Bruce Weber and Kansas State are now on the market for a new point guard as Angel Rodriguez will transfer from Kansas State, the university announced Monday evening.
Rodriguez, who was the primary ball-handler for the Wildcats last season, averaged 11.4 points, 5.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds, with Kansas State bowing out in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament to LaSalle.
“After multiple conversations, Angel feels an obligation to be closer to his family,” Weber said. “His mother is raising his two younger brothers all by herself in San Juan and he just wants to be able to see them more often.”
The sophomore had been a consistent offensive threat for Kansas State, averaging 8.3 points and 3.2 assists as a freshman under Frank Martin, who left for the South Carolina job last offseason.
This really hurts Weber. Not only does this mean there will be a new starting point guard for the Wildcats next season, but they’ll have to replace another scoring threat in the backcourt. Kansas State is already losing Rodney MacGruder. Though they do return shooter Will Spradling and Shane Southwell, who may have to assume some of the point guard duties next season. Kansas State did recently sign three-star point guard Nigel Johnson for next season, so the blow was softened a bit.
Rodriguez was a Martin guy. A Miami (where he prepped) and Puerto Rico (where he’d originally from) product that Martin brought to Manhattan when not a ton of schools were on him to begin with. He obviously he had his reasons for leaving, stating that his departure “had nothing to do with Kansas State” and was family-motivated.
“It is important that everyone understands that this was a really difficult decision,” Rodriguez said in a statement released by the school. “I have really enjoyed my time here and this decision was based entirely on my family and has nothing do with Kansas State, basketball or the coaching staff. It’s unfortunate after the year we just had, but I just feel right now this is the best thing for me and my family. Whether it is the right choice or not, family has and always will be first with me.”
The sad thing is that Rodriguez’s final image for some Kansas State fans will be his ill-advised shot from nearly behind the backboard with time running down against LaSalle in the NCAA Tournament. He finished with just two points and four assists, three turnovers and four fouls in that game.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten