Basketball teams seek to rebound seasons

The Florida A&M basketball teams are looking to build on the momentum they garnered during the offseason.

Women’s head coach LeDawn Gibson is very optimistic about the beginning of the season.

“I have a very good outlook for the season,” Gibson said. “We recruited talented players who can fit our system.”

The team was picked to finish fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, but the ceiling for this team could be much higher than what experts envision.

Coming off of a down year where the Lady Rattlers only won 11 games, the team has made major changes to the roster.

Graduate student and guard Jasmine Grice, who was the ninth leading scorer in the NCAA last season with 21.7 points per game, was selected to be the preseason Co-MEAC Player of the Year and lead the team.

Grice said her success has not made her lose focus on her goals for the season.

“I’m excited to play and possibly compete for a championship,” Grice said. “With the new talent around, we can do really great things and have high expectations.”

The morale is high for the season, and the Lady Rattlers are seeking to re-establish themselves as a dominant team in the MEAC once again.

The men’s team is 1-3 on the season. The Rattlers were defeated Monday by the Toledo Rockets 79 to 69 and defeated the Stetson Hatters 63-60 Thursday.

After only eight victories last season, the men’s team is ready to step up.

Head coach Clemon Johnson is content with his team’s play so far. He said his strategy is to play as many players as he can and save his best plays for later in the season.

“We don’t want to show everything right now,” Johnson said. “As the season progresses, we will start doing different things like trapping and things of that nature.”

Johnson is also confident in his team’s offense. He said his team can score on anybody in the country. He added that the team will review its game tape to improve on defense.

Reggie Lewis, a senior guard who made the game-winning free throws against Stetson, said scoring is not a problem.

“Everyone can score the ball,” Lewis said. “We just have to find that nucleus on defense.”