As far as the Rattlers are concerned, Saturday’s game against the MEAC’s top team, Delaware State, (9-10, 7-0 MEAC) is a perfect opportunity to gain ground on the first-placed Hornets.
“Although we cannot take over first place with a win on Saturday, it definitely gives us a chance to prove some things on the court,” said Head Coach Mike Gillespie Sr., who is looking for his first career win in Dover, Del., against Delaware State.
The players are not content being No. 2 in the MEAC ranking.
“We barely won the last two games (at home against Maryland Eastern Shore and Howard), so we are definitely not satisfied,” said Jonathan Kelly, a senior from Tallahassee. “Everyone in the locker room feels that we should be winning by larger margins.”
Tony Tate, the team’s leading scorer and current MEAC player of the week, said the team will have no problem avoiding a let-down coming off two close and emotional wins.
“We will definitely be ready to play. All we have to do is come out aggressive and get out to good start, ” said the Jersey City, N.J. native.
Already having played seven games with more than 20 points, Tate has plenty of confidence, and this swagger is becoming a trademark for the red-hot Rattlers.
“We all feel that we are the best team,” Tate said. “Now we just have to continue to prove it.”
A win against Delaware State might be the perfect way to establish Rattler supremacy in the MEAC.
Despite his stellar play, Tate is nursing a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the last two practices.
Gillespie said the team is taking his injury day-to-day and coaches are uncertain if Tate will play in Saturday’s game.
High-flying junior guard Brian Greene, from Jacksonville, has resumed practice this week, but will not be in action on Saturday. The coaching staff is optimistic that he will be ready to play next Saturday when the Rattlers travel to Baltimore to take on winless Morgan State.
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