If you want to see a single player score an obscene amount of points — and really, who doesn’t — then you’ll want to start punching Northeastern’s schedule into your calendar.
Huskies’ redshirt senior guard Jordan Roland has exploded into the 2019-2020 season, most recently scoring a career- and program-high 42 points in a win over Harvard on Friday night. That followed a then-career-high 39-point effort in a win over Boston University earlier in the week.
“I feel like you hit a couple and the basket starts to feel bigger and bigger,” Roland said in the post-game press conference following the Harvard win, and after he had deflected individual praise and focused on the pair of wins.
And by no means were these empty calories in lopsided games. Both wins over Boston-area rivals were tight throughout, and Roland drilled big shots in both. He hit a three in each game with just under three minutes left to stretch an NU lead out to six points, which included the shot below that helped hold off a Harvard comeback in a game NU had led by 17 at halftime.
The bevy of points must have especially haunted Harvard fans, who not only took a loss at the start of an important season, but were also reminded of the 35 points Roland dropped on the Crimson to begin last season.
Roland landed on the all-CAA third team last season, excelling primarily as a floor-spacing, spot up shooter alongside the Huskies’ dynamic point guard Vasa Pusica. He averaged 14.6 points per game, shooting 40.2 percent from deep while drilling 99 three’s, a single-season program record.
With Pusica out of eligibility, Roland has been handed the reins as the on-court leader of a team with high expectations after getting the CAA’s auto bid a year ago. His scoring barrage to begin this season has continued to include the long range shot (8-16 3FG), but he’s flashed some new playmaking chops, getting to the line 19 times in the two games (and making 17 of those free throws). In the small sample size, that’s a drastic increase in free throw rate over his career numbers, and has been important with the team working talented freshman point guard Tyson Walker into a big role.
That kind of development is exactly what Roland was looking for when he transferred to NU from George Washington in 2017. He talked to Syracuse.com at the time about why he chose Bill Coen’s Huskies over Colgate, Sienna and BU.
“I liked the conference. I feel like the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association)is still a pretty competitive league and not too much of a step down from the A10,” Roland said. ”I liked the coaches a lot. I like how they develop guards. Their point guard (T.J. Williams) was player of the year in their conference. They sold me on the idea that they do a good job of developing guards and I felt like they would do the best job helping me improve.”
Two games a season does not make, but Roland has the hyper-early track to that award Williams won in 2017, and similarly has been the face of what looks like another formidable NU team.