By FAMU Sports Information Intern Erika Stuckman
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct.24) – After finishing the 2012-13 season with an overall record of (8-23), the Florida A&M University men’s basketball team has implemented a goal this off-season to help reverse their losing record last season, and turn it into a winning one this coming season.
Despite losing only one player from last year’s newly revamped and reconstructed team, the Rattlers will remain with their core players returning. The team is led by all-conference standout Jamie Adams. Adams made All-MEAC after averaging 14 points-per-game, while collecting 56 three-pointers and 93 assists playing both shooting and point guard.
The Rattlers were also able to add a few more key additions to their squad by welcoming Pierre Crawford, a post-player who has the ability to score with his back facing the basket. On the scoring side they added shooting guard Greg Nelson, who is athletic and has the an exceptional vertical leap. Willie Connor, a great three-point shooter and Chris Rozier a power forward who is packing the capabilities to be a big man and someone who is not afraid to step out and hit the jumper, will also bolster the Rattler lineup.
The team has recognized that they have a lot of work to do before the fast approaching season. However, this year’s scheduling is not as front-loaded as the previous season, which should allow the team time for positive development and growth moving into conference play.
There will be fewer guarantee games, as well as better spacing between each game to support practice time to make adjustments as necessary.
One of the team’s main priorities and goals this season will be to be more aggressive on both ends of the court. The Rattlers will be looking to change their perceived perception on defense that they either cannot play good defense, or are not physical enough on defense, which has been stamped to the team’s identity the last couple of years.
Head Coach Clemon Johnson and his staff have their eyes on finishing in the top five rankings for defense in the MEAC. But, in order to achieve this goal, the Rattlers have to make changes on both sides of the court, especially the dynamics of their defensive players.
The men’s basketball program is also looking to focus on winning every conference game. Ultimately the goal is to earn a seating high enough that allows them to skip the first day of games in the MEAC tournament. The team is confident this year will be one in which they will have a legitimate chance at getting to the MEAC finals and winning.
The team’s final goal for the 2013-2014 season is to be placed No. 1 in the rankings in scoring for the conference as well.
The Southeastern region for MEAC basketball is well accredited and known for always being one of the toughest regions, and this year will not be different.
Johnson’s message to the fans for this season is to prepare for the MEAC and have the Rattlers ready to compete on a nightly basis.