With the NBA Draft drawing closer, we continue our NBA Draft Profile series on InsideTheACC. Next up on our list is Miami Hurricanes point guard Angel Rodriguez. Rodriguez undoubtedly left his mark on the ‘Canes in his two seasons in Coral Gables, but will his play be enough to allow him to hear his name called on June 23rd?
- Class: Senior
- Age: 23
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 183 lbs.
- Wingspan: 6’1″
- No-Step Vertical: 30″
- 30.1 minutes per game
- 12.6 points per game
- 4.5 assists per game
- 44.2% shooting overall (34.1% from three)
Heart. Grit. Toughness.
All three adjectives are an accurate representation of Miami Hurricanes point guard Angel Rodriguez.
The 23-year-old senior point guard led Jim Larranaga’s squad to the Sweet 16 this past season in Coral Gables, thanks in part to his career-high 28 point, 5 assist performance in the Round of 32 against Wichita State. While his collegiate career culminated with a 23-point loss to Villanova in the Sweet 16, Rodriguez ensured that his individual performance in the final three games of his tenure at Miami made a lasting impact on the scouts who evaluated him.
On college basketball’s biggest stage, the NCAA Tournament, Rodriguez averaged 21.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists, leading the charge offensively for the Hurricanes in postseason play. For the entirety of the season, Rodriguez averaged 12.6 points on a career-high 44.2% shooting, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per contest. Additionally, Rodriguez knocked down a modest 34% of his three point attempts, while also shooting 80% from the free throw line on the season.
Defensively, Rodriguez consistently made plays on the ball, averaging 1.7 steals per game during his senior season. His strength and quickness were two obvious attributes that benefited him as he competed against some of the best backcourts in the country in the ACC. Additionally, when looking at more and more film of Rodriguez, it became more abundantly clear that he became a much better help-side defender in his time with the Hurricanes from his junior to his senior season.
With solid offensive numbers and improving defensive statistics, why is it that so many teams are expected to pass on one of the best point guards in the ACC?
First, is the fact that he is undersized for an NBA guard at 5’10”. Second, he does not have elite athleticism, which is why he has failed to draw comparisons to other undersized guards in the NBA who have had success, such as free agent Nate Robinson and Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas. Finally, Rodriguez is already 23 years old, which will likely lead to teams being less willing to wait on him to develop, seeing as though he will be one of the oldest players eligible for this year’s NBA Draft.
Angel Rodriguez could certainly adapt his offensive game to the professional level more quickly than some scouts have predicted. He has an excellent mid-range game, especially when considering his size, and he has the ball-handling ability to potentially play effectively on the offensive end of the floor. When combining these with his intangibles of heart, grit, and toughness, there are plenty of reasons to take a chance on Rodriguez, even if it ends up being as an undrafted free agent.
However, with the steep size disadvantage that he is dealing with, coupled with the fact that most teams in the NBA will not be willing to wait for his development, I foresee Rodriguez making a greater impact on the European game than he will in the NBA. At least at the start of his career, it is much easier to envision him in playing overseas before getting a legitimate opportunity in the NBA.
NBA Draft Projection: Undrafted Free Agent