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Tallahassee, Fla.– Finally. To go with the shiny new Athletic Center we have a shiny new scoreboard. I’m starting to like all the shiny new things the school is getting. Hopefully some shiny new trophies can go with them.
Well we’re back home for some men’s basketball. Big shout out to the girls team for taking care of those Gators. Big shout out to the ladies volleyball team; they’re prepping for the NCAA Tournament. Not so big shout out for either of these teams playing tonight.
The Rattlers are currently 0-8. This is their worst start since 2003 and a win right now against a (at least in theory) high profile team would do wonders for morale around here. Right now the team is warming up and there’s not much pep to their step.
On the same side of the coin we have the FIU Golden Pathers. The Golden Panthers are 2-7 and currently riding a four game losing streak. Not exactly the debut former pro player turned pro coach turned college coach Isiah Thomas was hoping for.
The Rattlers seriously need to fix their shooting percentage. 37% does not cut it unless you play baseball. A few more contributors would not hurt either. Christopher Walker leads the team with 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds and no other player averages double figures in anything. Again, not going to cut it.
Let’s not forget they average 20 turnovers against 11 assists per game. Rasheem Jenkins leads the assist category with 2.5 per game. Taking care of the ball is essential, as is sharing.
The Golden Panters do not travel well at all. They aren’t stellar at home, but 0-5 on the road is a bit of a problem. Not naming any names but a certain player left his shoes at home on FIU’s side. The best teams play well and gel no matter where they are.
45 minutes till tip off. If the Rattlers win this one then I’ll have some good news for everyone. Stay tuned.
The Rattlers are officialy warming up and the crowd is filing in. Not much else to say really. The pep is still sort of missing. So far I’ve only seen Yannick Crowder smile. FIU is almost gleeful coming out of the gate. Seriousness versus smiles today I guess.
The game is underway. I guess a three from Walker is as good a way as any to start off the game. FIU has a nice half court setup going. They move the ball well, and Stephon Weaver is shooting well so far, connecting on both of his shots.
Two turnovers for the Rattlers so far by the way.
3-5, FIU leads with 16:54 left in the half.
A couple of turnovers for both teams and this game is looking a little sloppy. Walker is leading the team in scoring right now with five points.
8-8, 14:43 left in the half.
I’m sure coach Thomas is looking for some better perimeter defense. This is pretty lousy right now. Nine of the Rattlers 12 points have come from beyond the arc.
12-9, FAMU with 13:42 left in the half.
Silly mistakes must be what the Rattler have terrible nightmares about. Turning the ball over trying to imbound after a made FIU basket, then allowing another and 1 basket is nothing short of silly. Clean play is what will help the Rattlers take down FIU. Mistakes will kill the team.
14-12, FAMU with 11:02 left in the half.
Turnovers are killing both teams now. Since when is taking care of the ball not a top priority? It’s almost like both teams are just outrunning themselvse. They are moving too fast for their own good, resulting in sloppy passes and missed opportunities. Remember a while back when I titled the football game versus North Carolina A&T the “Comedy of Errors?” This is more like a symphony.
Jokes aside, something needs to change. For the Rattlers it is going to start with Walker. They scored 12 points when he was in, two when he was out and four when he was put back in the game. Move the offense through him.
Oh yeah, Crowder has two blocks so far. Just a nice stat for the sophomore.
16-14, FAMU with 7:02 left in the half.
I think keeping Walker around is a good strategy. The players seem calmer when he’s around. The junior is pretty good, to say the least.
24-21, FAMU with 1:39 left in the half.
Halftime 24-25, FIU.
Some halftime stats for your view pleasure.
FAMU 24, FIU 25
Rebounds- FAMU 21, FIU 17
Assists- FAMU 2, FIU 4
Turnovers- FAMU 11, FIU- 10
Leading scorers- FAMU Rasheem Jenkins 6, FIU Phil Gary 7
FG Percentage- FAMU 34.5%, FIU 37%
Alright so maybe viewing pleasure wasn’t the best choice of words.
Let’s take some time out and talk a little defense. Yannick Crowder has four blocks so far. The team has… four blocks so far. Really though, that isn’t half bad when the team allows a little over 80 points per game.
The pace really is picking up. Both teams are doing their best to out shoot each other. Quite a switch from the first half where both teams couldn’t wait to give the ball up.
32-38, FIU leads with 15:59 left in the game.
I say something nice about the teams and I’m repaid by four turnovers in 50 seconds. Thanks, I now know to always temper my enthusiasm.
34-38, FIU leads with 14:37 left.
Remove the tips of the Rattlers’ feet. Three separate times the ball bounced off a players foot. All this in the past four minutes for the Rattlers. Something has to be done about this poor ball security, it is leading to far too many points for the opponents.
Post passing needs a little work too. Crowder is doing a great job of battling for position and the ball is not being fed to him. Turnovers happen whenever they try to feed it to him.
38-42 FIU with 8:40 left in the game.
Let’s give some credit to Dale Hughes. Four three-point shots, 12 points. The shot he just hit brought the game back to within a point for the Rattlers. Not bad.
43-44, FIU with 6:43 left in the game.
If you’re going to play solid defense for 34 seconds, you have to finish the job. 34 seconds of solid defense then allowing FIU to hit a shot is not a good job. It’s just 34 wasted seconds.
50-55, FIU with 1:41 left in the game.
This is the ninth game for the Rattlers. It is literally the first one they’ve been competitive in until the end. That is a positive.. Let’s see if they can finish it out.
52-55, FIU with 1:26 left in the game.
Competitive, but not victorious.
So we just lost, and what does the home crowd do? Walk up to Isiah Thomas to shake his hand. And take pictures. And tell him what a fantastic job he’s doing. What?
…Just a little odd if you ask me.