After losing four of their last five games, two of which were to sub-par teams North Carolina A&T and Howard, the Rattlers will look to resume some sense of success Saturday against the MEAC-leading Delaware State University Hornets (16-11, 14-1).
Florida A&M University (12-15, 8-7) traveled to Howard Monday evening and relinquished a tough loss to the Bison, who ended a 14-game losing streak. Coach Mike Gillespie didn’t beat around the bush, proclaiming that the team just has to play better in the future.
“I’m not giving up on this team,” Gillespie said. “We’re working hard. I still think we have a chance to win these last three ballgames and still win the (MEAC) tournament. All we can do is keep coming in here everyday and working to get better.”
The Rattlers don’t want to experience the disappointment of losing again this weekend. In order to thwart a defeat, Gillespie referred to a similar theme of limiting turnovers, which he has stressed all season. FAMU turned the ball over 20 times against Howard.
“We’ve got to value the ball a lot better,” Gillespie said. “We also went five or six minutes without a field goal. We need to avoid those droughts.”
Gillespie said he feels confident that a productive game from junior forward Brian Greene could lead to a great outcome. Greene is steadily garnering more attention as a rising star in the MEAC after three consecutive games with a double double.
“As a collective, we’re not getting it done,” Greene said. “It’s certain guys bringing it, and some that still need to come around. These next few games will prove who wants to play for this team.”
For the Rattlers, Gillespie said they will need to pay close attention to Jahsha Bluntt, a 6-foot-6 guard, and Darrin Shine, the Hornets’ 5-foot-10 point guard.
Bluntt knocked down four 3-pointers in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 28., while Shine scored 12 points and dished out 3 assists in the 61-50 Hornet win.
Rattler guard Tony Tate will likely match up with Shine in a battle at the guard position, but Tate said he won’t be able to do it all alone.
“I’m going to need my post men. I’m going to try and ride them as much as possible,” Tate said. “If we can do that, we have a good shot at winning the game.”
Contact LeMont Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org