Kansas State fans can take a deep breath and exhale now — Angel Rodriguez has decided to stay at K-State, The Mercury learned on Monday afternoon.
“I just spoke to Angel, and he has confirmed to me he’s going to stay at Kansas State,” said Art Alvarez, the founder and president of the Miami Tropics, the traveling basketball team Rodriguez played on in high school.
Alvarez, who also coached former K-State players Denis Clemente, Luis Colon and Freddy Asprilla, said Rodriguez really liked Bruce Weber’s track record with former Illinois point guards such as Dee Brown and Deron Williams (who is a star in the NBA for the New Jersey Nets).
“This is what he told me: He likes Bruce Weber, he likes the fact that Bruce Weber has shown in the past that he’s had great point guards. He likes the fact that he lets his point guards play and his point guards usually play major minutes. The offensive system that he has shared with Angel is one he feels comfortable with.”
Rodriguez also liked the look of next year’s roster at K-State.
“He gets along well with his teammates and he likes the fact that every player is coming back except (Jamar) Samuels,” Alvarez said. “He feels there’s a good nucleus of players there and that they can win right away. He also likes that a lot of the point guards in that conference are gone so he should be one of the best point guards coming back.
“He definitely has made the decision that he’s staying. As of late Friday, he was still kind of toying around with what he wanted to do I think, but he decided he wanted to stay.”
Rodriguez made the decision all on his own with no influence or pull from anybody else, and it’s one that Alvarez and Shakey Rodriguez — Angel’s former high school coach, supports.
“In my conversation with him, he loves his teammates, said they’re great guys,” Shakey said by phone on Monday. “He loves the university.”
With Rodriguez returning, K-State will have four starters back from this past season’s team, which lost to Syracuse in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Rodriguez averaged 8.3 points and led K-State with 3.2 assists during his freshman season.