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March 23, 2016

Angel Rodriguez

Sheldon McClellan

Louisville, Kentucky

Q. I just want to ask you about this year, there's actually several point guards around your height, around 6'0". I was wondering if you kind of like watch them and if you feel like you have some similar moves or puts a chip on your shoulder or just how you've always played?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: No, it's just going to be another game, have a lot of good players, have a point guard, have a lot of good players so I don't get caught up on the individual match-ups. I always, of course, try to play my best, try to outplay the guy, but it's not so much -- doesn't give me individual pride. I just want to win. We don't win, we go home. And that's it.

Q. Do you ever find you're able to leverage it as an advantage against a taller defender?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: No, no. I just play the game. I think I have a lot of things, a lot of good qualities as a player, and other players do as well. It doesn't -- just because I'm short or whatever doesn't mean anything.

Q. The shot you made against Wichita State, did that take you back at all to the end of that La Salle game at Kansas State? You finished it off this time.
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: No, it didn't, but I guess it's a much, much greater feeling to make this shot than to miss the way I did when I was at Kansas. And at the end of the day, we ended up winning. In Kansas, we lost.

Q. What's been the biggest difference for you, going from Kansas State to Miami? What's been the biggest change there from the two schools?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: As far as what?

Q. Well, how about campus life? Like do people recognize you as much at Miami as they did at K-State?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: No. Of course, K-State is a smaller town so fans are going to be a lot more into sports. Miami's a much bigger city and not everybody's into sports.

But you know what? We've done something special this year. We accomplished a lot of great things as far as the crowd, sold-out crowd, which I don't think that's ever been done. So we're building up. The coaches are building up a basketball culture.

Q. How would you say your game as improved? What way would you say it's improved the most since coming over here, playing with Coach?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: I don't know. I just think the way he makes us feel as players, he just lets us play with a lot of confidence. He's not much into running plays and stuff like that. He always says I'll give you the plays and you end up making the plays. Play basketball.

It kind of gives you that feeling you get when you're just playing a pickup game with your friends with no pressure.

Q. Has the move worked out for you better than you could have imagined?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, I mean, absolutely. How can I disagree with that? We're in the Sweet 16. I've never done that. I never thought I would be here. It's a great accomplishment for the team. At the same time, we had a lot of success throughout the regular season. So it definitely has been much better than what I expected.

Q. I know when you left K-State, you said it was to be close to your family. How often are they able to get up, your mother and your brothers, get up to see you play?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: A lot of times the last -- what's it, the last month of the regular season, she came twice. That's way more than what she did at Kansas State in two years. And that was just a month.

So it's definitely been a great thing to have my family closer to me. Basically flight is much cheaper. I even got married. So I have my wife, I have everything, her family. It's home. Everything I want I got here.

Q. When did you get married?

Q. Same person, same girlfriend?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, the same.

Q. Not too many guys left at K-State you were with, but do you still keep in contact with anyone back there?
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, yeah. We still have a group chat and anything that happens, anybody's birthday, anything that, you know, if something happens to me and I want to share it, we'll just start talking about it or they watch my games. Whatever it is that we want to talk about, we just put it on a chat. A lot of times, we just end up laughing. It's really a great feeling to know that even though I left that place, I still have such a great relationship with those guys.

Q. Of all the teams that you have faced this year and that you will face, where do you think Villanova ranks as far as how tough a team?
SHELDON MCCLELLAN: No different than any other team. Like I always tell people, we done played the best defenses in our league, especially with Virginia. They play a great defense. If we can score against them, we can score against anybody. I feel like they have the best defense in the country.

So it's the same. Going to treat it the same as any other game.

Q. Why do you think Angel, it seems like on an emotional level, up and down, why is he able to stay so calm?
SHELDON MCCLELLAN: I think he's just a great leader. He's been through it. I've been through it. Been in college for a while. So it's no pressure with me and him. And he knows he's the leader of this team and we feed off his energy so he has to be positive and upbeat in tempo all game for us to feed off his energy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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