Saturday night was one of mixed emotions for Florida A&M basketball star Justin Ravenel, as his team suffered a loss to rival Bethune-Cookman University in the same game he broke FAMU’s all-time 3-pointers made record.
The senior guard needed to hit only four shots from the 3-point line to reach the 280 mark heading into Saturday, which would break the record previously held by FAMU alumnus Terrence Woods. Being so close to making history might tempt a player to force up shots unnecessarily, but not Ravenel.
"I understand already I'm going to take shots, but there's no reason to go outside what we need to do,” said the Lithonia, GA native after the game. “It's about trying to win the game. Anything that's outside the line, is outside the line. There's no going one-on-one to get out the element for a record to be broken. That's not why I play basketball."
Ravenel is averaging a little more than three 3-pointers made a game, and the efficient 47 percent clip he makes his 3-pointers at shows that he’s doing it within the structure of FAMU’s offense. True-to-form, Ravenel hit 4 of his 8 long-ranged jump shots against B-CU, and the jumper that broke the record was a shot over Dondre Duffas of B-CU that cut the deficit to four points with nearly eight minutes left in the game.
Ironically, FAMU head coach Robert McCollum wishes Ravenel would shoot more and be more aggressive. Ravenel’s fourth three was his last make from downtown in the game, and FAMU ended up losing 67-54.
“I can’t tell you how many times over the course of a game I’m saying ‘Justin shoot the ball! You had enough space! Drive the ball!’” McCollum said. “It really says a whole lot about him (Ravenel). This is how he got to this point, the shots you’ve seen him take all year. He scored tonight, he got some looks in transition, he got some wide-open looks with called plays and it’s come like it’s come all year.”
FAMU’s new all-time three-point leader ended the game with a team-high 19 points on 6 of 13 shooting and going 4 of 8 from long range. Although the night ended on a sour note, he admitted that he enjoyed meeting Terrence Woods, who attended Saturday’s game and signed the ball Ravenel broke the record with, giving it to him as a memento.
“I was really excited,” Ravenel said. “I got to meet Terrence Woods. I've been hearing about him ever since I came here. I was really ecstatic to talk to him, more so. It was nice the former players came back and said great things about FAMU. They want to see the program grow. That's the reason I play. When I come back, I want to see the program excel. That's big to me."
Ravenel will look to extend his new record on the road Saturday against North Carolina A&T March 2.