Rodriguez transferring to Miami

By Joel Jellison

Former Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez is transferring to Miami.

As expected, it was announced on Wednesday that Rodriguez would be enrolling at Miami and joining the Miami men’s basketball program. Since Rodriguez announced his transfer, speculation was that he would land with the Hurricanes.

A two-year starter for the Wildcats, Rodriguez earned second-team All-Big 12 honors this season, averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game as a sophomore.

Rodriguez told K-State coach Bruce Weber that he planned to transfer closer to his family last month. A Puerto Rico native, Rodriguez’s mothers and two younger brothers both live in San Juan. He attended high school in Miami.

Miami coach Jim Larranaga told the Miami Herald he was happy to add a point guard after Hurricanes’ starting point guard Shane Larkin declared for the NBA Draft.

“You have to feel fortunate when a player of his caliber and character calls you and says, ‘I need to play closer to home,’” Larranaga said. “He will be very much at home here in Miami, where so many people speak Spanish, so many people know him, and he is a short flight from his family. He’s also a very bright young man and serious about academics.”

Rodriguez is expected to seek a transfer waiver from the NCAA, which would make him eligible to play this season. The waiver Rodriguez is seeking is reportedly due to family hardship, notably, an illness. If the waiver is not granted, he would sit out a season and still have two years of eligibility starting in the 2014-15 season.

Larranaga said they feel good about the type of player they’re adding in Rodriguez.

“Angel is an exceptional point guard,” Larranaga said. “When you watch him you immediately notice his ball-handling and passing skills. He can also hit the open shot ... He has a pass-first mentality, but if he sees an open lane, he won’t hesitate to attack. We feel very, very good about Angel joining our program.”

The loss of Rodriguez is not only big for K-State, but for the Big 12 as well. In a league that lost many of its top players this season, Rodriguez was expected to be the top returning point guard in the league.

The Wildcats have two point guards for next season in Nigel Johnson and Javon Thomas, both freshman recruits, and only one will be eligible when the season begins.

Rodriguez was one of three players to transfer from K-State after the season. Freshman point guard Michael Orris was first to transfer and will play at Northern Illinois. Sophomore forward Adrian Diaz announced his plans to transfer closer to home, but has yet to announce where he’s going. Diaz is expected to choose a school in Florida.

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