Roland shows his stuff vs. Oklahoma St.

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2000

Lamont Roland was lighting it up in LSU’s 63-53 upset win over Oklahoma State Thursday night.

A handful of Miss-Lou basketball players were probably the least surprised.

Roland scored a career-high 22 points, including nine of LSU’s final 12 in the game.

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Roland, who was 5-of-7 from 3-point range, had 17 points in the second half, matching the total of his teammates over the final 20 minutes.

Roland spent this past summer in Natchez, taking classes at Copiah-Lincoln Natchez to make himself eligible to play at LSU.

He spent a lot of time in the Ferriday High basketball gym, playing in the multitude of pick-up games that go on during the summer.

Roland was directed by his Barton County College, Ryan Cross, to Robert Cade of Natchez, who at the time was head boys basketball coach at Ferriday. Cade has since joined Natchez High as an assistant football and assistant basketball coach.

The 6-foot-4, 203-pound Roland was the Junior College Player of the Year last season, averaging 24.2 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Roland had his five final choices down to Connecticut, Fresno State, Providence, Texas A&M and LSU. Roland credited the Tiger coaching staff and players with his final decision.

Knowing he was short a few hours, Cross called Cade and asked him if he could get him into a school close to LSU and also work with him.

At Ferriday High, Roland played games against current and former Ferriday and Natchez High players.

The Ferriday High gym is pretty run down, with the only light available being just a hair above what creeps in through the doors. That’s why Ferriday High uses the seventh-grade gym.

Cade jokingly told me last month that may have helped Roland.

&uot;He had to learn to practically shoot in the dark,&uot; Cade said. &uot;So he had to have a shooting touch.&uot;

Roland said before leaving that he had never heard of Natchez before he got here, but knew it had historical significance.

&uot;Natchez people have been really nice,&uot; Roland said. &uot;I won’t forget my time here.&uot;

It seems as if we won’t be forgetting Roland anytime soon.

While John Brady has the LSU basketball team winning the hearts of Tiger fans, a recent article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette may reveal even more Gerry DiNardo’s demise as Tiger football coach.

The Little Rock, Ark., paper talked with Texas defensive coordinator Carl Reese heading into the today’s Cotton Bowl matchup between Texas and Arkansas.

Reese followed DiNardo from Vanderbilt to LSU and the Tigers were 26-9-1 from 1995-97 before Reese left the Tigers for Texas. LSU has gonpe 7-15 since Reese left.

&uot;I had worked with ol’ Gerry DiNardo seven years, and that was long enough,&uot; Reese was quoted as saying. &uot;I was real happy about being able to come to Texas.&uot;

Reese said DiNardo was a good guy, &uot;but he’d wear you slick a little bit when it comes to how he tried to get the job done. He’d want to sit on your head a little. Most of the time I was with him, he was actually the offensive coordinator. When things would go bad (on defense) in a game, he would want to sit in on meetings the next week and try to develop your package, which is really too many cooks in the kitchen.&uot;

Hopefully the food in DiNardo’s restaurant is much better in than what the defensive scheme was serving up.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at