Craig Bowman and Byron Samuels not expected to return to FAMU next season

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., ( – Florida A&M men’s basketball seems to slowly spiraling down hill. Last week FAMU guard Craig Bowman confirmed that he will be transferring and after three seasons as head coach, Byron Samuels’ contract with the Rattlers will not be renewed.

“I just want a different opportunity,” Bowman told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I feel like we accomplished a lot since I’ve been here. I just wanted a new opportunity. A new chance to compete against some different talent. I just want to think everybody for the opportunity. It was a pleasure. I’ll always be a Rattler. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

After Bowman would confirm his transfer, it was released that Samuels’ contract would not be renewed.

“After review and evaluation of the Florida A&M University men’s basketball program, FAMU Athletics has decided to take its program in a different direction,” Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Bowman and Samuels have both been with the Rattlers since the start of the 2014-2015 season.

After FAMU’s coach was fired and most of its players had left the program, Samuels had to essentially build a team from scratch before the start of 2014-15 season.

Bowman would start for the Rattlers in the 2014-15 and 2015-2016 seasons. He averaged 7.6 points per game in his freshman year and 8.9 points per game in his sophomore year. He played in 19 games for the Rattlers this season, who went 7-23, and started seven games and averaged 5.8 points per game.

Bowman’s transfer continues a recent trend of contributors leaving the Rattlers. Two years ago, Jermaine Ruttley left FAMU for Arkansas-Little Rock. Ruttley was the MEAC’s No. 3 scorer, averaging 17.4 points per game. Last season, Malcolm Bernard left the program for Xavier. Bernard led the Rattlers in points, rebounds, and assists. Bernard averaged 14.4 points per game, averaged 7.1 rebounds per game and averaged 4.3 assists per game.

Samuels was 17-71 as FAMU’s head coach. The Rattlers ended the season with South Carolina State knocking them out of the MEAC tournament 82-78 in overtime in the first round.


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