The 65-78 loss to the Norfolk State Spartans on Monday night left the Rattlers men’s basketball head coach Eugene Harris frustrated. Coach Harris said turnovers from his guards and a lack of rebounds cost the Rattlers the game.
“When you get out rebounded, you’re going to get beat,” coach Harris said. The Rattlers had to fight hard to come back from an early deficit that was the result of several early turnovers.
The Rattlers’ backcourt committed four turnovers in the first 2:30 of the game, which turned into a 10-2 run by the Spartans. Coach Harris felt that the early turnovers were the primary reason they lost.
“What really hurt us was the first several minutes of the basketball game where we did not have good point guard play. I think that was the reason we lost the basketball game,” Harris said.
The starting guards for the Rattlers committed 11 turnovers combined and they had only two assists.
Junior guard Christopher Walker thought that the early deficit showed the team that they have to play together as one unit.
“As a team, we’ve just got to learn how to come out together and have the momentum so that (the opponent) has to play catch up, instead of us,” said Walker.
Junior forward Larry Jackson also felt that the rocky start is what set the team up for disaster.
“I think the effort was there, we just started the game out kind of flat. When you have a team like Norfolk who comes in and plays hard like that you can’t start the game out flat,” Jackson said.
A bad start in a basketball game can be corrected, but Coach Harris believes that taking care of the ball and not turning it over starts with the point guards.
“The point guards came out and turned the ball over the first three plays of the basketball game, and then (the Spartans) would go down and score,” Harris said. “Our point guard play is not good right now, and that’s got to pick up.”
FAMU will have another chance to show if they can turn things around on Saturday when they take on Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.
Coach Harris admits that the Rattlers have not begun to prepare for the Hawks. He said they have plenty of time to do so, and he thinks they will be in good shape for that game.
“We’re going to take a day off on Tuesday and we’ll start back to work on Wednesday morning, 5:30,” Harris Said. “We haven’t watched film on Maryland Eastern-Shore, but we got three days to prepare and things will be better after we look at film and write up the scouting report.”
Maryland-Eastern Shore currently holds a record of 3-12 with a 1-1 record in the conference. The difference between the Hawks and the Rattlers lies in their recent sucess, or lack thereof.
The Rattlers are 3-4 in their last seven games, while the Hawks have lost seven straight.
“Every MEAC game is going to be tough,” Harris said. “We have got to start our games with intensity.”