The Kansas State Wildcats are having another banner year.
Not too bad considering they have a new head coach, Bruce Weber. All that Weber has done this season is put the Wildcats in third place tie for the Big 12 regular season title. The reward of the team’s success for the players has been instantaneous.
This past week, sophomore Angel Rodriguez won the Big 12 Player of the Week, his first of his career. He joins Rodney McGruder, a four-time winner, as Wildcats who have earned the honor this season.
More importantly for Weber is that he has been able to sell to his players his motion offense system–and they have been flourishing in it.
McGruder loves to curl off of screening action and has really been allowed under Weber’s system to showcase how he works without the ball. This strength will help his draft stock when he decides to take his talents to the NBA.
Rodriguez, who was not sure he was going to stay with the new coaching staff when Weber was hired, decided to give Weber a chance and that has been the best thing to happen to him from a basketball standpoint. He has had a breakout season and is one of the best point guards in all of college basketball.
Rodriguez ranks first or second in six categories on the team, including first in assists and steals and second in scoring (10.7 ppg.) and double-digit scoring games (14). He has helped the Wildcats rank first in the Big 12 in both assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and turnover margin (+3.0), while he places in the league’s Top 20 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4, 1st), assists (5.0, 4th), steals (1.4, 7th) and scoring (20th).
In addition, in Weber’s motion system, the point guard is even more important as he has to keep the timing of the offense precise and keep the ball and his teammates moving.
If Rodriguez and McGruder can continue to showcase their talents in the system that Weber has put them in, the Wildcats may just capture the Big 12 regular season title.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo