The exodus from Baylor has begun. As other players on last year's squad ponder
their fate, one has already made up his mind. Lawrence Roberts, the 6-foot-9,
230-pound forward who led the Bears in scoring last season, will transfer to
Mississippi State. He FAXed in his signed letter of intent on Monday.
Roberts selected Mississippi State over Arizona. He made one visit to
Mississippi State over the weekend and decided against making a trip to
Arizona. He and several other Baylor players had been granted their release
from Baylor, and the school has requested the NCAA waive the transfer rule
requiring players to sit out a season.
If he is eligible to play immediately, Roberts will be a godsend for
Mississippi State. After losing Mario Austin and Class of 2003 signee Travis
Outlaw to the NBA, and Jackie Butler not qualifiying and heading back for
another year of prep school, the Bulldogs will now have a cornerstone forward
on their frontline. He will likely step right in and be Rick Stansbury's top
Roberts led Baylor in scoring both years that he played and was a two-time
Third Team All-Big 12 Selection. As a freshman, he was named Team MVP and set
a new scoring record for Big 12 freshmen with 498 points. This past season as
a sophomore, Roberts averaged a double-double of 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds,
ranking second in the conference in rebounding. He participated in the U.S.
Olympic Trials for the Pan Am Games Team this summer and was a 2003-04
Pre-Season Wooden Award Candidate.
Other Baylor players who have been granted a release to transfer are junior
guards John Lucas III and Kenny Taylor, sophomore forward Tommy Swanson, and
junior college transfer Harvey Thomas. Class of 2003 signee Tyrone Nelson from
Hempstead, Tex., has enrolled at Prairie View A&M.
Jed Tai is a senior writer with Hoopville.com