Roberts Wins Inaugural Howell Trophy

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University all-SEC forward Lawrence Roberts was named the 2004-05 winner of the inaugural Cellular South Howell Trophy, the Jackson-based Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced Thursday. The award for Mississippi's top male college basketball player was announced Thursday evening at the First Annual Cellular South Howell Trophy presentation in Jackson.

Roberts outdistanced fellow MSU teammate Shane Power, a senior guard/forward for the Bulldogs, and Ole Miss senior forward Tommie Eddie. The veteran trio finished at the top of the voting as determined by a statewide panel of 41 media voters representing radio, television and print outlets from around the state of Mississippi.

An honorable mention Associated Press All-American and a top 10 finalist for the 2004-05 Senior CLASS Award, Roberts hails as Mississippi State's first repeat first-team all-SEC performer since current Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier. The 6-9, 240-pound Roberts completed his senior season having led the SEC in rebounding (11.0 rpg; 8th in the NCAA) and double-doubles (20; T-6th in the NCAA), while ranking fourth in scoring (16.9 ppg), ninth in field-goal percentage (44.8%) and 10th in steals (1.6 spg). As a senior, he posted MSU's best season rebounding average and earned the school's first individual rebounding title since former NBA standout Rickey Brown averaged a league-leading 14.4 rebounds per contest in 1979-80. An MSU team tri-captain this past year, Roberts helped lead coach Rick Stansbury's 23-11 Bulldogs to a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and a fourth straight 20-win season in 2004-05.

Having amassed 1,942 points (16.5 ppg) and 1,172 rebounds (9.9 rpg) during his 118-game, four-year collegiate career, Roberts topped all active NCAA Division I men's basketball players during the course of this past season with a final tally of 58 career double-doubles. Upon completing his freshman and sophomore seasons at Baylor University and then transferring to MSU in 2003, Roberts went on to become just the third player in Mississippi State basketball history to reach 1,000 career points in just two seasons. A unanimous first-team all-American as a junior and named the 2003-04 SEC Player of the Year with the Bulldogs, the Houston native ranks 26th on MSU's all-time scoring list with 1,048 career points and 13th with 654 career rebounds. Having averaged a double-double (16.9 ppg & 10.5 rpg) during his two-year State stint, Roberts stands seventh and third all-time on the school's respective career scoring and rebounding average charts.

The Cellular South Howell Trophy is named in honor of former Mississippi State All-American and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Bailey Howell, who was in attendance during Thursday's activities in Jackson and presented the inaugural award to MSU's Roberts.

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