Rattlers upbeat going into MEAC tourney

Photo credit: Sydne Vigille

Despite Thursday’s 89-77 loss to arch-rival Bethune-Cookman, the FAMU men’s basketball team ended the regular season on a strong note — winning three of its final four games going into this week’s MEAC Tournament.

The Rattlers (8-24, 7-9 in MEAC) will take on Howard (10-22, 7-9) at 4 p.m. Tuesday in their first game at the tournament, with an outside shot at the NCAA Tournament on the line.

While it was a roller coaster regular season, leaning more towards the “L” column than the “W,” it forced the players to have a roller coaster of emotions to match.

Junior guard Justin Ravenel weighed in on the importance of the South Carolina State win on Monday.

“We wanted to carry out momentum from the A&T game and really get another win,” he said, “It was very important that we stayed focused and look to move up in the MEAC standings.”

The 76-74 victory helped the Rattlers to separate from a four-way tie in the MEAC. Their win benefitted them in terms of rank within the conference. FAMU’s 7-9 finish put in a three-way tie for seventh in the final standings.

“(Monday’s) win was very important in terms of seeding. We were in a four-way tie with Morgan State, South Carolina State, Howard and Coppin,” said Nick Severado, the junior forward from Savannah, GA.

The team’s morale exhibited only positivity when it came to feelings about the remainder of the season.

“I feel really confident moving forward. We’ve been excited to get out there and fight for wins and that’s what you look forward to continue doing. I am very optimistic about the rest of the season,” said Ravenel.

Severado provided an almost identical sentiment: “I feel great. We’re playing our best basketball at the right time of the year going into March Madness.”

Rattler fans shared some of the same optimism about the remainder of the season.

Jakelvis Lockhart, a frequent game-goer, shared his thoughts on the Rattlers’  prospects.

“I think (Monday’s) win solidified the team’s confidence in facing their opponents for the rest of the games they have to play,” Lockhart said. “They won against a pretty decent team, so I’m sure they know now, that a win is nowhere near out of reach.”