KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez has decided to transfer so that he can be closer to his mother and two younger brothers in Puerto Rico.
Rodriguez played through several injuries during his sophomore season, averaging 9.8 points and 4.2 assists in helping the Wildcats win a share of their first conference championship in 36 years.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats were upset by No. 13 seed La Salle in the NCAA tournament.
Rodriguez was recruited to Kansas State by former coach Frank Martin, but decided to stay when Bruce Weber took over last season. He said in a statement that the decision to transfer was ``based entirely on my family and has nothing do with Kansas State, basketball or the coaching staff.''
He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Rodriguez To Transfer from Men’s Basketball Program
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Sophomore guard Angel Rodriguez has announced his intention to transfer from the Kansas State men’s basketball program and requested his release, head coach Bruce Weber announced Monday.
“After multiple conversations, Angel feels an obligation to be closer to his family,” said Weber. “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.”
A 5-foot-11, 180-pound point guard from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez averaged 9.8 points on 36 percent shooting with 4.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 25.0 minutes per game in 65 career games. This past season, he averaged 11.4 points, 5.2 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 28.2 minutes per game en route to earning All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors from the league coaches. He led the Wildcats in four categories, including 3-point field goals (55), assists and steals, while he was second in scoring and minutes played (28.2 mpg.).
“It is important that everyone understands that this was a really difficult decision,” said Rodriguez. “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.”
Rodriguez, who started 33 of 35 games and 50 of 65 games in his career, helped the Wildcats to a 27-8 overall record and its first Big 12 Championship in 2012-13.
“We had a great year,” said Rodriguez. “It was the right decision to come here and I don’t regret it all. Coach Weber and his staff made the transition a lot easier than I ever thought it would be. He made me a better player and to play with more confidence. I never thought I would get this close to my teammates. The past few days have been difficult for me, just thinking how this decision would impact them. However, at the end of the day, I have do what I think is best for my mom and my brothers.”
Rodriguez leaves K-State with two years of eligibility remaining in his career, including a redshirt season.
“Angel really had a great season for us and has emerged as one of the top point guards in the country,” said Weber. “His personal improvement this past year was obviously a big factor in our run to the Big 12 title. However, just like the loss of our three seniors, this will be another opportunity for someone else to step up.”
With Rodriguez’s departure, the Wildcats have three open scholarships for the 2013-14 season.