The Florida A&M University men’s basketball schedule for the 2023-2024 season has been released — and it appears daunting.
The team is gearing up to face some tough non-conference teams again this season. Even though the Rattlers are in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, they will play non-conference games against some of the nation’s elite programs.
Robert McCullum, the head coach, shared his opinion on the 2023-24 schedule on famuathletics.com.
“The non-conference portion of the 2023-24 schedule is extremely challenging as usual,” McCullum said.
“The season opener vs. Creighton ranked No. 13 nationally in preseason polls, will be the toughest and highest-ranked opponent to open the season during our tenure at FAMU.” This means that the Rattlers may have to practice extra hard to overcome the adversity presented by ranked opponents. Also, some of the Rattlers’ big-time players have entered the transfer portal, which leaves FAMU with less hope of a winning season record.
Peyton Williams and Jaylan Hewitt both played small forward for FAMU but are now looking to play elsewhere this season.
The Rattlers will take on eight Power 5 programs, including teams in the Pac-12, Southeastern, Big East, Big 12, and Big Ten conferences at the beginning of their non-conference season.
The Rattlers will open in November at Creighton (Nov. 7) and Nebraska (Nov. 9).
Joshua MoeWells, a FAMU student, shared his opinion on the schedule.
“I hope these are games we, a school or the athletic side, will be funded for these types of games. This schedule is tough. We barely have a good squad to go to battle with,” MoWells said. “I know the Rattlers achieved conference championships and playoff experiences over some years, but I do not think that will happen this year.”
The fans’ lack of faith shows what these Rattlers are up against this season. However, as the season continues into the month of December, they will play against more Power 5 teams on the road. However, it does not mean all bad for the men’s basketball team, as some Rattlers fans have hope for the team.
Zayn Mason, also a FAMU student, says there might be a positive outcome from this year’s schedule.
“I believe that this means that some players who have not gotten the right exposure on the court can finally get some light shined on them. The way some players are actually good but have not been seen in action is crazy,” Mason said.
“I hope some players can even get some NIL deals. This year’s schedule will show how tough this team is and how well they can prove people wrong,” he added.
Some sponsorships, boosters and marketing offices can show up and take a look at this year’s basketball team, which is why they are playing some tough opponents. The Rattlers will continue their time on the road as they travel to Daytona Beach to face in-state rival Bethune-Cookman for their first conference game as a SWAC member this season.