Postgame: Michigan 71, K-State 57

In its first loss of the season, Kansas State made 36.7 percent of its shots from the field, 22.2 percent of its shots from three-point range and scored more than half of its points on fast break and second chance opportunities.

The Wildcats clearly struggled with Bruce Weber’s motion offense, and that’s the main reason they were unable to push No. 4 Michigan in the second half of a 71-57 defeat.

“We need to spend more time on offense, because a lot of us aren’t on the same page with knowing how to set screens and keep the offense moving,” starting forward Nino Williams said.

That showed when it took nearly 10 minutes for K-State to get its first points out of a half-court set. Seniors Rodney McGruder and Jordan Henriquez were quiet until the game got out of reach and guards Will Spradling and Angel Rodriguez were the only two players that were consistently active.

But while they held the ball or sprinted around the perimeter to get open, K-State’s interior players seemed lost. They rarely caught the ball in good position to turn and shoot, and when they tried to pass back outside Michigan made them work.

The Wolverines didn’t allow the Wildcats to make many easy passes, and that was perhaps what hurt K-State the most. When forwards have to jump or lob passes to get the ball to guards on the perimeter, everything slows down.
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Angel Rodriguez thinks his game will fit right in with new coach Bruce Weber

When a new coach arrives, few positions face more change than point guard. With that in mind, Angel Rodriguez had a little thinking to do when Frank Martin left for South Carolina and Bruce Weber was hired at Kansas State.

The sophomore point guard had a successful first season with the Wildcats, and became a starter as the season went along. But his up-tempo style, his aggressiveness and his tendency to create his own shot aren’t for everybody.

Some coaches like their point guard to shoot first. Others like their point guard to pass all the time.

Ultimately, Rodriguez decided his game would fit in – and maybe even thrive – with Weber’s coaching style. Two months after the coaching change, he has no regrets.

“I am loving everything about this new coaching staff,” Rodriguez said following a practice earlier this week. “They are nice people. I like their system. It just seems like we are going to enjoy playing for Coach Bruce and his people.”
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New recruits bring athleticism to K-State

When discussing the six newest members of Kansas State’s basketball team, Frank Martin uses one word more than any other: Athleticism.

“The one thing with our team last year was that we weren’t as athletic as we needed to be,” Martin said. “But with these guys, we just got a lot more athletic.”

Junior college transfer Jeremy Jones and Division I transfers (by way of JUCO) James Watson and Omari Lawrence appear to be the most agile of the group, but Martin also sees explosiveness in freshmen Angel Rodriguez, Adrian Diaz and Thomas Gipson.

All bring something unique to the court.

“Omari, James and Jeremy, they’re all older and as you get older you get stronger and you get exposed to basketball,” Martin said. “All three of those guys are very athletic and should help us. Then you look at those young (freshmen) they all bring a certain level of athleticism that I think is going to help them continue to grow and get better.”

Here’s a rundown of what Martin likes about all six newcomers.
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A few summer K-State basketball notes

I spoke with Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin for about 20 minutes earlier today. During that conversation we covered a number of topics, ranging from the similarities he sees between Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea and Wildcats freshman Angel Rodriguez (read all about it in tomorrow’s paper), what he is expecting out of his newest recruits, the promotions on his coaching staff and plenty in between.

I’m planning on passing along all of those tidbits throughout the week right here. Allow me to kick things off now with a few notes.

Feeling Better

Martin is much healthier today than he was last month when he began undergoing treatment for blood clots found in his leg.

“I feel great,” Martin said. “I’m on blood thinners. There are times during the day that makes you feel weird, but I’m good. My doctors are comfortable with my blood and they’re comfortable with the clot. In the back of my mind, I’m always worried. Blood clots are nothing to mess with. So I’m not free and clear. I’m always going to have a concern in the back of my mind, but physically I’m good.”
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Angel Rodriguez signs with K-State

Angel Rodriguez made his commitment to Kansas State official today.

The Miami point guard, who orally committed to the Wildcats in November, announced on his twitter account that he signed a National Letter of Intent.

“I’m officially a K-State Wildcat,” he wrote.

Rodriguez joins a long line of south Florida-based players to sign with K-State coach Frank Martin. Rodriguez is close with former Wildcats Luis Colon and Denis Clemente.

He will join Adrian Diaz, a Miami forward, and Thomas Gipson, a Dallas big man, on next year’s roster. K-State has one scholarship remaining.

Art Alvarez, Rodriguez’s AAU basketball coach, said Rodriguez waited six months to sign with K-State in order to make sure Martin remained the Wildcats’ coach.

After a few speculation-filled weeks, with many suggesting Martin as a candidate for the Miami job until the moment former George Mason coach Jim Larranaga accepted it, Rodriguez could confidently sign with K-State and the man who recruited him.

Rodriguez is a three-star prospect, according to He averaged 23 points and six assists as a senior at Miami Dr. Krop High School.

Angel Rodriguez to visit this week

Angel Rodriguez, a long-time target of the Kansas State basketball team, will make a visit to campus this weekend and take in the Wildcats’ Madness in Manhattan event Friday evening.

The 5-foot-11 point guard from Miami is rated as a three-star recruit by, and shares close ties to former players Denis Clemente and Luis Colon. He is also close with current big man Freddy Asprilla.

His AAU coach, Art Alvarez, said Rodriguez is looking forward to the festivities. And if Frank Martin deems them exciting enough to show off to a recruit, they should be pretty decent, right?

Alvarez has said that Rodriguez is leaning heavily toward K-State in the recruiting process, and could make a commitment to the Wildcats shortly after seeing Manhattan up close.