before he left.
"He reached out to me," said McGruder. "He told me he wishes the best for me and if I ever need him, he's there for me. I just told him I really appreciate that and I wished him the best of luck for the rest of his career."
Bruce Weber now has the task of handling McGruder's senior season.