Rodriguez As Good As The Big 12 Has

MANHATTAN,Kan. - With its win over Oklahoma on Saturday with two free throws by Angel Rodriguez, the Wildcat point guard added to his resume that might make him first-team all-Big 12.

OK K-State hoop fans … here are a couple questions for you. 1) What Wildcat dished out the most assists in a single game?

2) What Wildcat holds the record for assist-to-turnover ratio in a single season?

Hint: Do not think of the obvious. Stop here to think … and answer … and then read on.

It's a good bet here that Angel Rodriguez will not reach those records of 16 assists in a single game by Keith Frazier in 1976, or the 3.72 assist-to-turnover ratio of Marcus Zeigler during the 1991-92 season, but the current Wildcat point guard is putting up some pretty fancy numbers.

Rodriguez currently has 94 assists, or 4.95 per game for his personal 18-game season, which ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference. Rodriguez currently has a 2.54 assist-to-turnover ratio, which leads the Big 12 Conference for the total season.

"It feels good, but that's what I'm here for," said the Wildcat sophomore. "This is what I worked all summer for. This is what I watched film all summer for."

It was during those film studies of his freshman year that Rodriguez saw all the "silly turnovers" he made, and how "out of control" he played, at times.

The San Juan, Puerto Rico, native averaged 8.3 points on 36 percent shooting a year ago with 3.2 assists per game and was only slightly over a one-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio with 101 assists and 85 turnovers. He also averaged 2.5 rebounds per game.

While being very, very solid for the total 2012-13 season, Rodriguez has been nothing short of sensational in the seven-game Big 12 Conference season to date.

• 1st in the league in assists at 5.88

• 1st in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with 47 handouts and only 13 give-aways … 3.62

• 2nd in the league in steals with 1.88

"Being well over double with assists-to-turnovers is something I strive for," said Rodriguez. "Coach says my decision-making is better, but I make turnovers and see them on tape and ask, ‘Why did I do that?' But I play a position where mistakes are going to be made. I still force stuff when it's not there, but I'm working on it."

In Big 12 games, Rodriguez has been most special nearly every time out: 8 assists to 3 turnovers vs. OSU; 3 to 0 vs. TCU; 9 to 1 vs. OU; 8 to 2 vs. KU; 6 to 0 vs. Iowa State; and, 8 to 1 vs. Texas. Only against West Virginia was KSU's No. 13 average with two assists and four turnovers, and this past Saturday against Oklahoma with three assists and two turnovers.

"His play has been phenomenal at times," said KSU coach Bruce Weber.

But the Wildcat coach says of the other times, "We need to get him to playing better without the basketball and guarding off the ball. Shooting-wise, he needs to have a little more patience when he's wide open. There are times he can catch it and count to five and get the shot off, but he rushes at times."

Of his scoring, Rodriguez says, "I don't worry about scoring, but I do think I could score more if I was more aggressive. I seem to play aggressive and score in short segments, but it usually seems to be in one half, but not the other. I just need to be more aggressive when it comes to scoring."

More aggressive, perhaps, but also under control.

"When things don't go perfect in our offense, he needs to keep his poise and make the easy play and the smart play, and not try to overdo things," said Weber. "His numbers are better than a year ago, but he can still make strides."

K-State's schedule this week will include a Tuesday night game starting at 7 at Texas Tech, followed by a home date with Iowa State starting at 5 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats are in second place in the Big 12 with a 6-2 record, which is one game back of Kansas at 7-1.

A game in back of K-State are Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Baylor all at 5-3.

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