UNT men’s basketball team out in front for JUCO point guard


A large chunk of the top junior college players in the country will gather later this month in Augusta, Ga., to work out in front of Division I head coaches and assistants looking to upgrade their teams’ talent.

UNT is in position to land Mike Rodriguez, a point guard from Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College, who will be among the elite prospects at the camp.

“North Texas’ coaches have been here throughout the year,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of coaches have talked to me, but none have offered. North Texas was the first to offer. The other schools were waiting for the All-American camp.”

The confidence UNT has shown by offering Rodriguez before the camp has separated the Mean Green from the other schools that are showing interest.

UNT assistant coach David Anwar is talking to Rodriguez on a regular basis and has developed a relationship with a 5-foot-10 sophomore, who averaged 16.7 points and 4.3 assists a game last season. Rodriguez improved those totals to about 22 points and 6.5 assists a game in conference play and was a second-team All-Region XI selection.

Rodriguez is from the Boston area, where he played for Redemption Christian Academy. Anwar is also from the Boston area.

“I have started to get close to him,” Rodriguez said of Anwar. “We talk a lot.”

Rodriguez plans to visit UNT in August.

“I like North Texas and what they have to offer and Tony Mitchell went there,” Rodriguez said. “The coaches said that I have a lot of heart. They like my speed and that I will do anything I have to in order to win. I want to play for a winning team.

“North Texas is rebuilding. I feel like we could win if I go there.”

Rodriguez has talked to the people close to him about his options, including his AAU coach Leo Paplie of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.

“He told me that North Texas would be a good fit,” Rodriguez said of Paplie.

Rodriguez is looking for a school at which he can develop to the point that he can play professionally after college and could make a decision in the next few weeks.

“I want to commit before the season,” Rodriguez said. “I am going to weigh my options.”

Heading into this month’s All American JUCO Showcase in Augusta, Ga., UNT is at the top of Rodriguez’s list.

And on the football front, a couple of tidbits …

UNT offensive line target Josh Jones of Fort Bend Bush will release a top five list this week.

UNT wide receiver target Sam Mays committed to Illinois. UNT had an offer on the table. Illinois has pulled two Texas wide receivers with UNT offers this week. A.D. Miller was the first to decide to head north.