Northeastern University’s senior guard Jordan Roland led the nation in scoring after six games this season. It took him by surprise that he was leading the nation to score in the opening weeks of the season. Roland is the shooting guard who averaged a surprising 26.8 points after a half-dozen games.
Despite losing four major contributors from last year’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champions, Northeastern has been off to a competitive. The Huskies have given themselves a chance in every game because of their old-and-young backcourt of Roland, a prolific fifth-year graduate student, and freshman point guard Tyson Walker, who has been named CAA Rookie of the Week twice already. Roland generated career-bests of 39 and 42 points in season-opening wins against Boston University and Harvard, respectively. Coach Bill Coen insists that the attention opponents pay to Roland will create opportunities for his teammates as the season progresses.
The Huskies are converting an efficient 51.2 percent of their shots overall, including 44.2 percent from the 3-point line. The unpredictable player of the season has been Walker, who has emerged as an early-season leader with 10.3 points per game to go with a team-best 3.4 assists. The undersized backcourt of 6-foot-1-inch Roland and 6-foot Walker is generating close to half of Northeastern’s points and steals. Roland creates easy baskets while enabling Walker to play to his up-tempo strength.
Walker has generated 15 points and a season-best six assists in a 78-63 win over Maine at Matthews Arena. Roland led his teams to state basketball championships in his final two years at Westhill High School in Syracuse, New York. He moved to Northeastern in 2017. After sitting out his transfer year, Roland set a Northeastern season record with 99 3-pointers in a complementary role.
“I wanted to have a really, really big year. I felt like I was going to have to be one of the guys to carry the load. I didn’t expect to get off to this good of a start. However, one of the things I wanted was to be more of a leader. I haven’t really been in a leadership role since I’ve been in college”, says Roland.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman