Rodriguez High On Mountaineers

The success of the West Virginia men’s hoop squad has transitioned from the hardwood to the recruiting trail of late, as the Mountaineers are making a push for a junior college standout to add to their roster.

This past November West Virginia solidified two additions into the hoops program with the signings of Shaker Heights (Oh.) forward Esa Ahamd and Covington (Ky.) point guard James Bolden.

It doesn’t appear the Mountaineers are quite finished with the class, though, as they’re keeping a watchful eye on Marshalltown (Iowa) C.C. point guard Mike Rodriguez.

They are just the latest program to enter the mix, joining a handful of other schools taking notice of the dazzling effort he’s displayed this season.

“Everything has been going really good for me,” Rodriguez explained. “I have interest from Colorado State, Manhattan, North Carolina Central, Cal-State Fullerton, Wichita State and West Virginia. I’m just shifting through all of this and taking it one step at a time.”

Rodriguez, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound, guard is scheduled to host West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins on Wednesday and insists the Mountaineers would soar to the top of his list of favorites if an offer were to be extended.

“If an offer were to come from West Virginia they’d be my top school,” Rodriguez said. “I mean, everybody knows about Coach Huggins and what kind of a coach he is. Look at his team this year. He has them playing great.”

The nature of West Virginia’s interest isn’t surprising, however. The Mountaineers have shown significant interest over the last several weeks and Mountaineer assistant Ron Everhart has maintained steady contact.

While the newfound interest from a variety of schools would make pulling the trigger on a commitment appealing, Rodriguez insists on taking his time and weighing all factors to ensure he makes the correct decision.

“When I look at schools I look at several things,” Rodriguez said. “I’m looking to play right away at next level. I don’t have to be a big time scorer. I can be the brains of the team. I know West Virginia said their top player will be in the NBA next season and they need someone to come in and pick up where he left off. I think I can be that person.”

This season Rodriguez is averaging 23 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals per contest in just 18 games.

He’s anticipating making a final decision shortly after his season finishes in March. He will have two years to play at the next level.


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