Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Roberson has unimpressive performance

March 25, 2003
Senior forward Aloysius Anagonye and freshman guard Maurice Ager fight for an offensive rebound against Florida guard Justin Hamilton Sunday in Tampa, Fla. MSU held No. 2 seed Florida under 50 points for the first time in head coach Billy Donovan's seven year tenure as it routed the Gators 68-46. —

Tampa, Fla. - Freshman guard Anthony Roberson didn't picture it this way.

The Saginaw native chose Florida over MSU, and before Sunday, it was hard for anyone to question his decision.

The Gators (25-8) were ranked as high as No. 1 in the polls this season and were considered a national championship contender, much in part to his success.

The Spartans (21-12) slowly plummeted out of the rankings in early January and were considered as one of the season's biggest disappointments. MSU's struggles had been attributed to injuries and lack of a true point guard - a position Roberson would have easily filled.

"Here's a kid I recruited for four years," MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. "I get no pleasure out of anything with Anthony Roberson. Sure, I'm disappointed when I read fans are upset. But he's had an incredible year.

"Would I like to have him? Sure. Do I think he was the best player in the state of Michigan last year? Yeah, I do."

But in the Spartans' 68-46 spanking of the Gators in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Roberson didn't play like the player Izzo coveted.

In 23 minutes, Roberson didn't score a point on 0-for-6 shooting and dished two assists. During the season, he averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

As the final minutes ticked off the clock, a Spartan fan heckled Roberson by saying, "You should have known better Roberson. A Saginaw boy should never not go to Michigan State."

The comments received stone cold stares from Roberson and the rest of his teammates.

Numbers game

Again, the Big Ten is proving critics wrong in the NCAA Tournament this season.

The Big Ten's five teams have combined for a 7-3 record through the first two rounds. Seventh-seeded MSU and fifth-seeded Wisconsin are still standing, while fourth-seeded Illinois, seventh-seeded Indiana and ninth-seeded Purdue all lost their second-round games. The seven wins rank just one behind the Big East (8-0) and the Big 12 (8-3).

Hungry for more

Despite reaching the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in six seasons, neither the players, nor coaches are content just yet.

The Spartans are aiming to land on Bourbon Street, which would put the Spartans in their fourth Final Four in five seasons.

"Right now, this feels really good," sophomore guard Chris Hill said. "This is the best feeling I've had at Michigan State, but we're not happy with this, we're just satisfied."

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