Do you think Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury is jumping for joy? After all, he received a Christmas present in August, baby!
The unfortunate situation at Baylor has turned into a positive for the Bulldogs. Junior forward Lawrence Roberts, who led the Bears last season in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (10.4 rpg), has decided to transfer to Starkville.
The 6-9 Roberts is quite an addition for Mississippi State. He's a big-time performer who has been overshadowed by other stars in the Big 12. Roberts can flat-out play; you don't normally get kids who average a double-double falling into your lap at this late date.
Roberts has two years of eligibility left, and the NCAA has yet to decide if Baylor players can transfer without sitting out the usual year due to the unusual circumstances. I feel the NCAA should allow Roberts and other Baylor players to play right away.
I believe they will receive immediate eligibility -- and if the NCAA doesn't give it, there should be an investigation. These kids deserve to play. They are innocent victims of the sad scenario at Baylor.
When you consider what has occurred at Mississippi State in recent years, Stansbury really deserves the transfer of a player of Roberts' caliber. There was the Mario Austin situation, where the big man's eligibility was questioned, causing Austin to miss time early last season. Then Austin said he was going to stay in school -- but changed his mind and entered the NBA draft early.
Stansbury also had to deal with the Travis Outlaw situation. There was enthusiasm and excitement when Outlaw said he was going to Mississippi State. But the McDonald's High School All-America was swayed by the cash of the NBA and went straight to the pros. Outlaw was drafted in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Roberts is a big-time performer who has been overshadowed by other Big 12 stars.
Meanwhile, it's been one nightmare after another in Waco. In the past, when schools have been levied with penalties, there have been cases where players have been allowed to play. I think this will happen for Roberts.
We'll have to see what happens with other Baylor players, like John Lucas III. The mess created by former coach Dave Bliss gets deeper and deeper. I can't believe it's become as devastating as it has.
But it's small when you measure it against the loss of Patrick Dennehy's life. Our hearts go out to his family.