Roberts Named Preseason 1st Team All-SEC

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State senior forward Lawrence Roberts, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, has been named as a unanimous first-team selection on the first annual Men's Basketball Preseason All-SEC team. As voted on by the league's 12 head men's basketball coaches, the teams were unveiled Thursday by the SEC office headquartered in Birmingham.

Roberts joined Florida's Anthony Roberson as the lone unanimous preseason selections to this year's eight-man, first-team squad. Rounding out the first team were Matt Walsh and David Lee also of Florida, Alabama's Kennedy Winston, Chuck Hayes of Kentucky, LSU's Brandon Bass, and Scooter McFadgon of Tennessee.

In averaging 16.9 points (7th in SEC) and 10.1 rebounds (2nd in SEC & 11th in NCAA) per game last year for coach Rick Stansbury's SEC Champion Bulldogs, Roberts became MSU's first consensus first-team All-American since Hall of Famer Bailey Howell (1958-59). Roberts also became the first Bulldog player since Rickey Brown (1979-80) to average a double-double for an entire season. In addition, the Houston native ranked tied for fourth nationally with a league-leading 16 double-doubles (eight in SEC play) during the 2003-04 season.

A three-year starter and three-time all-conference performer with 1,400 career points and 821 career rebounds to his credit, Roberts enters the 2004-05 campaign leading the nation among active NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 38 career double-doubles. The former Baylor transfer is also bidding to become the first repeat winner of the SEC's Player of the Year honor since former Arkansas All-American Corliss Williamson (1994 & '95).

Also this preseason, Roberts has been rated as the nation's No. 1 power forward by both The Sporting News and Lindy's preseason basketball publications.

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