Roberts tabbed First Team All-American

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After sweeping SEC Player of the Year honors from a vote of the league's 12 head coaches as well as from a collective vote of The Associated Press wire service members last week, Mississippi State junior Lawrence Roberts has recently been named All-American First Team by both the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) organizations, as well as by the website.

A national finalist for both the prestigious Wooden and Naismith All-American Teams, Roberts was previously named to the first-ever, five-man Adolph F. Rupp All-American Team, along with Josh Childress of Stanford, Duke's Chris Duhon, Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph's, and Emeka Okafor of Connecticut.

The USBWA's All-American First Team is rounded out by Nelson, Okafor, Ryan Gomes of Providence and Texas Tech's Andre Emmett. Also on the NABC's Division I All-American First Team are Nelson, Okafor, Childress and Emmett. In addition to Nelson, Okafor and Childress,'s first-team listing also includes Blake Stepp of Gonzaga.

While leading the SEC and ranked fourth nationally with 16 double-doubles on the season, Roberts is bidding to become the first Bulldog player since Rickey Brown (1979-80) to average a double-double for an entire season. The Houston native and former Baylor transfer enters postseason tournament competition ranked fourth nationally among active NCAA Division I players with 38 career double-doubles. Roberts, a two-time SEC Player of the Week this season, currently ranks as the league's No. 5 scorer (17.0 ppg) and nation's fifth-leading rebounder (10.4 rpg), along with rating fifth in the conference in field-goal percentage (52.1%).

Roberts, 6-9, 235 pounds, becomes the first Mississippi State player to earn first-team all-America accolades since Jeff Malone garnered UPI's SEC Player of the Year honors and collected national first-team recognition by The Sporting News publication after ranking as the nation's second-leading scorer as a senior in 1982-83. Previously, former two-time all-American and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Bailey Howell was a consensus first-team all-American as a senior in 1958-59, while Jim Ashmore received first-team plaudits from the Helms Foundation during his senior season in 1956-57.

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