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Baylor's top scorer transfers to State

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Aug. 19, 2003
STARKVILLE Mississippi State University head basketball coach Rick Stansbury confirmed, in a news release late Monday, that junior forward Lawrence Roberts of Houston has signed a Southeastern Conference scholarship with MSU.
Roberts, Baylor's leading scorer and rebounder last season, is the first returning player to leave the Bears' program following the school's self-imposed probation over major NCAA violations uncovered during the investigation of the disappearance and death of Patrick Dennehy.
The 6-foot-9 forward told the Associated Press that he signed a letter of intent with the Bulldogs and faxed it to the school.
It's tough to go through this … to have trust in the coaching staff and build a foundation and then leave because of an incident that you have no part to do with,'' said Roberts, who visited the MSU campus over the weekend. I've kind of just moved ahead.''
Roberts averaged 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds a game last year in 26 games with the Bears.
Baylor has requested the NCAA waive the transfer rule that would require players leaving the program to sit out a year before they could play for another school.
Roberts told the reporters he wasn't sure if he would be able to play this season, but he was willing to sit out a year, if necessary.
If he is cleared to play, Roberts would fill a big hole in the Bulldogs' lineup.
MSU enters the 2003-04 season searching for an inside presence to replace Mario Austin.
Austin, who led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding, decided to skip his senior season and was taken in the second round of the NBA Draft by Chicago.
MSU also lost its top two recruits, 6-foot-9 Travis Outlaw and 6-foot-10 Jackie Butler, both McDonald's All-Americans.
Outlaw was taken in the first round of the NBA draft by Portland, and Butler didn't qualify academically.
Stansbury was out of town on Monday, and he was unavailable for comment. Classes begin at MSU on Wednesday.