Matt Norlander for CBS Sports did his annual college preseason ranking of all 353 NCAA men’s basketball teams, and at the very bottom of his list was the Florida A&M Rattlers.
“My pick for last for 2018-19 rated as second-worst team two seasons ago with a 2-27 record,” wrote Norlander. “Last season: 9-25. I'd love to be wrong, Rattlers, so good luck to ya.”
FAMU men’s basketball went 9-25 overall and 7-9 in the MEAC in the 2017-2018 season. That record, along with no longer having star players Marcus Barham and Desmond Williams, led to the Rattlers being slated as the worst team in college basketball by CBS Sports out of 353 teams.
“It’s all media, a game hasn’t been played and nobody has seen what our team can do,” said FAMU senior guard Justin Ravenel. “I pay it no attention and we’ll let our play do the talking.
“We will build off of our previous season and extend our journey in the MEAC tournament, we have determined guys that are aware of what we accomplished last season, so we have set the standard higher to put ourselves in a position to win the conference tournament.”
Ravenel is a returning starter for the Rattlers and a key player according to head coach Robert McCollum. He averaged 8.6 points per game, and 2.1 rebounds per game last season.
Junior forward Brendon Myles would not comment on the CBS Sports ranking; however he did say his goals for the season were to get and stay healthy to contribute to a winning culture and win the MEAC championship.
In response to the CBS Sports ranking, coach McCollum simply said, “That’s why you go out and play.” Despite the low ranking, McCollum seems very excited about the season during an interview with the FAMUAN; he said he is relying on Ravenel and key transfers Tracy Hector, from South Georgia State, and Darian Jones, a transfer from Tulane. Coach McCollum also said he is going to take it one game at a time as he looks to improve from last season.
Rattlers open the season with an exhibition game against Edward Waters on Nov. 1, and they open conference play Jan. 5, against Howard University.