College Basketball Nation: Derrick Roland

NCAA denies Derrick Roland's appeal

July, 16, 2010
The college career of Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland was officially ended Friday with the NCAA denying the senior's appeal for a partial year of eligibility. It's a tough blow, but the final image of Roland's playing career with the Aggies will be of him suffering a gruesome compound fracture of his lower right leg in a game last December against Washington.

"I am disappointed to hear the news that Derrick Roland would not be given back this past year here at Texas A&M," coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. "We knew it was a hard and fast rule and the appeal would be a long shot, but we wanted to make the effort on D-Ro's behalf."

Roland is expected to pursue a professional career after having resumed practicing with the team just in case he could play next season.

But his case was hurt by the simple fact that it was during the 12th game of the season when he suffered the injury -- one that shocked the college basketball community.

"I appreciate all that Coach Turgeon and Texas A&M have done for me," Roland said in a statement. "Not only with this appeal, but for my career and for helping me to grow into the man I am today. I would have loved to come back for even half of a season, but it did not work out."
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Khris Middleton has chosen a good time to blossom.

The Texas A&M freshman scored a career-high 19 points in the Aggies 69-53 win over Utah State in the first round of the South Regional, hitting 5-of-6 from 3-point range.

[+] EnlargeKhris Middleton
AP Photo/Rajah BoseTexas A&M's Khris Middleton scored a career-high 19 points against Utah State.
But Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon wasn't terribly surprised. Middleton has seemed to find himself ever since the calendar turned into March.

"Khris got hot," Turgeon said. "Khris is very capable."

In the four games before the tournament, Middleton made 8 of 15 3-point attempts. In the final three games before the tournament, he averaged 15.3 points.

So the seven points per game he averaged this season, or the 29 percent 3-point percentage that sits beside his name, may not be terribly relevant for a player who suddenly offers an offensively challenged team another potent option other than Donald Sloan.

Middleton said that, despite appearances, he was nervous before the game.

"Once we started to play, I started to relax," he said. "I think that helped me knock down the threes."

Middleton, who moved into the starting lineup when Derrick Roland broke his leg against Washington in late December, also showed poise when he seemed to exit the zone. He nailed his first five 3-pointers, but fired an air ball on No. 6. That might have caused some freshmen to lose their focus, but Middleton opted to go into the paint on the Aggies next possession and sink a short, smooth jumper.

It's not just Middleton, however, who is coming around. A&M's MO entering the tournament was a good defensive team that couldn't consistently make shots. However, the Aggies shot 48 percent from the field in their last four games before the tournament. They shot 49 percent from the field vs. Utah State.

That's almost an unbeatable number.


They are 30-0 under Turgeon when they shoot at least 50 percent from the field.

Afternoon Linkage: Big Ten shakedown

February, 17, 2010

Podcast: ESPNU College Basketball

February, 4, 2010
Andy Katz talks to Arizona coach Sean Miller about leading the Pac-10, Texas A&M guard Donald Sloan about Derrick Roland's injury and Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz about his team's improvement.

Mark Cuban offers help to A&M's Derrick Roland

December, 23, 2009
At last count, nearly 900 Facebook users have joined the group, "We Love Derrick Roland #3," which was created by a Texas A&M student.

It's definitely not only the Aggie community that is offering its support for Roland, who underwent surgery earlier this morning after suffering a gruesome, Joe Theismannesque compound fracture of his right leg in Tuesday night's loss at Washington.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban even offered to pay for a private plane to fly Roland's aunt to Seattle, according to team spokesman Colin Killian.

"He wanted his staff to find out out how much it would cost," Killian said.

Roland's aunt had already arranged for transportation, but that people from all over the basketball community reached out to the senior guard has not gone unnoticed by Texas A&M.

Aggies assistant coach Scott Spinelli told reporters that the team's trainer "almost passed out looking at the injury." But Huskies trainers were there to provide assistance along with team doctors that came out of the stands at Bank of American Arena.

Harborview Medical Center, where Roland could be released from before Saturday, offers a way on its Web site to e-mail patients, and received upwards of 700 of them from fans.

"They finally had to tell people to keep from flooding their system," said Killian, who noted fans are now turning to Roland's Twitter account.

The Washington athletic department also blogged the address where Huskies fans can send well wishes.

And as it turns out, Roland might have even had a Washington-area fan in the operating room with him. According to Killian, one of the doctors prior to performing the surgery had something to tell Roland.

Yep, the doctor was an Aggie.

"(Roland's) face lit up," Killian said. "It put him at ease."

Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon stayed with Roland the whole way through, and Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, whose players tweeted their prayers to Roland last night, also took time this afternoon to visit with the player.

"I think it’s fantastic that our fans can separate the competition side from the humanity side," Romar said in a statement. "This game is very small when you look at it from the perspective of what happened last night and the overwhelming support and well-wishes from our supporters is amazing.

"I got a chance to meet with Derrick Roland and his buddy from all the way back in the eighth grade Donald Sloan. He is an outstanding young man and is doing about as well as can be expected. Those are two quality guys and it sounds like Derrick will be able to play again.

"I know I will always be pulling for him and rooting for him in whatever he does in the future and am sure Husky fans feel the same way."