Men’s basketball can meet expectations

I have been hearing from an array of sources that the men’s basketball team is supposed to be good this year. Of course, I had to go and see for myself.

After watching them play two exhibition contests in Gaither Gymnasium, I must say that my sources were correct.

Rattlers expect a lot from the men’s basketball team this year.

Head coach Mike Gillespie has put together an awesome team filled with eight guys that can flat out shoot the rock.

The Rattlers shooting prowess was on full display in Saturday’s 90-54 blowout win in exhibition over St. Leo. Five players canned three-pointers that evening as the Rattlers shot an exceptional 52.2 percent from the arc, while shooting an even more exceptional 61.4 points from the field.

Gillespie has also brought some quick players to Tallahassee that can execute his full court press, which the Rattlers will be in all game, every game. They will also throw some half-court traps on upcoming opponents as its obvious that Gillespie wants his team to go after their opponent on defense.

An explosive player in his own right, senior guard Michael Griffith leads this explosive team. He led the team in scoring a season ago, averaging 15.3 points per game.

The starting point guard duties will likely be handed to junior Demarcus Wilkins, who was second on the team in scoring last season averaging 12.6 points per game. This guy hardly ever gets ripped, but he will pick your pocket in a heartbeat.

Wilkins knows that he has to play well to keep that starting role because a superb Tallahassee product will probably back him up. The newcomer Moses White, who came over from Tallahassee Community College where he averaged 13.4 points per game, will see a lot of minutes as the Rattlers sixth man.

The middle will be roamed by senior 6’10” center Jermaine Hill, who led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in blocks last season (1.5). He will be an important part of the Rattlers offense this season. If Hill is able to establish a low-post presence that commands a double team, then that will give the Rattlers’ great shooters an opportunity to shoot some open shots.

You can’t forget about sophomore guards Dominique Jackson (2001-02 MEAC All-Rookie Team) and Jeremy Henderson, and junior guard Terrence Woods (transfer from Tennessee), who all can fill up that circular rim from 15 feet or even 25 feet out.

And Gillespie brought in freshman guard Jonathan Kelly, who averaged 29.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists as a senior at Chiles High School (Tallahassee).

As you can see, this team is very deep. I don’t know how Gillespie is going to keep these guys happy.

I guess by strictly winning and therefore turning around last season’s 9-19 record, in which they lost all of their non-conference games.

Gillespie guaranteed that the Rattlers will have a winning record this season, which means that his team will have to win some non-conference games, unless they are planning on dominating the MEAC.

After watching this team play, I believe him.

– Ibram Rogers, 20, is a junior magazine production student from Manassas, Va. He can be reached at